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Lebanon: a Bibliography: History

One also can't illuminate the country's history merely under the motto of confessionalism, while ignoring important socio-economic factors that have been a major contributor to conflicts for centuries — and even to this day, although they hardly receive any attention. This simultaneously implies that Lebanon is in no way merely a plaything or battleground for external powers. Instead, any account has to include homemade factors — both past and present. As a whole, the book is an attempt to realize the initial plan of the Taif Agreement of — namely, to write a collective and, thereby, unifying history book for all Lebanese.

Until now, the diverse Lebanese communities present only their own interpretations of history in their schoolbooks. Traboulsi: The Maronites trace their supposed origins to the supposedly non-Arab Phoenicians, while the Sunnis claim their heritage in an Arab context. The Christians regard the Sunni Emir Bashir Schihab II, who ruled Mount Lebanon under the Ottomans and who converted to Christianity, as the founder of their reign, while the Druze portray him as the individual who ended their supremacy.

The urban Sunnis stress the Ottoman era, while the Christians depict this time as sinister period in their history. And so on. Whoever attempts to confront Lebanon's history runs up against suppression, censorship, and half-truths time and again — especially when dealing with armed conflicts. French colonial historians were already portraying the civil war of as a massacre of Lebanese Christians, an account that was then later used against Muslims.

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Ignored here was the fact that the supposedly passive victims were in fact more heavily armed than their Druze opponents at the time. You stress that confessionalism isn't or ever was the only defining characteristic of Lebanon.


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However, it is clearly tempting to debate the country's history on the basis of such divisions. Traboulsi: The block-like confessional formations that confront us today only came into being in the middle of the 19th century. And only in the second half of the 20th century did the confessions unite under one or two political leaders, as is the case today. Previously, this kind of homogeneity did not exist nor did religious leaders have such powers of control. On the contrary, until around , leaders were secular.

One can think back to , when Christian, Druze, Shi'a, and Sunni citizens together rebelled against the unjust tax policies of Bashir II. What led to the confessional solidification that seems to have reached its highest level at present?

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Finally, the Taif Agreement institutionalized sectarianism by creating a system in which each confession lays claim to a top government position. The president has to be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of the parliament a Shi'a Muslim.

Electrifying the History of Lebanon

This system managed to function one way or another as long as the president of Syria acted as the ultimate arbitrator, as envisaged by Taif. Yet, when this final refuge ended in , the weakness of the system became apparent. Its whole logic was based on the principle of unanimity. Everyone had to be in favor of a proposal, or any single party could veto it.

This is a completely schizophrenic system that necessarily leads to a dead end. Traboulsi: This epoch is far to close to the present to integrate into a history book. I will deal with this period separately and intend to cover with the horrors of the civil war from to , as these have never before been appraised. Those who don't know their own history, usually run the risk of repeating it. Here you have tackled some of the most sensitive of all topics. Traboulsi, I wish you success and thank you very much for the interview. Beate Hinrichs presents their book.

Lebanon A Country Divided In the wake of recent events, Lebanon is now confronting a new crisis that is splitting the country into two camps. This time, however, it's not different faiths that are squaring off, as in the civil war of the s. Bernhard Hillenkamp reports.


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Here, the Christians are in the East, and the Muslims are in the West. What happened during this procession had nothing to do with wisdom or sportsmanship. Sell one like this. We found something similar. About this product. Stock photo. Pre-owned: lowest price The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. Used book in good condition. Shows typical wear. Quick shipping. Satisfaction guaranteed!

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Lebanon Fast Facts - CNN

Add to cart. It closes with the observation that 'a new period in the history of Lebanon had begun' in , a period that has been marked by achievements and horrors, but with the promise for the better future that its people surely deserve.

Everyone who is curious about that beautiful and tormented country should read his history, one of the best yet. It is entirely unique, as the last history of Lebanon was published over forty years ago. Written by a leading Lebanese scholar, and based on previously inaccessible archives, it is a fascinating and beautifully-written account of one of the world's most fabled countries.

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The main part of the book concentrates on Lebanon's development in the 20th century and the conflicts that led up to the major wars in the s and s. Lebanon in the 20th century has seen turbulent times, the results of which we still see today. Additional Product Features Number of Volumes.