A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon by Kamal Salibi

By Kamal Salibi

Today Lebanon is likely one of the world's so much divided nations. yet ironically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener realization of universal id. How can this be? within the mild of contemporary scholarship, a well-known Lebanese author and student examines the old myths on which his country's warring groups have dependent their conflicting visions of the Lebanese kingdom. He indicates that Lebanon can't have enough money this divisiveness, that during order to enhance and retain a feeling of political harmony, it truly is necesary to distinuish truth from fiction after which construct on what's genuine within the universal event of either groups.

Salibi bargains a big reinterpretation of Lebanese background and offers outstanding insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's fresh clash. In so doing, he illuminates very important aspects of his country's current and destiny. This e-book additionally provides a masterly account of the way the imagined groups that underlie smooth nationalism are created and should be of curiosity to scholars of overseas affairs in addition to close to jap scholars.

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As a result of the Tanzimat, however, the Ottoman state had tightened its grip over its Arab provinces by its policy of centralization as at no time before; this came to be most felt in Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, the Ottoman bureaucratic classes in Istanbul had become increasingly conscious of their Turkishness, and the same consciousness of Turkish nationality had also begun to permeate the Europeantrained officer class of the Ottoman army. By the turn of the century, this new Turkish nationalism emanating from the Ottoman capital was beginning to cause some concern to Muslim Arabs in Syria; but this concern was allayed because the policy of the state, under Sultan AbdulHamid I1 (1876-1909), remained Islamic.

One can easily understand why Christian rather than Muslim Arabs should have been the first to exhibit and articulate a sense of Arab nationality, under whatever name; also, why this should have occurred in Beirut, and among Christians from Mount Lebanon. After all, it was in Beirut and Mount Lebanon that Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries in Syria were mainly active; and it was the Christians rather than the Muslims who went to their schools, or consorted with European resident traders and political or consular agents, and consequently became exposed to modern Western ideas, including the idea of nationalism.

While the British relations with Ibn Saud were maintained by the British government of India, those with the Sharif were initiated and pursued by the British Arab Bureau in Cairo. Meanwhile, the British Foreign Office, in close touch with the World Zionist Organization, had by 1917 formally committed itself to viewing with favour the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. Naturally, it was impossible for Britain after the war to honour simultaneously all these conflicting commitments fully.

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