By Kamal Salibi

Today Lebanon is without doubt one of the world's so much divided international locations. yet ironically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener attention of universal identification. How can this be? within the gentle of contemporary scholarship, a recognized Lebanese author and pupil examines the ancient myths on which his country's warring groups have dependent their conflicting visions of the Lebanese country. He indicates that Lebanon can't manage to pay for this divisiveness, that during order to increase and continue a feeling of political team spirit, it really is necesary to distinuish truth from fiction after which construct on what's actual within the universal adventure of either groups.

Salibi deals a tremendous reinterpretation of Lebanese heritage and offers amazing insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's fresh clash. In so doing, he illuminates vital aspects of his country's current and destiny. This ebook additionally offers a masterly account of ways the imagined groups that underlie glossy nationalism are created and may be of curiosity to scholars of foreign affairs in addition to close to jap scholars.

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The Druzes therefore became resentful of the Maronites in a specific manner. The Melchites, however, were no less resentful of the Maronites as fellow Arab Christians, envying their uncanny ability to manipulate the Islamic rule even a t its most rigorous. It was actually among the Christian Arabs of Syria - not the Maronites, but the Melchites of Aleppo - that a rudimentary consciousness of Arabism first developed in modern times. As Christians, the Melchites followed the Greek rite. Under the Ottomans, their church in Syria had come to be controlled by a Greek upper clergy, under the influence of the Phanariot Greeks of Istanbul who were close to the centre of political power.

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.

By and large, in rank and file, they were socially far more developed or, more correctly, far more familiar with the ways of the modern world. This placed them in a position to provide the country, for a long time, with most of the needed infrastructure. It also enabled them to provide a social gloss which covered the fragile and faulty structure of the state and the social tension which lay underneath, mainly due to the glaringly uneven development of the different Lebanese communities and regions.

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