Bridging the gap between migration studies and the anthropological tradition, Ghassan Hage illustrates that transnationality and its attendant cultural consequences are not necessarily at odds with classic theory.
In The Diasporic Condition, Ghassan Hage engages with the diasporic Lebanese community as a shared lifeworld, defining a common cultural milieu that transcends spatial and temporal distance—a collective mode of being here termed the “diasporic condition.” Encompassing a complicated transnational terrain, Hage’s long-term ethnography takes us from Mehj and Jalleh in Lebanon to Europe, Australia, South America, and North America, analyzing how Lebanese migrants and their families have established themselves in their new homes while remaining socially, economically, and politically related to Lebanon and to each other.
At the heart of The Diasporic Condition lies a critical anthropological question: How does the study of a particular sociocultural phenomenon expand our knowledge of modes of existing in the world? As Hage establishes what he terms the “lenticular condition,” he breaks down the boundaries between “us” and “them,” “here” and “there,” showing that this convergent mode of existence increasingly defines everyone’s everyday life.
Disruptive Situations challenges representations of contemporary Beirut as an exceptional space for LGBTQ people by highlighting everyday life in a city where violence is the norm. Ghassan Moussawi, a Beirut native, seeks to uncover the underlying processes of what he calls “fractal orientalism,” a relational understanding of modernity and cosmopolitanism that illustrates how transnational discourses of national and sexual exceptionalism operate on multiple scales in the Arab world.
Moussawi’s intrepid ethnography features the voices of women, gay men and genderqueers in Beirut to examine how queer individuals negotiate life in this uncertain region. He examines “al-wad’,” or “the situation,” to understand the practices that form these strategies and to raise questions about queer-friendly spaces in and beyond Beirut.
Disruptive Situations alsoshows how LGBTQ Beirutis resist reconciliation narratives and position their identities and visibility at different times as ways of simultaneously managing their multiple positionalities and al-wad’. Moussawi argues that the daily survival strategies in Beirut are queer—and not only enacted by LGBTQ people—since Beirutis are living amidst an already queer situation of ongoing precarity.
With four million Syrian refugees as of September 2015, there is urgent need to develop both short-term and long-term approaches to providing education for the children of this population. This report reviews Syrian refugee education for children in the three neighboring countries with the largest population of refugees—Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan—and analyzes four areas: access, management, society, and quality.
Exploring the rise of Shi’i activism in Lebanon and the broader Middle East, in Faith and Resistance Sarah Marusek offers a timely analysis of the social and political evolution of Islamic movements. These movements, she shows, have long existed in opposition to a number of different forces. And while that opposition has often been full of contradictions, the growing popularity of such movements has nonetheless led to increasing economic and political powers. Marusek shows here how resistance groups reconcile the acquisition of power with their larger anti-colonial aspirations.
Ghady & Rawan
By Fatima Sharafeddine and Samar Mahfouz Barraj, translated by M. Lynx Qualey and Sawad Hussain University of Texas Press, 2019 Library of Congress MLCS 2020/49320 (P)
Ghady and Rawan is a heartfelt and timely novel by the award-winning author Fatima Sharafeddine (The Servant, Cappuccino) and Samar Mahfouz Barraj. The novel follows the close-knit friendship of two Lebanese teenagers, Ghady, who lives with his family in Belgium, and Rawan, who lives in Lebanon. Ghady’s family travels every summer to Beirut, where Ghady gets to spend all his time with Rawan and their other friends, enjoying their freedom from school. During the rest of the year, he and Rawan keep in touch by email. Through this correspondence, we learn about the daily ups and downs of their lives in Brussels and Beirut, including Ghady’s homesickness and his struggles with racism at school, as well as Rawan’s changing relationship to her family. The novel offers a glimpse into the lives of Lebanese adolescents while exploring a range of topics relevant to young people everywhere: bullying, parental conflicts, racism, belonging and identity, and peer pressure. Through the connection between the two main characters, Sharafeddine and Mahfouz Barraj show how the love and support of a good friend can help you through difficulties as well as sweeten life’s triumphs and good times.
Hezbollah’s revolutionary role in global politics has invited lionization and vilification, rather than a clear-eyed view of its place in history. Now that the party is in power, how will Hezbollah reconcile its regional obligations with its religious beliefs? This nonpartisan account offers insights that Western media have missed or misunderstood.
Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God is the first thorough examination of Hezbollah’s covert activities beyond Lebanon’s borders, including its financial and logistical support networks and its criminal and terrorist operations worldwide.
Hezbollah—Lebanon’s "Party of God"—is a multifaceted organization: It is a powerful political party in Lebanon, a Shia Islam religious and social movement, Lebanon’s largest militia, a close ally of Iran, and a terrorist organization. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including recently declassified government documents, court records, and personal interviews with intelligence and law enforcement officials around the world, Matthew Levitt examines Hezbollah’s beginnings, its first violent forays in Lebanon, and then its terrorist activities and criminal enterprises abroad in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and finally in North America. Levitt also describes Hezbollah’s unit dedicated to supporting Palestinian militant groups and Hezbollah’s involvement in training and supporting insurgents who fought US troops in post-Saddam Iraq. The book concludes with a look at Hezbollah’s integral, ongoing role in Iran’s shadow war with Israel and the West, including plots targeting civilians around the world.
Levitt shows convincingly that Hezbollah’s willingness to use violence at home and abroad, its global reach, and its proxy-patron relationship with the Iranian regime should be of serious concern. Hezbollah is an important book for scholars, policymakers, students, and the general public interested in international security, terrorism, international criminal organizations, and Middle East studies.
"Hezbollah is perhaps the world's most capable group. Terrorism expert Matthew Levitt offers a comprehensive and fascinating assessment of Hezbollah's network outside the Lebanese theater, exposing its operations and fundraising apparatus in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and even the United States." -- Daniel Byman, professor, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University
"Matthew Levitt is a recognized authority on Hezbollah and its activities, both in the Levant and globally.... Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God fills a vital gap in understanding the international dimensions of Hezbollah, its reach, and its capacities for terrorism worldwide." -- Charles Allen, former assistant director of the central intelligence for collection, CIA
"Matthew Levitt has made a significant contribution to public understanding of Hezbollah's worldwide operations. He has shone a bright light into some of the darkest corners of the group's activities overseas." -- Richard Barrett, former head of MI6/SIS/British Intelligence's Counter Terrorism Department and coordinator of the United Nations Al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team
"This book tells the sinister story of a highly sophisticated organization that for more than thirty years has been an archetype of world-wide illicit activities. Hezbollah effectively combines its overt social and political activities with covert criminal and terrorist operations on a global scale. Matthew Levitt's painstaking collection of a rich array of data provides uncomfortable evidence of ' The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God'. This book is essential reading for policy-makers and the international intelligence community." -- Uri Rosenthal, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
"In Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God, Matthew Levitt, through adept storytelling and impressive attention to historical detail, manages to teach even long-time students of the Middle East a great deal about Hezbollah. The book leaves little doubt as to the increasing importance, danger, and international reach of Hezbollah. It will be an important resource for serious scholars of the Middle East and a great read for anyone interested in better understanding the region." -- Andy Liepman, Senior Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation; former Principal Deputy Director, National Counterterrorism Center
"This book on Lebanese Hezbollah is a unique incisive insight into its global terror tentacles around the globe. Noone has catalogued these terrorist connections and plots in such forensic detail as Matthew Levitt, especially how the terror nexus between Hezbollah and Iran has continually evolved. It systematically lays bare Hezbollah's operational capability and its multiple intersections with Iranian intelligence architecture. This should be required reading for every intelligence analyst and terrorism researcher." -- Magnus Ranstrop, research director, Centre for Asymmetric Threat Studies at the Swedish National Defence College
"Matthew Levitt's book touches a key point of the growing debate on Hezbollah: the European approach to the phenomenon. It is a reminder for us Europeans that there are threats that might seem distant geographically, but could nevertheless have a strong impact politically on the continent as well." -- Franco Frattini, Justice and Chamber President of the Italian Conseil d'Etat (Supreme Administrative Court); President of the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI); former Italian Foreign Minister (2002-2004 and 2008-2011)
"Richard Armitage, then Deputy Secretary of State, once described Hezbollah as the 'A team' of international terror. In his extraordinary new book, Matthew Levitt explains why Hezbollah is seen as such a global threat. Levitt paints a compelling picture of Hezbollah's terror activities not just in the Middle East but throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. While Western intelligence and law enforcement agencies have tracked and disrupted Hezbollah's global activities for years, this highly unsettling story has been largely unknown to wider publics. Thanks to Levitt's meticulous and well-written book that should no longer be the case." -- Ambassador Dennis Ross, counselor at the Washington Institute; former special assistant to President Obama and senior director for the Central Region at the National Security Council
"Matthew Levitt has laid out a timely and relevant history of Hezbollah, a global terrorist organization often referred to as the 'A Team' of terror. This book comes at the right time as Hezbollah continues its decades-long war against the United States, Israel, and our allies around the globe while it attempts to consolidate political power in Lebanon -- on its behalf and for the Iranian regime." -- Juan Zarate, former Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism and author of the forthcoming book, Treasury's War
Hizbu’llah is the largest and most prominent political party in Lebanon, and one of the most renowned Islamist movements in the world. In this book, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb examines the organisation’s understanding of jihad and how this, together with its belief in martyrdom, brought about the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon in May 2000.
Saad-Ghorayeb explores the nature of the party’s struggle against the West by studying its views on the use of violence against Westerners. Crucially, she also addresses the question of whether Hizbu’llah depicts this struggle in purely political or civilisational terms. The existential nature of the movement’s conflict with Israel is analysed and the Islamic roots of its anti-Judaism is unearthed.
The author explores the mechanics and rationale behind the party’s integration into the Lebanese political system, and sheds light on how it has reconciled its national idenitity with its solidarity with the Muslim umma.
Despite the controversial reputation of Hizbullah in the West, and the significant role this powerful Islamist organization plays in Lebanese politics, there are few reliable, published English translations of the party’s primary documents. With this extensive work, Joseph Alagha seeks to remedy this problem and rectify the distortions and misrepresentations that have resulted from inaccurate translations.
Through privileged access to the party, Alagha was able to compile and meticulously translate a host of original primary documents, from the party’s 1985 Open Letter; through its eight clandestine conclaves from 1989 to 2009; to all of its election programs from 1992 to 2010, as well as all of the agreements, understandings, and pacts the party has ratified over the years; ending with the 2009 Political Manifesto. This firsthand portrait of Hizbullah’s metamorphosis, especially in the past decade, is complete with thorough footnotes, commentary, background information, chronology, and a detailed introductory chapter that maps the party’s transformation by analytically comparing the Open Letter with the 2009 Manifesto. This volume will be an invaluable companion for both scholars and policy makers.
As the dominant political force in Lebanon and one of the most powerful post-Islamist organizations in the world, Hizbullah is a source of great controversy and uncertainty in the West. Despite the significant attention paid to this group by the media, the details of Hizbullah’s evolution have frequently confounded politicians—and even scholars. In this important study, Joseph Alagha, a scholar with unprecedented access to the organization, exhaustively and objectively analyzes Hizbullah’s historical evolution and offers a revolutionary new perspective on the political phenomenon of the organization.
Hizbullah’s Identity Construction is a timely examination of one of the world’s most turbulent regions; a major contribution to the study of contemporary Islamic political movements in the Middle East; and a refreshing departure from the bland hagiographies and ad hominem attacks that are all too common in studies of Hizbullah’s murky history. Superbly documented and argued, and rooted in broad knowledge of contemporary Islamist political thought, this study brings much-needed clarity to a hot-button subject.
“Joseph Alagha remains one of the most thorough and careful analysts of Hizbullah’s political ideology and practice. Scholars, analysts, and policy makers will find in this work a veritable treasure trove of research and insights into this complex organization.”—Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University
Using Arabic-language sources that have never before been studied or analyzed, Max Weiss paints a nuanced picture of sectarianism in Lebanon under the French Mandate. He demonstrates that sectarianism evolved long before the phenomenon known as “political Shi’ism.” This groundbreaking and deeply researched book is not merely narrative history; it also incorporates some of the latest critical theory about religious modernity and colonialism. Weiss illustrates the power of sectarianism as both a conceptual category and as a set of practices which can be a force for good and positive change as well as for division and destruction. By foregrounding historical forces that shape and direct sectarianism, he also shows how dimensions of sectarianism that no longer serve a society can be overcome with time.
Fifteen years after the end of a protracted civil and regional war, Beirut broke out in violence once again, forcing residents to contend with many forms of insecurity, amid an often violent political and economic landscape. Providing a picture of what ordinary life is like for urban dwellers surviving sectarian violence, The Insecure City captures the day-to-day experiences of citizens of Beirut moving through a war-torn landscape.
While living in Beirut, Kristin Monroe conducted interviews with a diverse group of residents of the city. She found that when people spoke about getting around in Beirut, they were also expressing larger concerns about social, political, and economic life. It was not only violence that threatened Beirut’s ordinary residents, but also class dynamics that made life even more precarious. For instance, the installation of checkpoints and the rerouting of traffic—set up for the security of the elite—forced the less fortunate to alter their lives in ways that made them more at risk. Similarly, the ability to pass through security blockades often had to do with an individual’s visible markers of class, such as clothing, hairstyle, and type of car. Monroe examines how understandings and practices of spatial mobility in the city reflect social differences, and how such experiences led residents to be bitterly critical of their government.
In The Insecure City, Monroe takes urban anthropology in a new and meaningful direction, discussing traffic in the Middle East to show that when people move through Beirut they are experiencing the intersection of citizen and state, of the more and less privileged, and, in general, the city’s politically polarized geography.
For the late Fuad I. Khuri, a distinguished career as an anthropologist began not because of typical concerns like accessibility, money, or status, but because the very idea of an occupation that baffled his countrymen made them—and him—laugh. “When I tell them that ‘anthropology’ is my profession . . . they think I am either speaking a strange language or referring to a new medicine.” This profound appreciation for humor, especially in the contradictions inherent in the study of cultures, is a distinctive theme of An Invitation to Laughter, Khuri’s astute memoir of life as an anthropologist in the Middle East.
A Christian Lebanese, Khuri offers up in this unusual autobiography both an insider’s and an outsider’s perspective on life in Lebanon, elsewhere in the Middle East, and in West Africa. Khuri entertains and informs with clever insights into such issues as the mentality of Arabs toward women, eating habits of the Arab world, the impact of Islam on West Africa, and the extravagant lifestyles of wealthy Arabs, and even offers a vision for a type of democracy that could succeed in the Middle East. In his life and work, as these astonishing essays make evident, Khuri demonstrated how the discipline of anthropology continues to make a difference in bridging dangerous divides.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah is now in its fourth decade and shows no signs of ending. Raphael D. Marcus examines this conflict since the formation of Hezbollah during Israel’s occupation of Lebanon in the early 1980s. He critically evaluates events including Israel’s long counterguerrilla campaign throughout the 1990s, the Israeli withdrawal in 2000, the 2006 summer war, and concludes with an assessment of current tensions on the border between Israel and Lebanon related to the Syrian civil war.
Israel’s Long War with Hezbollah is both the first complete military history of this decades-long conflict and an analysis of military innovation and adaptation. The book is based on unique fieldwork in Israel and Lebanon, extensive research into Hebrew and Arabic primary sources, and dozens of interviews Marcus conducted with Israeli defense officials, high-ranking military officers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), United Nations personnel, a Hezbollah official, and Western diplomats. As an expert on organizational learning, Marcus analyzes ongoing processes of strategic and operational innovation and adaptation by both the IDF and Hezbollah throughout the long guerrilla conflict. His conclusions illuminate the dynamics of the ongoing conflict and illustrate the complexity of military adaptation under fire.
With Hezbollah playing an ongoing role in the civil war in Syria and the simmering hostilities on the Israel-Lebanon border, students, scholars, diplomats, and military practitioners with an interest in Middle Eastern security issues, Israeli military history, and military innovation and adaptation can ill afford to neglect this book.
Salafism is one of the most dynamic and rapidly growing Islamic movements and it is impossible to understand contemporary Islam without taking account of it. The movement has reached almost every corner of the Muslim world, and its transnational networks span the globe. Despite the importance of Salafism, scholars have only recently begun to pay serious attention to the movement, and while the body of literature on Salafism is growing, there are still many lacunae. The Lebanese context adopted by the author of this important study provides an excellent opportunity to explore the dynamics of the Salafi movement worldwide.
In this study, an eminent sociologist of the Arab world analyzes student politics in Lebanon and their relationship to the civil war. This focus is part of a larger concem with upheaval in Arab society and with political and social integration in mosaic societies in general. Professor Barakat provides a clear, thorough, and comprehensive analysis of late twentieth century Lebanese society and the dominant ideological veins within it. Lebanon in Strife is a comparative study of Lebanese youth with special emphasis on their alienation from society and politics and their place at the vanguard of social change. The study is set in the context of the continual confrontation between forces for change and the established order in Lebanon, viewed from both a local and an intemational perspective. The author argues that vertical loyalties (based on religious, ethnic, or regional ties) are more significant than horizontal loyalties (based on socioeconomic class) in determining Lebanese student political behavior and attitudes. However, vertical loyalties are explained in socioeconomic terms, for the two forms of cleavages coincide; and the whole society is composed of religious communities arranged in a hierarchy of power and status. The author shows that these ties conflict with and undermine orderly social change and national unity and that they could account for conditions that have led to civil war in Lebanon. In an epilogue, Professor Barakat relates his analysis of student politics to political developments in Lebanon during the civil war of 1975–1976, including an assessment of the role of Syria and the prospects for a negotiated end to armed struggle in the country. This is the first empirical study of Lebanese political life viewed from the standpoint of its central force for change, the students. It is an invaluable resource for students of the modem Middle East as well as for specialists in sociology, politics, and history. Lebanon in Strife has special relevance to problems of political change and development in the Third World countries, providing a sociopolitical model for the analysis of student politics in traditional and transitional societies.
By Hilal Chouman Translated by Anna Ziajka Stanton University of Texas Press, 2016 Library of Congress PJ7918.H86L5613 2016 | Dewey Decimal 892.737
In Hilal Chouman’s Limbo Beirut, a gay artist, a struggling novelist, a pregnant woman, a disabled engineering student, a former militia member, and a medical intern all take turns narrating the violent events of May 2008, when Hezbollah militants and Sunni fighters clashed in the streets of Beirut. For most of these young men and women, the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) is but a vague recollection, but the brutality of May 2008 serves to reawaken forgotten memories and stir up fears of a revival of sectarian violence. Yet despite these fears, the violence these characters witness helps them to break free from the mundane details of their lives and look at the world anew. The multiple narrative voices and the dozens of pen-and-ink illustrations that accompany the text allow Chouman to achieve a mesmerizing cinematic quality with this novel that is unique in modern Arabic fiction. Not only will readers appreciate the meaningful exploration of the effects of violence on the psyche, but they will also enjoy discovering how the lives of these characters—almost all of whom are strangers to one another—intersect in surprising ways.
Memoirs of an Early Arab Feminist is the first English translation of the memoirs of Anbara Salam Khalidi, the iconic Arab feminist. At a time when women are playing a leading role in the Arab Spring, this book brings to life an earlier period of social turmoil and women's activism through one remarkable life.
Anbara Salam was born in 1897 to a notable Sunni Muslim family of Beirut. She grew up in 'Greater Syria', in which unhindered travel between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus was possible, and wrote a series of newspaper articles calling on women to fight for their rights within the Ottoman Empire. In 1927 she caused a public scandal by removing her veil during a lecture at the American University of Beirut.
Later she translated Homer and Virgil into Arabic and fled from Jerusalem to Beirut following the establishment of Israel in 1948. She died in Beirut in 1986. These memoirs have long been acclaimed by Middle East historians as an essential resource for the social history of Beirut and the larger Arab world in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Passage to Dusk
By Rashid al-Daif University of Texas Press, 2001 Library of Congress PJ7820.A46F87 2000 | Dewey Decimal 892.736
Passage to Dusk deals with the Lebanese civil war of the 1970s in a postmodern, poetic style. The narrative focuses on the deranged, destabilized, confused, and hyper-perceptive state of mind created by living on the scene through a lengthy war. The story is filled with details that transcend the willed narcissism of the main character, while giving clues to the culture of the time. It is excellent fiction, written in a surrealistic mode, but faithful to the characters of the people of Lebanon, their behavior during the war, and their contradictions. Issues of gender and identity are acutely portrayed against Lebanon’s shifting national landscape. The English-language reader has not been much exposed to Lebanese literature in translation, and Rashid al-Daif is one of Lebanon’s leading writers. He has been translated into eight languages, including French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. Translator Nirvana Tanoukhi manages to preserve Daif’s unusual, moving, and at times humorous style in her English rendition.
For almost two decades of its history (1975-90), Lebanon was besieged by sectarian fighting, foreign invasions, and complicated proxy wars. In Posthumous Images, Chad Elias analyzes a generation of contemporary artists who have sought, in different ways, to interrogate the contested memory of those years of civil strife and political upheaval. In their films, photography, architectural projects, and multimedia performances, these artists appropriate existing images to challenge divisive and violent political discourses. They also create new images that make visible individuals and communities that have been effectively silenced, rendered invisible, or denied political representation. As Elias demonstrates, these practices serve to productively unsettle the distinctions between past and present, the dead and the living, official history and popular memory. In Lebanon, the field of contemporary art is shown to be critical to remembering the past and reimagining the future in a nation haunted by a violent and unresolved war.
By Sofian Merabet University of Texas Press, 2014 Library of Congress HQ76.2.L42B456 2014 | Dewey Decimal 306.76620956925
Gender and sexual identity formation is an ongoing anthropological conversation in both Middle Eastern studies and urban studies, but the story of gay and lesbian identity in the Middle East is only just beginning to be told. Queer Beirut is the first ethnographic study of queer lives in the Arab Middle East. Drawing on anthropology, urban studies, gender studies, queer studies, and sociocultural theory, Sofian Merabet’s compelling ethnography suggests a critical theory of gender and religious identity formations that will disrupt conventional anthropological premises about the contingent role that society and particular urban spaces have in facilitating the emergence of various subcultures within the city. From 1995 to 2014, Merabet made a series of ethnographic journeys to Lebanon, during which he interviewed numerous gay men in Beirut. Through their life stories, Merabet crafts moving ethnographic narratives and explores how Lebanese gays inhabit and perform their gender as they formulate their sense of identity. He also examines the notion of “queer space” in Beirut and the role that this city, its class and sectarian structure, its colonial history, and religion have played in these people’s discovery and exploration of their sexualities. In using Beirut as a microcosm for the complexities of homosexual relationships in contemporary Lebanon, Queer Beirut provides a critical standpoint from which to deepen our understandings of gender rights and citizenship in the structuring of social inequality within the larger context of the Middle East.
This study analyzes coordination of international and national entities managing the Syrian refugee response in urban areas in Jordan and Lebanon and provides recommendations on improving coordination strategies and practices. It presents a new framework for planning, evaluating, and managing refugee crises in urban settings, both in the Syrian refugee crisis as well as other such situations going forward.
The Arab Revolutions that began in 2011 reignited interest in the question of theory and practice, imbuing it with a burning political urgency. In Revolution and Disenchantment Fadi A. Bardawil redescribes for our present how an earlier generation of revolutionaries, the 1960s Arab New Left, addressed this question. Bardawil excavates the long-lost archive of the Marxist organization Socialist Lebanon and its main theorist, Waddah Charara, who articulated answers in their political practice to fundamental issues confronting revolutionaries worldwide: intellectuals as vectors of revolutionary theory; political organizations as mediators of theory and praxis; and nonemancipatory attachments as impediments to revolutionary practice. Drawing on historical and ethnographic methods and moving beyond familiar reception narratives of Marxist thought in the postcolony, Bardawil engages in "fieldwork in theory" that analyzes how theory seduces intellectuals, cultivates sensibilities, and authorizes political practice. Throughout, Bardawil underscores the resonances and tensions between Arab intellectual traditions and Western critical theory and postcolonial theory, deftly placing intellectuals from those traditions into a much-needed conversation.
Salafism, comprised of fundamentalist Islamic movements whose adherents consider themselves the only “saved” sect of Islam, has been little studied, remains shrouded in misconceptions, and has provoked new interest as Salafists have recently staked a claim to power in some Arab states while spearheading battles against “infidel” Arab regimes during recent rebellions in the Arab world. Robert G. Rabil examines the emergence and development of Salafism into a prominent religious movement in Lebanon, including the ideological and sociopolitical foundation that led to the three different schools of Salafism in Lebanon: quietist Salafists, Haraki (active) Salafists; and Salafi Jihadists.
Emphasizing their manhaj (methodology) toward politics, the author surveys Salafists’ ideological transformation from opponents to supporters of political engagement. Their antagonism to Hezbollah, which they denounce as the party of Satan, has risen exponentially following the party’s seizure of Beirut in 2008 and support of the tyrannical Syrian regime. Salafism in Lebanon also demonstrates how activists and jihadi Salafists, in response to the political weakness of Sunni leadership, have threatened regional and international security by endorsing violence and jihad.
Drawing on field research trips, personal interviews, and Arabic primary sources, the book explores the relationship between the ideologies of the various schools of Salafism and their praxis in relation to Lebanese politics. The book should interest students and scholars of Islamic movements, international affairs, politics and religion, and radical groups and terrorism.
Toward Translingual Realities in Composition is a multiyear critical ethnographic study of first-year writing programs in Lebanon and Washington State—a country where English is not the sole language of instruction and a state in which English is entirely dominant—to examine the multiple and often contradictory natures, forces, and manifestations of language ideologies. The book is a practical, useful way of seriously engaging with alternative ways of thinking, doing, and learning academic English literacies.
Translingualism work has concentrated on critiquing monolingual and multilingual notions of language, but it is only beginning to examine translingual enactments in writing programs and classrooms. Focusing on language representations and practices at both the macro and micro levels, author Nancy Bou Ayash places the study and teaching of university-level writing in the context of the globalization and pluralization of English(es) and other languages. Individual chapters feature various studies that Bou Ayash brings together to address how students act as agents in marshaling their language practices and resources and shows a deliberate translingual intervention that complicates and enriches students’ assumptions about language and writing. Her findings about writing programs, instructors, and students are detailed, multidimensional, and complex.
A substantial contribution to growing translingual scholarship in the field of composition studies, Toward Translingual Realities in Composition offers insights into how writing teacher-scholars and writing program administrators can more productively intervene in local postmonolingual tensions and contradictions at the level of language representations and practices through actively and persistently reworking the design and enactment of their curricula, pedagogies, assessments, teacher training programs, and campus-wide partnerships.
In Visions of Beirut Hatim El-Hibri explores how the creation and circulation of images have shaped the urban spaces and cultural imaginaries of Beirut. Drawing on fieldwork and texts ranging from maps, urban plans, and aerial photographs to live television and drone-camera footage, El-Hibri traces how the technologies and media infrastructure that visualize the city are used to consolidate or destabilize regimes of power. Throughout the twentieth century, colonial, economic, and military mapping projects helped produce and govern Beirut's spaces. In the 1990s, the imagery of its post-civil war downtown reconstruction cast Beirut as a site of financial investment in ways that obscured its ongoing crises. During and following the 2006 Israel/Hizbullah war, Hizbullah's use of live television broadcasts of fighting and protests along with its construction of a war memorial museum at a former secret military bunker demonstrate the tension between visualizing space and the practices of concealment. Outlining how Beirut's urban space and public life intertwine with images and infrastructure, El-Hibri interrogates how media embody and exacerbate the region's political fault lines.
Who's Afraid of Meryl Streep?
By Rashid al-Daif Translated by Paula Haydar and Nadine Sinno University of Texas Press, 2014 Library of Congress PJ7820.A46T3713 2014 | Dewey Decimal 892.736
Rashid al-Daif’s provocative novel Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep? takes an intimate look at the life of a recently married Lebanese man. Rashoud and his wife struggle as they work to negotiate not only their personal differences but also rapidly changing attitudes toward sex and marriage in Lebanese culture. As their fragile bond disintegrates, Rashoud finds television playing a more prominent role in his life; his wife uses the presence of a television at her parents’ house as an excuse to spend time away from her new home. Rashoud purchases a television in the hopes of luring his wife back home, but in a pivotal scene, he instead finds himself alone watching Kramer vs. Kramer. Without the aid of subtitles, he struggles to make sense of the film, projecting his wife’s behavior onto the character played by Meryl Streep, who captivates him but also frightens him in what he sees as an effort to take women’s liberation too far. Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep? offers a glimpse at evolving attitudes toward virginity, premarital sex, and abortion in Lebanon and addresses more universal concerns such as the role of love and lust in marriage. The novel has found wide success in Arabic and several European languages and has also been dramatized in both Arabic and French.