By Kamal Salibi
At the present time Lebanon is among the world's so much divided international locations - if it continues to be a rustic in any respect. yet sarcastically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener realization of universal identification. How can this be? The Lebanese historian Kamal S. Salibi examines, within the mild of recent scholarship, the old myths on which his country's warring groups have established their conflicting visions of the Lebanese country. The Lebanese have regularly lacked a standard imaginative and prescient in their earlier. From the start Muslims and Christians have disagreed essentially over their country's old legitimacy: Christians frequently have affirmed it, Muslims have tended to stress Lebanon's position in a broader Arab historical past. either teams have used nationalist rules in a damaging online game, which at a deeper point contains archaic loyalties and tribal rivalries. yet Lebanon can't come up with the money for those conflicting visions whether it is to increase and keep a feeling of political group. during his full of life exposition, Salibi deals an immense reinterpretation of Lebanese heritage and offers insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's contemporary clash. He additionally supplies an account of the way the pictures of groups which underlie smooth nationalism are created.
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Extra resources for A House of Many Mansions
Naturally, it was impossible for Britain after the war to honour simultaneously all these conflicting commitments fully. The need to reach a settlement with France over the area was most pressing, and this was taken care of by the San Remo agreement. During the last months of the war, as the British drove the Ottoman forces out of Syria, with the forces of Sharif Husayn's Arab Revolt protecting their right flank, the Sharifs third and most popular son, Faysal, was allowed to enter Damascus and establish an Arab government on behalf of his father in that ancient Arab capital.
In their own mandated territories, which they called the Levant, the French took the same attitude as the British: they were willing to attend to reasoned and concrete demands by parties who knew what they wanted, but had no patience for the claims and clamours of those who did not. In Mount Lebanon and the adjacent parts of the old Vilayet of Beirut, the Maronites - a Christian communion with a long tradition of union with the Roman Catholic church in Europe - were one party whose demands the French were prepared to listen to.
In Mount Lebanon, the Maronites had formed a clear majority of the population. In a 'Greater Lebanon', they were bound to be outnumbered by the Muslims of the coastal towns and their hinterlands, and by those of the Bekaa valley; and all the Christian communities together, in a 'Greater Lebanon', could at best amount to a bare majority. The Maronites, however, were insistent in their demands. Their secular and clerical leaders had pressed for them during the war years among the Allied powers, not excluding the United States.
A House of Many Mansions by Kamal Salibi