By Kamal Salibi
This day Lebanon is likely one of the world's so much divided nations - if it is still a rustic in any respect. yet sarcastically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener attention of universal id. How can this be? The Lebanese historian Kamal S. Salibi examines, within the gentle of recent scholarship, the old myths on which his country's warring groups have dependent their conflicting visions of the Lebanese state. The Lebanese have constantly lacked a standard imaginative and prescient in their prior. From the start Muslims and Christians have disagreed essentially over their country's historic legitimacy: Christians as a rule have affirmed it, Muslims have tended to stress Lebanon's position in a broader Arab heritage. either teams have used nationalist principles in a damaging video game, which at a deeper point comprises archaic loyalties and tribal rivalries. yet Lebanon can't manage to pay for those conflicting visions whether it is to advance and keep a feeling of political group. during his full of life exposition, Salibi bargains an immense reinterpretation of Lebanese historical past and gives insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's contemporary clash. He additionally supplies an account of the way the photographs of groups which underlie smooth nationalism are created.
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Extra info for A House of Many Mansions
Few Arab clergymen in either church, under these conditions, could aspire to be anything more than priests. eenth century there were many Melchites in the church of Antioch who were beginning to find the situation intolerable. Starting from the early years of that same century, the city of Aleppo, in northern Syria, had been rising to importance as a leading centre for European commerce with the East. English, Dutch, French and other European THE CONFIDENCE GAME 43 trading companies began to set up offices there; and Roman Catholic missionaries also gained access to the city, including the Jesuits who were already active among the Maronites in Mount Lebanon.
During the war, the British had made a point of encouraging Arab nationalist activity in Syria against the Ottomans; and it was partly through British intermediaries that the Arab nationalists in Syria were put in touch with Sharif Husayn and his sons, which subsequently gave the Sharifian revolt in the Hijaz the extra dimension it needed to gain recognition as a true Arab Revolt. After the war, however, it became clear to the British that the claims of Arab nationalism were most urgently pressed either by romantic dreamers who were unwilling to be taught that politics was the art of the possible, or by unprincipled schemers who were out to secure personal rather than national interests.
In central Arabia, there was a standing British alliance with Abdul-Aziz Ibn Saud, the Wahhabi Emir of Riyad who was subsequently to become the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism was a movement of militant Islamic religious revival which had appeared in central Arabia in the middle decades of the 22 A HOUSE OF MANY MANSIONS eighteenth century, and the house of Saud had been politically associated with it since that time. In conflict with this British-Saudi alliance was the wartime alliance reached between Britain and Sharif Husayn, the Emir of Mecca, who enjoyed a special Arab and Islamic prestige as a recognized descendant of the Prophet, and whose family were called the Hashemites.
A House of Many Mansions by Kamal Salibi