By Kamal Salibi
This day Lebanon is among the world's so much divided nations - if it continues to be a rustic in any respect. yet satirically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener cognizance of universal identification. How can this be? The Lebanese historian Kamal S. Salibi examines, within the mild of contemporary scholarship, the ancient myths on which his country's warring groups have established their conflicting visions of the Lebanese country. The Lebanese have continuously lacked a typical imaginative and prescient in their previous. From the start Muslims and Christians have disagreed essentially over their country's historic legitimacy: Christians most commonly have affirmed it, Muslims have tended to stress Lebanon's position in a broader Arab heritage. either teams have used nationalist principles in a harmful online game, which at a deeper point consists of archaic loyalties and tribal rivalries. yet Lebanon can't have enough money those conflicting visions whether it is to increase and continue a feeling of political neighborhood. during his energetic exposition, Salibi deals an immense reinterpretation of Lebanese heritage and gives insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's contemporary clash. He additionally offers an account of ways the photographs of groups which underlie smooth nationalism are created.
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Extra info for A House of Many Mansions
What about the question of nationality? To the Maronites and many other Christians in Lebanon, there were no doubts about the matter. The Lebanese were Lebanese, and the Syrians were Syrians, just as the Iraqis were Iraqi, the Palestinians Palestinian, and the Transjordanians Transjordanian. If the Syrians, Iraqis, Palestinians or Transjordanians preferred to identify themselves as something else, such as Arabs united by one nationality, they were free to do so; but the Lebanese remained Lebanese, regardless of the extent to which the outside world might choose to classify them as Arabs, because their language happened to be Arabic.
Sharif Abdullah thereupon left the Hijaz in 1921 and arrived in Transjordan, where the British soon recognized him as the sovereign emir. With British military help, Abdullah succeeded in repelling Wahhabi attempts to extend the Saudi domain northwards in the direction of Syria, thereby securing the extension of Transjordan eastwards continuously to the border of Iraq. In the south, Abdullah's Transjordanian emirate extended beyond the borders of the old Ottoman Vilayet of Damascus to reach the Red Sea at the strategic Gulf of Aqaba, and so include the northernmost parts of what had formerly been the Ottoman Vilayet of the Hijaz.
Now, at San Remo, the wartime Sykes-Picot Agreement between the two sides was scrapped. By the terms of the new agreement, France gave up her claim to the Vilayet of Mosul in return for a major share in the Turkish Petroleum Company, which had been confiscated by the Allies and reorganized as the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC). Moreover, the older agreement had specified that France would have direct control over the coastal parts of the Vilayet of Aleppo and its share of the Vilayet of Beirut, but only a sphere of influence in inland Syria where an Arab state or states of independent status would be established.