Syria: Society, Culture, and Polity

By Richard T. Antoun; Donald Quataert | Go to book overview
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Arabic Words and Specialized Terms
acculturation the process of the borrowing of cultural traits without a
change of identity of the borrowing group
Alawis a religious sect with historical Muslim roots but
distinctive theological beliefs, concentrated in the
Latakia region of Syria
'asabiyya the power of social solidarity; originally referring to the
social solidarity and esprit de corps of tribal groups in
the Middle East; now extended to the solidarity of
groups generally
ashraf families claiming descent from the prophet,
assimilation the process of absorption of cultural traits along with
their underlying values, therefore entailing change
of identity
Ba'th (Party) the ruling party of Syria since 1963 whose ideology
combines Arab nationalism, Arab unity, and socialism
bab "gate"; among the Alawis a religious leader possessed
of esoteric, sacramental knowledge who is sometimes a
public figure and sometimes hidden
elements of the indigenous population, usually
minorities, associated closely with foreign capital
confessionalism referring to an ideology and society in which
religious ties are invoked to advance personal or
political ambitions
demarche maneuver, diplomatic move


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