Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Editor's Note

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Editor's Note

Article excerpt

This Fall issue includes four articles: two about Lebanon's history, a third about "Neo-Orientalism," and the fourth about the sale of prescription-only medicines by law without a prescription in Abu Dhabi.

Rami Siklawi's "The Social and Political Identities of the Shi'i Community in Lebanon" sheds light on the history of the Shi'is through the Ottoman, French, and post-independence periods till the eve of the 1975 civil war in Lebanon. The author focuses on the marginalization of the Shi'is in Jabal Amil after their migration from Mount Lebanon. Marginalization had been instrumental in the construction and reconstruction of Shi'i political and social identities continuing in the French colonial period and after independence. Official neglect in both the periods led to further migration to Beirut and other main cities as well as abroad, primarily to West Africa. This historical sweep is critical to understand the changes in Shi'i identity, influenced by the rise of Musa al-Sadr in the early 1970s, and constitutes a critical transformation in the lead up to the civil war.

Speaking of the French colonial period in Lebanon takes us to another foundational community of modem Lebanon. The Maronites, a Levantine Christian sect that settled in Mount Lebanon centuries ago, had a special relationship with the French colonial authorities. In his article, "Warmed or Burnt by Fire? The Lebanese Maronite Church Navigates French Colonial Policies, 1935," Malek Abisaab narrates a critical historic period in that relationship, one which points out the power of the political economy in compelling the Maronite Church under Patriarch Antoine 'Adda to take an anti-French position regarding the imposition of the tobacco monopoly, which led to the non-sectarian 1935 popular uprising against French colonial rule. …

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