By Kamal Salibi
This present day Lebanon is likely one of the world's so much divided nations - if it is still a rustic in any respect. yet satirically the faction-ridden Lebanese, either Christians and Muslims, have by no means proven a keener recognition of universal id. How can this be? The Lebanese historian Kamal S. Salibi examines, within the gentle of recent scholarship, the ancient myths on which his country's warring groups have established their conflicting visions of the Lebanese kingdom. The Lebanese have continually lacked a typical imaginative and prescient in their previous. From the start Muslims and Christians have disagreed essentially over their country's old legitimacy: Christians often have affirmed it, Muslims have tended to stress Lebanon's position in a broader Arab historical past. either teams have used nationalist principles in a harmful online game, which at a deeper point includes archaic loyalties and tribal rivalries. yet Lebanon can't have the funds for those conflicting visions whether it is to increase and retain a feeling of political group. during his full of life exposition, Salibi bargains a tremendous reinterpretation of Lebanese historical past and offers insights into the dynamic of Lebanon's fresh clash. He additionally provides an account of the way the pictures of groups which underlie glossy nationalism are created
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Extra resources for A House of Many Mansions: History of Lebanon Reconsidered
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. In the east, the border of the emirate, in the Jordan valley, set the limits beyond which the projected Jewish National Home in Palestine could not extend. The British a t the time knew what they wanted, and 24 A HOUSE OF MANY MANSIONS they got it: control over the oilfields of Iraq; unimpeded access from there to the Mediterranean; control of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf (which were the two vital maritime highways leading to the Indian Ocean).
HOW IT ALL BEGAN 21 understanding that the Holy Land of Palestine would have an international status. During the last months of the war however the British, who already occupied much of Mesopotamia, took occupation of Palestine. 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).
On the other hand, they had no right securing for their Greater Lebanon Syrian territory which had formerly belonged to the vilayets of Beirut or Damascus, and which had never formed part of their claimed historical homeland. From the Arab nationalist point of view, it was not permissible to accord the French-created Lebanese Republic recognition as a nation-state separate and distinct from Syria. Moreover, from the same point of view, the Syrian Republic itself was not acceptable as the final and immutable achievement of the aspirations of its people.