An Enduring Dilemma: Teaching National Identity in Lebanon

Jennifer M. Dueck

in The Claims of Culture at Empire's End

Published by British Academy

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780197264478
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734779 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Monographs

An Enduring Dilemma: Teaching National Identity in Lebanon

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The situation in Lebanon shared many features with that in Syria. Education and language were symbolic pillars of political power and collective identity in both countries. That said, there were marked differences between the educational systems in Syria and Lebanon. In spite of the occasional threat of violence, schools in Lebanon did not become targets for popular aggression as they did in Syria. Struggles over education were confined to the political sphere where the debates were sometimes intense. The actual practice of politics was dominated by intra-sectarian conflict in which Christians and Muslims formed cross-confessional allegiances to further their interests within their own communities. The discussion also considers how educational provision affected the network of relationships between the French government, the French missionaries, the Maronite Patriarchy, and the Maqāsid Islamic Charitable Association.

Keywords: Syria; Lebanon; collective identity; school violence; sectarian conflict; French missionaries; Maronite Patriarchy; Muslims; Christians

Chapter.  9101 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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