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(Re)constructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria

Ethno-Cultural Diversity and the State in the Aftermath of a Refugee Crisis

Nicola Migliorino

256 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-352-7 $120.00/£85.00 hb Published (June 2008)

eISBN 978-0-85745-057-9 eBook


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"... an impressively researched account of one of the major refugee crises of the 20th century ... Migliorino offers a thoughtful account of the Armenian refugees' experience, focusing on religion, cultural production, and communal political organization and covering 1923-2003, a span of three or four generations. This is an analytical narrative of the making of a society, from refugees to citizens… this fine historical account is also an exemplary developmental study of the ways in which refugees create a permanent diaspora society. Relevant to all social scientists. Highly recommended."   ·  Choice

For almost nine decades, since their mass-resettlement to the Levant in the wake of the Genocide and First World War, the Armenian communities of Lebanon and Syria appear to have successfully maintained a distinct identity as an ethno-culturally diverse group, in spite of representing a small non-Arab and Christian minority within a very different, mostly Arab and Muslim environment. The author shows that, while in Lebanon the state has facilitated the development of an extensive and effective system of Armenian ethno-cultural preservation, in Syria the emergence of centralizing, authoritarian regimes in the 1950s and 1960s has severely damaged the autonomy and cultural diversity of the Armenian community. Since 1970, the coming to power of the Asad family has contributed to a partial recovery of Armenian ethno-cultural diversity, as the community seems to have developed some form of tacit arrangement with the regime. In Lebanon, on the other hand, the Armenian community suffered the consequences of the recurrent breakdown of the consociational arrangement that regulates public life. In both cases the survival of Armenian cultural distinctiveness seems to be connected, rather incidentally, with the continuing ‘search for legitimacy’ of the state.

Nicola Migliorino earned his PhD from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter. His research has focused on Lebanon, Syria, and questions concerning ethno-cultural diversity in the contemporary Arab world. Between 1998 and 2000 he worked for an international NGO assisting Palestine refugees in Syria. He is currently Assistant Professor in International Studies at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, and Honorary Research Fellow at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter.

Series: Volume 21, Forced Migration
Subject: Refugee & Migration Studies General Anthropology
Area: Middle East & Israel

LC: DS80.55.A75 M54 2008

BL: 8490.565800 v. 21 DSC

BISAC: SOC007000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Emigration & Immigration; SOC008000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Ethnic Studies/General; SOC002000 SOCIAL SCIENCE/Anthropology/General

BIC: JFFN Migration, immigration & emigration; JFSL Ethnic studies




Contents

List of Tables Acknowledgements Note on Transliteration

Introduction

Chapter 1. The Origins of the Armenian Presence in Lebanon and Syria: a Brief Historical Account

  • Introduction
  • The Armenian Homeland
  • Armenian Migration to and within the Middle East: The Pre-Ottoman Era
  • The Armenians and the Ottoman Empire
  • The Era of Massacres: The End of the Empire and the Armenian Genocide

Chapter 2. (Re)constructing Armenia: The Armenians in Lebanon and Syria during the Mandate

  • Introduction
  • Religious Policy under the Mandate and the Re-establishment of the Armenian Churches
  • Armenian Politics and Public Participation under the Mandate
  • Armenian Associations during the Mandate
  • Armenian Culture and Media during the Mandate
  • Armenian Education during the Mandate
  • The Socio-Economic Position of the Armenians during the Mandate

Chapter 3. Coping with Political Change: The Armenians in Lebanon and Syria during the First Two Decades of Independence (1946–1967)

  • Introduction: The Armenians and the Post-Mandate States of the Levant
  • Armenian Politics and Armenian Public Participation in Lebanon and Syria (1946–1967)
  • Religious Policy and the Armenians in Independent Lebanon and Syria (1946–1967)
  • Armenian Education in Independent Lebanon and Syria (1946–1967)
  • Armenian Cultural Production between Flourishing and Decline: The 1950s and the 1960s
  • Armenian Associations and the State in Lebanon and Syria from Independence to the 1960s
  • Political Economy and the Social Position of the Armenians in Lebanon and Syria from Independence to the end of the 1960s

Chapter 4. War, Migration, and Strategies of Survival: The Armenians between the Collapse of the Lebanese State and the Construction of Asad’s Syria (1967–1989)

  • Introduction
  • Armenian Politics in the Levant From the Mid 1960s to the End of the Lebanese War
  • The Armenian Churches in Lebanon and Syria in the 1970s and 1980s
  • Armenian Education in Lebanon and Syria: The 1970s and 1980s
  • Armenian Associations and the State in Lebanon and Syria: The 1970s and 1980s
  • Armenian Culture and Media in Lebanon and Syria during the 1970s and 1980s
  • The Armenian Communities and the Lebanese and Syrian Economy in the 1970s and 1980s

Chapter 5. Difficult Recovery and Uncertain Future: The Armenians in Lebanon and Syria in the 1990s and Beyond

  • Introduction
  • Armenian Political Participation in Contemporary Lebanon and Syria
  • Armenian Churches and the State in Contemporary Lebanon and Syria
  • Coping with Economic Crisis: The Socio-Economic Position of the Armenians in Contemporary Lebanon and Syria
  • Armenian Associations and the State in Contemporary Lebanon and Syria
  • Armenian Education in Lebanon and Syria during the 1990s and Early 2000s
  • Armenian Cultural Production and the State in Contemporary Lebanon and Syria

Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

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