Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon

The Fairouz and Rahbani Nation

Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon

Based on an award-winning thesis, this volume is a pioneering study of musical theatre and popular culture and its relation to the production of identity in Lebanon in the second half of the twentieth century. In the aftermath of the departure of the French from Lebanon and the civil violence of 1958, the Rahbani brothers (Asi and Mansour) staged a series of folkloric musical theatrical extravaganzas at the annual Ba‘labakk festival which highlighted the talents of Asi’s wife, the Lebanese diva Fairouz, arguably the most famous living Arab singer. The inclusion of these folkloric vignettes into the festival’s otherwise European dominated cultural agenda created a powerful nation-building combination of what Partha Chatterjee calls the ‘appropriation of the popular’ and the ‘classicization of tradition.’ The Rahbani project coincides with the confluence of increasing internal and external migration in Lebanon, as well as with the rapid development of mass media technology, of which the Ba'labakk festival can be seen as an extension. Employing theories of nationalism, modernity, globalism and locality, this book shows that these factors combined to give the project a potent identity-forming power. Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon is the first study of Fairouz and the Rahbani family in English and will appeal to students and researchers in the field of Middle East studies, Popular culture and musical theatre.

The Lebanese-Phoenician Nationalist Movement

Literature, Language and Identity

The Lebanese-Phoenician Nationalist Movement

The question of belonging has formed the basis of the political, religious and cultural tensions in Lebanon, to the point that sectarian conflict on the country's future contributed significantly to the outbreak of civil war in 1975. This book focuses on the development of the Phoenician-Lebanese movement that struggled against the hegemonic status of Arabic language and culture. The Phoenician-Lebanese were a predominantly Maronite Christian group who attempted to remove themselves from the Muslim and Arab world throughout the twentieth century. Their demands for self-definition as a nation and their desire to establish their own culture were rooted in the concept of their ancient Phoenician past. Basilius Bawardi examines four prominent authors who formed the basis on which all engaged so-called Phoenician literature was built: Sharl Qurm, Sa'id 'Aql, Mayy Murr and Muris 'Awwad. The literary corpus of these writers was a critical component of the political activity that strove to distinguish the native Lebanese inhabitants from their Arab-Muslim neighbours.Studying these authors' works in both a literary and historical way, Bawardi shows how language was used to promote a specific political agenda and identifies the strong connections between language, literature and nation building. As well as revealing the nationalist struggle as it emerges in prose and poetry, the book discusses the history and formation of modern day Lebanon and why language and literature are so crucial for members of a national minority.

Egypt as a Woman

Nationalism, Gender, and Politics

Egypt as a Woman

"Fusing women's and gender history, recovering the stories of female activists while using theoretical tools that explore understandings of nationalism, this study also sheds important light on the workings of the Egyptian press and the history of photography in Egypt. It provides a deft and sophisticated portrayal of the vibrancy of women's political culture as well as its limitations."--BOOK JACKET.

Popularizing the Nation

Audience, Representation, and the Production of Identity in Die Gartenlaube, 1853-1900

Popularizing the Nation

In countless articles on culture, politics, landscape, industry, history, and other topics, the Gartenlaube played an influential role in nineteenth-century Germany's larger effort to forge a national identity for itself. In fact, Belgum argues that the search for, and development of, national identity in Germany was inextricably linked to the writings of the Gartenlaube and other popular magazines. Such publications served both as a public repository of mythic memory for the nation and as a source of new national images for a self-consciously modern Germany.

An Enchanted Modern

Gender and Public Piety in Shi'i Lebanon

An Enchanted Modern

Based on two years of ethnographic research in Beirut, this book demonstrates that Islam and modernity are not merely compatible, but actually go hand-in-hand. This portrayal of an Islamic community articulates how an alternative modernity may be constructed by Shi'I Muslims who consider themselves simultaneously deeply modern, cosmopolitan, and pious. In this depiction of a Shi'I Muslim community in Beirut, Deeb examines the ways that individual and collective expressions and understandings of piety have been debated, contested, and reformulated. Women take center stage in this process, a result of their visibility both within the community, and in relation to Western ideas that link the status of women to modernity.

Popular Culture in the Arab World

Arts, Politics, and the Media

Popular Culture in the Arab World

Over the last fifty years the Arab world has witnessed two seemingly contradictory trends: governments have failed to unite the region politically but at the same time a vibrant popular culture has blossomed, strengthening the sense of a shared Arab identity. Egyptian soap operas, Arab pop stars, al-Jazeera television, Islamic televangelists, and a raging debate over the “war on terror†and the future of the Arabs are just some of the phenomena that comprise the immensely rich and diverse world of the Arab mass media. Looking at such diverse cultural forms as commercial cinema, pop music, television, sport, theatre and popular religion, journalist Andrew Hammond portrays the lively popular culture of the region, offering a refreshing antidote to stereotypical views about the Middle East. Popular Culture in the Arab World covers the entire spectrum of pop culture in the Arab world today, from reality TV shows to the power of modern advertising, as well as scandals involving belly-dancing stars like Fifi Abdo. From Lebanese pop sensation Nancy Ajram to Shaaban Abdel-Rahim, an illiterate ironer in Cairo who rose to stardom singing of his support for Palestinians against Israel, this unique book highlights the unlikely heroes of Arab popular culture. Of interest to all those who wish to understand how popular culture works hand-in-hand with the politics of the Middle East, this book is a thoroughly researched but fun tour of the history, trends, and controversies surrounding popular culture in the Arab world.

Faces of Lebanon

Sects, Wars, and Global Extensions

Faces of Lebanon

In this work, William Harris makes no attempt to hide his affection for Lebanon (his wife is a Shi'i Muslim, and his family frequently visits the country). However he seeks to present a relatively unbiased overview of Lebanon since 1920, from geography and land squabbles to political leaders and their manoeuvrings. He offers a balance between the wry asides of taxi drivers and floating local tales on the one hand and interviews with such luminaries as the chairman of the Palestine National Council on the other. It is only in his conclusion that the author really lets loose his anger about the troubles that he has studied, observed and recorded.

Handbook of Research on Consumption, Media, and Popular Culture in the Global Age

Handbook of Research on Consumption, Media, and Popular Culture in the Global Age

The mass production and diversification of media have accelerated the development of popular culture. This has started a new trend in consumerism of desiring new consumption objects and devaluing those consumption objects once acquired, thus creating a constant demand for new items. Pop culture now canalizes consumerism both with advertising and the marketing of consumerist lifestyles, which are disseminated in the mass media. The Handbook of Research on Consumption, Media, and Popular Culture in the Global Age discusses interdisciplinary perspectives on media influence and consumer impacts in a globalizing world due to modern communication technology. Featuring research on topics such as consumer culture, communication ethics, and social media, this book is ideally designed for managers, marketers, researchers, academicians, and students.