[A] surprising adaptation of Islam to Chinese traditions appears in the martial arts that are partly Islamized. Chinese Muslims (the Hui) are aware that they have borrowed their matial art (wushu) from the Han Chinese, but they maintain they have given it a particular form by rejecting certain techniques and adding new ones. Boxing used […]Read More Islamic Taoism
I intend to write much more about how the department in which I am enrolled (The War Studies department of King’s College) feeds into the overall production of knowledge for dominant power’s successful policy. But for now this is just to let you know what type of ‘job proposals’ I usually get through my university […]Read More Where I spend my days
A recent poll was conducted among the Palestinian refugees of the Nahr el Bared camp (two times refugees that is). When asked which political faction in Lebanon represent best their point of view 40 percent answered Hizbullah, and another 40 percent answered none. On the other hand when asked about which Palestinian faction represent them […]Read More Do the math
Just a quick recap for those who still can’t add things up or are too overwhelmed by the prevailing symbolic and power struggle between two newly-formed factions of the numerous Lebanese turfs. Today, and for a decade or so, we, as in the “Lebanese people”, have been paying for the extravaganza of business-minded policymakers. Today […]Read More Some cultural considerations behind the exploitation of the Lebanese
There is something sad in this picture. See the guy behind Lahoud to the right? I know this guy. I don’t know his name, but I remember a couple of years ago, when Lahoud came often to this club (if not daily) to take a swim, I used to see him next to the swimming […]Read More For the record
As some of you know, today is ‘independence day’ for what came to be called the “Lebanese”. This time I won’t bother you with my sentences. I’ll just translate Ziad Rahbani’s column that sums well my point of view (bear in mind that the joke is made in the Arabic language and that the gist […]Read More Before the concept of Independence!
Reading the Lebanese press involve the discovery of many fascinating things and we are all most familiar with this. But one of them is the recurrence of stories stating that this or that politician had a meeting with this or that religious instance. Lately, I have in mind the various patriach-ical initiatives supposed to come […]Read More On clerical power in Lebanon
I was watching the Battle of Algiers, a film on the Algerian resistance against the French occupation made in 1966, only four years after the actual declaration of independence of the country. A film most of you have probably seen or heard of but was completely unknown to me until yesterday! Beyond the fact that […]Read More Terrorism and Democracy
Hey Abu Muqawama I took this from your blog. Because a point must be made. See the US does not need anymore home-grown policy advisers, they come all the way from Lebanon to offer their services. Emile Hokayem (a Lebanese Expert on the Middle East) gives advice to the US senate not to engage Syria […]Read More Lebanese advisers to the US senate
In a very Nietzschean fashion, Asad deconstruct our quest to understand suicide bombing in this most penetrating passage: So how unique is suicide bombing? If it is special – and I believe that in a sense it is – this is not because of the motives involved. Intentions may be validly deduced from actions in […]Read More The moralistic way we inquire about things
Check this Jewish guy discovering that “Hizbullah people” did not feel like barbecuing him when they discovered he’s “a Cohen” (thanks Emily). Notice how simplistic and naive his existential questions are. It is always with great childishness and innocence that we discover that most of what we believe are creations of the authority that ‘raised […]Read More "the other" is like me!
Loubnanouna has just celebrated its first year anniversary, and al-akhbar had a story summarizing their views on what the political system in Lebanon should be like (federalism, decentralization, etc.). It is interesting to see that Loubnanouna has come a long way in terms of refining their ideas. I don’t want to jump to hasty conclusion […]Read More Another face of Christian culture in modern Lebanon
Check this very interesting passage of Asad’s series of lecture on suicide bombing: …however reprehensible it was to liberals, the violence of Marxists and nationalists was understandable in terms of progressive, secular history. The violence of Islamic groups, on the other hand, is incomprehensible to many precisely because it is not embedded in a historical […]Read More The "Islamic" as outside the "secular"
I hope that one day we will have a detailed historical and social account of the rise of a chauvinistic culture among the Christian constituency of this newly created state of Lebanon. It mustn’t stay in the generalities, like ok they were rich and all (because that is not accurate at all) or privileged, but […]Read More Faces of Christian culture in modern Lebanon
Look at this guy… Why does he need to look so ugly? the Islamist type is serving as template to symbolize militias! This is part of a campaign (surely Leo Burnet and the billboards provided by Picasso), to ‘build’ some kind of ‘awareness’ about the fact that the different Lebanese factions are arming themselves and […]Read More picaboo!
Please read this article in full. It is just excellent. Every idea, every answer is just full of interesting cultural stereotypes and social urges. I am still trying to know who wrote it (it was published in the Daily Star and taken from Agence France Press) because the wit is good, although some questions are […]Read More Inscribing the political in the body: A tentative Lebanese case