Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

National, linguistic, and religious identity of Lebanese Maronite Christians through their Arabic fictional texts during the period of the French Mandate in Lebanon
by Martin Fernandez, Amaya, Ph.D., Georgetown University, 2009, 317; 3350466
Abstract (Summary)

This research questions and challenges the assumptions made about Lebanese Maronite Christians and their relation with the establishment of the State of Greater Lebanon. It focuses on three overlapping aspects of their identity - national, linguistic and religious - in order to clarify their thoughts about the new state and its foundations, their feelings of Arabness, the role of religion, and their relation with other religious communities. The primary source materials used for the research are prose fictional texts written during the period of the French Mandate by Maronite Christians who did not emigrate.

The research shows that the Lebanon described in the texts rarely reaches the borders of the new state, and that there is no exclusive correspondence between Lebanon and the concepts of homeland, country, and state. Despite their association with French language and the emphasis over the Arabic-French bilingualism of many members of this community, the research proves that the linguistic identity of the non-emigrated community is purely Arabic, being Classical Arabic or an Arabic dialect their mother tongue. The research also shows that the sectarian character of the society is not strongly manifested in the texts, despite the common insistence upon this characteristic in any study related to Lebanon.

The prose works analysed in this research belong to the famous prose writers Marun Abbud, Tawfiq Yussuf Awwad, and Karam Melhem Karam, the famous poet Salah Labaki, the writer and historian Lahad Khater, the priest Marun Ghosen, and the lawyer and historian Michel Shibli.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bassiouney, Reem
Commitee: Dallal, Ahmad, Davis, Rochelle
School: Georgetown University
Department: Arabic & Islamic Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 70/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern language, Middle Eastern literature, Religious history, Political science
Keywords: Arabic, French Mandate, Identity, Lebanon, Maronite
Publication Number: 3350466
ISBN: 978-1-109-08507-5
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