Channels of Resistance in Lebanon: Liberation Propaganda, Hezbollah and the Media

  • Title: Channels of Resistance in Lebanon: Liberation Propaganda, Hezbollah and the Media
  • Author(s) / Editor(s): Zahera Harb (Author)
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris
  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN-10: 1848851200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848851207
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 256
  • Size / Format: 3,2 mb / pdf
  • Download Link: www.link.com
  • Password: falastinpress

Description: On May 25, 2000 Israeli occupation forces withdrew from South Lebanon after 22 years of occupation. The Lebanese media’s role in achieving liberation over this period is significant, through campaigns conducted to unify the Lebanese people against their foreign occupier and in support of the Lebanese resistance in South Lebanon. This book investigates the culture and performance of Lebanese journalism in this setting. Channels of Resistance in Lebanon is a story about journalism told by a journalist who is also using  tools of scholarship and research to narrate her story and the story of her fellow journalists. Zahera Harb is also presenting here an alternative interpretation of propaganda under conditions of foreign occupation and the struggle against that occupation. She identifies the characteristics of “liberation propaganda” through the coverage and experience of the two Lebanese TV stations Tele Liban and Al Manar within the historical, cultural, organizational and religious contexts in which they operated, and how these elements shaped their professional practice and their news values.

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Shi’ism: A Religion of Protest

  • Title: Shi’ism: A Religion of Protest
  • Author(s) / Editor(s): Hamid Dabashi (Author)
  • Publisher: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN-10: 0674049454
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674049451
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 448
  • Size / Format: 1,5 mb / pdf
  • Download Link: www.link.com
  • Password: falastinpress

Description: For a Western world anxious to understand Islam and, in particular, Shi’ism, this book arrives with urgently needed information and critical analysis. Hamid Dabashi exposes the soul of Shi’ism as a religion of protest—successful only when in a warring position, and losing its legitimacy when in power.

Dabashi makes his case through a detailed discussion of the Shi’i doctrinal foundations, a panoramic view of its historical unfolding, a varied investigation into its visual and performing arts, and finally a focus on the three major sites of its contemporary contestations: Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. In these states, Shi’ism seems to have ceased to be a sect within the larger context of Islam and has instead emerged to claim global political attention. Here we see Shi’ism in its combative mode—reminiscent of its traumatic birth in early Islamic history. Hezbollah in Lebanon claims Shi’ism, as do the militant insurgents in Iraq, the ruling Ayatollahs in Iran, and the masses of youthful demonstrators rebelling against their reign. All declare their active loyalties to a religion of protest that has defined them and their ancestry for almost fourteen hundred years.

Shi’sm: A Religion of Protest attends to the explosive conflicts in the Middle East with an abiding attention to historical facts, cultural forces, religious convictions, literary and artistic nuances, and metaphysical details. This timely book offers readers a bravely intelligent history of a world religion.

Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and Construction of Identity

  • Title: Palestine Online: Transnationalism, the Internet and Construction of Identity
  • Author(s) / Editor(s): Miriyam Aouragh (Author)
  • Publisher: Tauris Academic Studies
  • Year: 2011
  • ISBN-10: 1848853645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848853645
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 288
  • Size / Format: 3,8 mb / pdf
  • Download Link: www.link.com
  • Password: falastinpress

Description: For Palestine’s diaspora and exiled communities, the internet has become an important medium for the formation of Palestinian national and transnational identity. Miriyam Aouragh looks at the internet as both a space and an instrument for linking Palestinian diasporas in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. She closely examines the uses and limits of internet technology under conditions of war, along with the ways in which virtual participation enables the generation of new ideals for political reconciliation and self-determination. Through the internet, participants reconstruct a virtual ‘Palestinian homeland’, gain a space for recovering the past, for overcoming issues of mobility, and for generating social change. This book provides a new angle on those affected by the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and furthers understanding about the connection between electronic media, politics and national identity more widely.

More Bad News from Israel

    • Title: More Bad News from Israel
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Greg Philo (Author), Mike Berry (Author)
    • Publisher: Pluto Press
    • Year: 2011
    • Edition: Reprint
    • ISBN-10: 0745329780
    • ISBN-13: 978-0745329789
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 486
    • Size / Format: 6,9 mb / pdf
    • Download Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Building on rigorous research by the world-renowned Glasgow University Media Group, More Bad News From Israel examines media coverage of the current conflict in the Middle East and the impact it has on public opinion. The book brings together senior journalists and ordinary viewers to examine how audiences understand the news and how their views are shaped by media reporting. In the largest study ever undertaken in this area, the authors focus on television news. They illustrate major differences in the way Israelis and Palestinians are represented, including how casualties are shown and the presentation of the motives and rationales of both sides. They combine this with extensive audience research involving hundreds of participants from the USA, Britain and Germany. It shows extraordinary differences in levels of knowledge and understanding, especially amongst young people from these countries. Covering recent developments, including the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, this authoritative and up-to-date study will be an invaluable tool for journalists, activists and students and researchers of media studies.

Militant Women of a Fragile Nation

    • Title: Militant Women of a Fragile Nation
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Malek Abisaab (Author)
    • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
    • Year: 2009
    • ISBN-10: 0815632126
    • ISBN-13: 978-0815632122
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 335
    • Size / Format: 2,8 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: In Militant Women of a Fragile Nation, Malek Abisaab takes a gendered approach to labor conflicts, anticolonial struggles, and citizenship in modern Lebanon. The author traces the conditions and experiences of women workers at the French Tobacco Monopoly. Challenging the prevailing assumptions about culturally inscribed roles for Middle Eastern women, the book highlights traditions of public activism and militancy among rural women that are in turn adapted to the spaces of the factory. Women employed distinct strategies involving kinship, sectarian, gender, and class ties to enhance their work conditions and social benefits. Drawing on extensive ethnographic data, the author convincingly argues that the condition of women can only be explained by exploring the shifting relationship between culture, societal arrangements, and economic settings. Abisaab’s richly detailed work illuminates the impact of class and gender in the transformation of modern Lebanon.

Labour Markets Performance and Migration Flows in Arab Mediterranean Countries: Determinants and Effects Volume 3 National Background Papers Mashreq (Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria)

    • Title: Labour Markets Performance and Migration Flows in Arab Mediterranean Countries: Determinants and Effects Volume 3 National Background Papers Mashreq (Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria)
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Jackline Wahba (Author), Mustafa Khawaja (Author), Mohammad Omari (Author), Ibrahim Saif (Author), Thoraya El-Rayyes (Author), Jad Chaaban (Author), Samir Aita (Author), Philippe Fargues (Editor), Iván Martín (Editor).
    • Publisher: Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies – European Union
    • Year: 2010
    • ISBN-13: 978-9279159862
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 255
    • Size / Format: 4,0 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: The objectives of the Study are two-fold:

  • to analyze the key labour market determinants of migration flows from selected Arab Mediterranean Countries (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and the Occupied Palestinian Territories), with a particular emphasis on demographic pressures, wage differentials and relative income disparities with the EU, employment policies, labour market flexibility and unemployment rates; this analysis includes the impact of migration on Arab Mediterranean Countries (AMCs) labour markets;
  • to propose a series of specific recommendations to improve the design of EU’s migration policies towards AMCs and policy options available to them for the management of mismatches between labour supply and demand.

Suicide Bombings

    • Title: Suicide Bombings
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Riaz Hassan (Author)
    • Publisher: Routledge
    • Year: 2011
    • ISBN-10: 0415588863
    • ISBN-13: 978-0415588867
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 128
    • Size / Format: 1,4 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Suicide Bombings is a Routledge Shortcuts version of Riaz Hassan’s longer book Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings (Routledge, 2011), a study of suicide bombing around the world. Prof Hassan came to this topic via the study of suicide and therefore, provides a different perspective on terror attacks than most other authors. The book provides very detailed information on the rate and type of suicide bombings from 1981 to 2006. According to Prof Hassan, suicide bombings are nothing new to history but have taken a new turn in the modern era as a weapon of political frustration. He examines the history of suicide bombing over the last three decades and explains the reasons, not only why people resort to this type of attack, but also why individuals agree to participate. Prof Hassan provides us with an explanation that does not rely on religion or psychosis but quite rational motivations based on groups of individuals being driven into what they see as a position of last resort. This is a thorough analysis of the field and I highly recommend it. I think it is a book that should be read widely and can change the nature of political debate on this issue.

Loom: A Novel

    • Title: Loom: A Novel
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Thérèse Soukar Chehade (Author)
    • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
    • Year: 2010
    • ISBN-10: 0815609825
    • ISBN-13: 978-0815609827
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 168
    • Size / Format: 1,1 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: As a blizzard blankets the northeast United States, burying residents and shutting down airports, the Farrah family eagerly awaits the arrival of Eva, a cousin visiting from Lebanon after a long separation from the family. Over the course of several days, while Eva is stranded in New York City, Chehade s nuanced story unfolds in the reminiscences and anxieties of each family member.

Emilie, the matriarch of this Lebanese American family, lives in a world of voluntary silence. Barely able to read and write in English and refusing to speak for the last several years, she immerses herself in her garden and leaves elaborately cooked meals anonymously for her solitary neighbor. Emilie s oldest daughter Josephine, middle aged and still living with her mother and married brother, struggles to regain the independence and confidence she had as a young girl in Lebanon. Young Marie, stifled by her conservative family, is determined to study at Berkeley and to leave behind her immigrant identity. All three are drawn to their mysterious neighbor, nicknamed Loom, whose loneliness and isolation mirror their own and kindle within each woman a desire to make a connection. When Emilie takes off during the blizzard in the direction of Loom s house and the rest of the family follows in her pursuit, their act is both an escape and a reaching out. Beautifully written and teeming with vivid portraits, Chehade s novel is both heartfelt and wise.

Hizbullah’s Documents: From the 1985 Open Letter to the 2009 Manifesto

    • Title: Hizbullah’s Documents: From the 1985 Open Letter to the 2009 Manifesto
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Joseph Alagha (Author)
    • Publisher: Pallas Publications – Amsterdam University Press
    • Year: 2011
    • ISBN-10: 9085550378
    • ISBN-13: 978-9085550372
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 224
    • Size / Format: 8,7 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Despite the controversial reputation of Hizbullah in the West, and the significant role this powerful Islamist organization plays in Lebanese politics, there are few reliable, published English translations of the party’s primary documents. With this extensive work, Joseph Alagha seeks to remedy this problem and rectify the distortions and misrepresentations that have resulted from inaccurate translations.

Through privileged access to the party, Alagha was able to compile and meticulously translate a host of original primary documents, from the party’s 1985 Open Letter; through its eight clandestine conclaves from 1989 to 2009; to all of its election programs from 1992 to 2010, as well as all of the agreements, understandings, and pacts the party has ratified over the years; ending with the 2009 Political Manifesto. This firsthand portrait of Hizbullah’s metamorphosis, especially in the past decade, is complete with thorough footnotes, commentary, background information, chronology, and a detailed introductory chapter that maps the party’s transformation by analytically comparing the Open Letter with the 2009 Manifesto. This volume will be an invaluable companion for both scholars and policy makers.

The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization: The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East

    • Title:The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization: The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Laura Guazzone (Editor), Daniela Pioppi (Editor)
    • Publisher: Ithaca Press
    • Year: 2009
    • ISBN-10: 086372339X
    • ISBN-13: 978-0863723391
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 388
    • Size / Format: 1,9 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: This collection of essays offers an alternative approach to the study of today’s Arab states by focusing on their participation in neo-liberal globalization rather than on authoritarianism or Islam. The effects of the restructuring of traditional state power — engendered by globalization — are analyzed separately through updated empirical research in the political, economic, and security processes of each country considered. Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia are the case studies selected to represent different paths towards a shared model of the “new” Arab state which, far from representing an exceptional case of resilience against global trends, may be seen in many instances as typifying their effects. This book thus offers both an overall conceptualization of change affecting the Arab states — domestically and in their relations with the international system — and a series of in-depth case studies by country and functional areas.

Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A Study Based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary and Other Documents

    • Title: Israel’s Sacred Terrorism: A Study Based on Moshe Sharett’s Personal Diary and Other Documents
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Livia Rokach (Author)
    • Publisher: Assn of Arab-Amer Univ Graduates
    • Year: 1985
    • Edition: 3rd
    • ISBN-10: 0937694703
    • ISBN-13: 978-0937694701
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 66
    • Size / Format: 0,6 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: This book consists of excerpts from the diary of former Israeli Primer minister (1954-55 and Foreign minister (1948-56) Moshe Sharett, letters and other documents, narrarated by the late Livia Rokach. Some excerpts about the content of the book below.

Sharett paraphrases chief of staff Moshe Dayan, as saying that Israel’s method to aquire more territory vis a vis its Arab neighbors would be one of “provocation-and-revenge.” When the Arab countries responded militarily to these provocations, the Israeli government would claim that they were unprovoked acts of aggression against poor little Jews. The Israeli public would be stimulated into a righteous frenzy of “revenge” to support Israeli “retalitaion” which would develop into such a military conflict where Israel could achieve its imperial goals.

Sharett paraphrased Dayan as saying that Israel must see violence “as the main… instrument…Towards this end it may, no-it must-invent dangers….” Sharett goes on to quote Dayan expressing hope for war with the Arab countries so that Israel may acquire its lebensraum. He adds that David Ben Gurion once said that it would be worth a million pounds to pay an Arab to start a war.

The “Lavon affair.” From July 2 to July 27 1954, 10 Egyptian Jews under the command of Israeli agents bombed British and American cultural and information centers and cinemas and Egyptian public buildings. This campaign ended when one of its participants was caught after a bomb exploded in his pocket in Alexandria. Sharett did not know about these atrocities until after they were completed. The goals of these atrocities were described by Colonel Benjamin Givli head of military intelligence to an agent being dispatched to Egypt as to break up the friendly relations between the West and Egypt and to destablise Nasser’s Regime.

In January 1955 Rokach quotes several excerpts from Sharett’s diary of indirect contacts with the Nasser government in Egypt pressing for direct negotiations on peace. However this was shattered on February 28 1955 when Israel attacked the Gaza strip killing 39 people. Israel tried to say that this attack occured after an Egyptian military unit had infiltrated into Israel and attacked public transportations and attacked on Israeli military outpost. However Sharett lamented “how crushing” the evidence was refuting Israel’s official version. He asked who would be foolish enough to believe upon seeing the huge amounts of explosives used, the blocking and mining of roads and the precise coordination of the attack, that it had developed from a sudden confrontation with an Egyptian military unit.

Israel engaged in irrigation on Arab lands in the Demilitirized zones between it and its neighbors and attacked fishing boats in Lake Tiberias. Sharett was told by the UN observers about this and inquired of the head of the Water Works department who confirmed that it was all true. He lamented that he had denied this publicly and been made to appear as a liar in front of the whole world.

Other interesting tidbits include some of the activities of Ariel Sharon. His most famous atrocity during this period was the massacre of 69 civilians in the Jordanian village of Qibya in October 1953 as commander of the infamous Unit 101. Nobody from Qibya had had anything to do with the killing of two Israelis earlier. Ben Gurion had tried to say that the act was carried out by refugees from Nazism living on the border with Jordan and had no Israeli army involvement but that is now known, of course, to be a lie. The Qibya massacre is discussed in some detail in the endnotes to the book, including examining Sharon’s later dubious rationales. Then there was the Unit 101 attack on the Al-Burj refugee camp in Gaza killing about twenty defenseless people; this is described in an appendix to the book by one of the attackers. Sharett declared in his diary that the Qibya affair had portrayed Israel to the whole world as a bunch of blood sucking mass murderers. Then there was the incident where two Israelis were killed after they had hiked onto Jordanian soil. The Jordanian authorities arrested the murderers but one of the victim’s brother had apparently led four members of his army reservist unit into Jordan and killed 5 innocent Bedouins at random. Sharett reported in his diary that Sharon had organized this expedition and it seems to have been approved by Dayan.

Useful insights are provided into Israel’s plans to destabilize Lebanon back in the early 50’s when its border with that country was completely peaceful. Sharett quotes Dayan as saying that Israel needed a Christian military officer to declare a Christian state in Lebanon that would cede South Lebanon from the Litani River soutward to Israel. It is noted that Israel has always been grasping out the bountiful waterways of South Lebanon. An exchange of letters between Ben Gurion and Sharett from March 1954 is posted in this book where Sharett declares that he would be willing to support Lebanon’s destablization; but he worried about the lack of separatist agitation by the Christians which would make the plan unfeasible at that time. The comparison is made between these plans and Israel’s later policies like the setting up of a “state” in South Lebanon under the mercenary Major Sa’ad Haddad.

Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Progress Amid Resistance

    • Title: Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Progress Amid Resistance
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Sanja Kelly (Editor), Julia Breslin (Editor)
    • Publisher: Freedom House / Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
    • Year: 2010
    • ISBN-10: 144220396X
    • ISBN-13: 978-1442203969
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 604
    • Size / Format: 3,0 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Freedom House’s innovative publication Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa: Progress Amid Resistance analyzes the status of women in the region, with a special focus on the gains and setbacks for women’s rights since the first edition was released in 2005. The study presents a comparative evaluation of conditions for women in seventeen countries and one territory: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine (Palestinian Authority and Israeli-Occupied Territories), Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The publication identifies the causes and consequences of gender inequality in the Middle East, and provides concrete recommendations for national and international policymakers and implementers.

Women’s rights in each country are assessed in five key areas: (1) Nondiscrimination and Access to Justice; (2) Autonomy, Security, and Freedom of the Person; (3) Economic Rights and Equal Opportunity; (4) Political Rights and Civic Voice; and (5) Social and Cultural Rights. the methodology is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the study results are presented through as set of numerical scores and analytical narrative reports.

34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah, and the War in Lebanon

    • Title: 34 Days: Israel, Hezbollah, and the War in Lebanon
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Amos Harel (Author), Avi Issacharoff (Author), Ora Cummings (Translator), Moshe Tlamim (Translator)
    • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
    • Year: 2008
    • ISBN-10: 0230604005
    • ASIN: B0068EXHHK
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 304
    • Size / Format: 1,7 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: This is the first comprehensive account of the progression of the Second Lebanese War, from the border abduction of an Israeli soldier on the morning of July 12, 2006, through the hasty decision for an aggressive response; the fateful discussions in the Cabinet and the senior Israeli command; to the heavy fighting in south Lebanon and the raging diplomatic battles in Paris, Washington and New York.

The book answers the following questions: has Israel learned the right lessons from this failed military confrontation? What can Western countries learn from the IDF’s failure against a fundamentalist Islamic terror organization?  And what role did Iran and Syria play in this affair?

34 Days delivers the first blow-by-blow account of the Lebanon war and new insights for the future of the region and its effects on the West.

Caught in Crossfire: Civilians in Conflicts in the Middle East

    • Title: Caught in Crossfire: Civilians in Conflicts in the Middle East
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): P. R. Kumaraswamy (Editor)
    • Publisher: Ithaca
    • Year: 2008
    • ISBN-10: 0863723349
    • ISBN-13: 978-0863723346
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 242
    • Size / Format: 1,5 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Examining the prolonged Arab-Israeli conflict, Lebanese civil war and the periodic upsurges of inter-state and internal tensions in the Gulf region, this book looks at how civilians are at the forefront of military conflicts and violence in the Middle East. The unsung heroes and real victims of wars in the Middle East are the civilian populations. Quickly forgotten, they have all too frequently been forced to endure the brutalities of war and its aftermath. Behind political calculations, military strategy and technological innovations, it is the unarmed civilian population that is expected to make the maximum sacrifices.Wars reflect the fears and trepidations of ordinary men and women about the ability of their leaders to lead their nations during critical times and to make sensible choices. Civilians suffer even when clear-cut victories are achieved in the battlefield and their problems often begin when the guns fall silent. Their attempts to reconstruct their lives and livelihood are, however, generally ignored, forgotten and unspoken. This book attempts to redress the balance, and reminds us that the ‘collateral damage’ of war actually has a serious and enduring impact upon Middle Eastern societies, and should not be neglected.

Beirut

    • Title: Beirut
    • Author(s) / Editor(s): Samir Kassir (Author), Malcolm DeBevoise (Translator), Robert Fisk (Foreword)
    • Publisher: University of California Press
    • Year: 2010
    • ISBN-10: 0520256689
    • ISBN-13: 978-0520256682
    • Language: English
    • Pages: 656
    • Size / Format: 13,3 mb / pdf
    • Link: www.link.com
    • Password: falastinpress

Description: Widely praised as the definitive history of Beirut, this is the story of a city that has stood at the crossroads of Mediterranean civilization for more than four thousand years. The last major work completed by Samir Kassir before his tragic death in 2005, Beirut is a tour de force that takes the reader from the ancient to the modern world, offering a dazzling panorama of the city’s Seleucid, Roman, Arab, Ottoman, and French incarnations. Kassir vividly describes Beirut’s spectacular growth in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, concentrating on its emergence after the Second World War as a cosmopolitan capital until its near destruction during the devastating Lebanese civil war of 1975-1990. Generously illustrated and eloquently written, Beirut illuminates contemporary issues of modernity and democracy while at the same time memorably recreating the atmosphere of one of the world’s most picturesque, dynamic, and resilient cities.

Physically confined between Mount Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea, Beirut possesses an urban character that has been molded by empires and immigrants. Written by an able intellectual whom assassins murdered in 2005, this thorough history reflects Kassir’s intimate familiarity with modern Beirut’s streets and neighborhoods. His accounts of boulevards and buildings embody the purposes of those who constructed them, from Romans whose ruins dot the city to Ottomans whose vestiges are more intact to the French whose cultural influence remains strong even now. Attributes of Beirut that have attracted outside interest—as a transition point between Europe and the Near East, as a cultural border between Christian and Islamic spheres—fostered the unique status Beirut attained by the mid-twentieth century, that of the Arab world’s center of publishing, higher education, and literary and performing arts, not to mention its raffish attraction as a tourist destination. But the snake in the garden, religious communalism, stirred the civil war of 1975–90, which ruined the city. Generously illustrated, Kassir’s legacy is an evocative portrait of a great but tragic metropolis. –Gilbert Taylor.