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Leisurely IslamNegotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut$
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Lara Deeb and Mona Harb

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691153650

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691153650.001.0001

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Exploring Leisure, Morality, and Geography in South Beirut

Exploring Leisure, Morality, and Geography in South Beirut

(p.1) Introduction Exploring Leisure, Morality, and Geography in South Beirut
Leisurely Islam

Lara Deeb

Mona Harb

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter begins with a brief description of the popularity of the Bab al-Hara café in south Beirut, an area often maligned in the U.S. press as “the Hizbullah stronghold” and known in Lebanon as Dahiya. The café exemplifies many of the shifting features of leisure in south Beirut, and highlights many of the new ideas and practices of morality as well as geography that have emerged in this Shi'i-majority area of the city over the past decade. The chapter suggests that these cafés provide new spaces for leisure that are promoting flexibility in moral norms. The circumstances that both new spaces and desires for leisure provoke highlight tensions between religious and social notions about what is moral. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   café, Lebanon, southern Beirut, leisure, social life, morality

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