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Everyday Sectarianism in Urban LebanonInfrastructures, Public Services, and Power$
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Joanne Randa Nucho

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691168968

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691168968.001.0001

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All That Endures from Past to Present

All That Endures from Past to Present

Temporality, Sectarianism, and a “Return” to Wartime in Lebanon

(p.30) Chapter 1 All That Endures from Past to Present
Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon

Joanne Randa Nucho

Princeton University Press

This chapter takes a closer look at the way in which political actors and popular discourses mobilize sectarianism as an explanation for conflict as well as justification for actions taken in the aftermath of violence, creating a sectarian narrative that appears rigid, intractable, and deeply historical. Moreover, the sectarian explanation appears to give it a sense of unending repetition. The aftermaths of three violent incidents that took place in Beirut in recent years shape the analysis: a 2009 fatal shooting in a Beirut neighborhood that was quickly forgotten; a larger street clash in Beirut in 2010 that was perceived as a harbinger of political instability; and a fight in 2011 in Bourj Hammoud that launched a large-scale eviction of Kurdish and Syrian migrant workers. This final example is explored in the most ethnographic detail and reveals just how a wholly new kind of “sectarian conflict” (between Armenians and Syrian-Kurds) emerges as an explanation in the aftermath of a violent incident.

Keywords:   Lebanon, sectarianism, Syrian Kurds, Bourj Hammoud, Beirut, sectarian conflict

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