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Atlas of Lebanon

Part 1 - Lebanon: A Century of Unrest and Wars

Part 1 - Lebanon: A Century of Unrest and Wars

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1Since its creation in 1920 in the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire’s collapse, Lebanon has evolved in troubled regional geopolitics marked by massive population displacements and repeated wars. Whereas the emerging new State sought to establish its territorial sovereignty against powerful neighbors, it also had to recognize and manage the strength of local forces such as clans, sectarian groups and business interests. The Civil War (1975-1990) was a dramatic peak of its history.

2After a few relatively peaceful years, the country is nowadays fully confronted with the consequences of two major geopolitical upheavals: the invasion of Iraq by the United States in 2003 and the Arab Springs in 2011. The invasion of Iraq jeopardized the regional order set in place at the end of the Cold War and of the Gulf War. Established at the end of the Lebanese Civil War as the basis for peace and reconstruction, the Syrian tutelage over Lebanon was contested, prompting the departure of the Syrian Army in April 2005. Following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 and the war led by Israel in Lebanon in 2006, the return of political violence led to political polarization and the growing influence of Hezbollah. After the fall of the Tunisian, Egyptian and Libyan regimes, and the unrest in several other Arab countries, the protest movement against the Syrian regime evolved into a civil war amid ever-increasing repression and militarization. Since then, millions of Syrians have been displaced and fled to neighboring countries, including Lebanon, where the massive arrival of displaced populations stirred up internal tensions and unsettled the social and political equilibrium. In Lebanon, the profound cleavages surrounding these issues translate into political stalemate. This further complicates the political situation, which is structurally characterized by communitarianism, the influence of national and local leaders, and the collusion between business elites and the political class.

Figure I-1: The Southern Lebanese border at Kfar Kila.

Figure I-1: The Southern Lebanese border at Kfar Kila.

The border system has recently been reinforced and opacified with a concrete wall replacing a wire fence. It is covered with paintings representing the fallen resistance fighters (locally called “martyrs”) and slogans extolling the fight against Israel and the will to reconquer Jerusalem. In addition to the flags of Lebanon and Palestine, there are also those of Hizbullah and Amal parties, which dominate the political representation of the Shiite population, the majority in this region. Surveillance towers of the Isreali army stand in the background: if the place has a festive and tourist dimension (which the empty kiosk in the foreground in the left highlights), it is also a lively border, which has inflamed in 2006.

(© Ghaleb Faour, 2018).

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure I-1: The Southern Lebanese border at Kfar Kila.
Légende The border system has recently been reinforced and opacified with a concrete wall replacing a wire fence. It is covered with paintings representing the fallen resistance fighters (locally called “martyrs”) and slogans extolling the fight against Israel and the will to reconquer Jerusalem. In addition to the flags of Lebanon and Palestine, there are also those of Hizbullah and Amal parties, which dominate the political representation of the Shiite population, the majority in this region. Surveillance towers of the Isreali army stand in the background: if the place has a festive and tourist dimension (which the empty kiosk in the foreground in the left highlights), it is also a lively border, which has inflamed in 2006.
Crédits (© Ghaleb Faour, 2018).
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/docannexe/image/13200/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/, 187k

© Presses de l’Ifpo, 2019

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540