Letter to Oneself: Acknowledging Guilt in Post-War Lebanon

Chapter

Abstract

Perpetrators’ memories constitute an intrinsic but often neglected part of accessing the past. Their voices form an important element for the validation of the victim’s claims. This chapter therefore looks at contemporary memory culture in Lebanon. After its civil war (1975 to 1990) Lebanon’s state elites have supported a policy of amnesia and “turning the page” leaving the nurture and care for victims aside. At the same time a “culture of perpetrators” emerged, some of them boasting about their deeds during the war, others taking over responsibility publically to different degrees. This contribution examines the space of public demands for forgiveness that has evolved over the last 20 years with a special focus on Asaad Shaftari’s mea culpa in 2000, a former Christian militia leader and deputy of Elie Hobeiqa during the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

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Filmography

  1. Borgman, Monika, and Lokman Slim, In Place: Four Returnees from the Lebanese Civil Wars. Lebanon, 2009.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner OrientBerlinGermany

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