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Jabal ’Amil and the Arab Awakening: Political Culture and Education Prior to the Mandate

  • Tamara Chalabi
Chapter
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Abstract

Shaykh Sulayman Dahir, Shaykh Ahmad Rida, and Muhammad Jabir Al Safa were part of Nabatieh’s intellectual elite. All three played leading roles in the region’s cultural progress. They were often referred to as the ‘Amili Trio. Shaykh Ahmad ’Arif al-Zayn, an inhabitant of Saida, was closely associated to this group and was also a leading cultural figure. They were well educated, but not exceptionally so when one compares them to the ulama returning from Najaf. Their elevated status is related more to their political activism and certainly to their links with a Sunni milieu that gave them approval, in addition to their cultural and political activities. These men were also small merchants who primarily dealt with the Saida Sunni bourgeoisie. They were particularly close to the Sulh family, whose lands in Tul, Tamra, and Sharqieh were near Nabatieh, and one can argue that their position in the community can also be attributed to their urban connections. This is evident by the membership of both Sulayman Dahir and Ahmad Rida in the Arab Academy in Damascus. Both men were invited to join the Academy in 1920, at a time when the Faysal government was heavily promoting an Arab kingdom that would include Jabal ’Amil; hence the nomination can be seen as part of a propaganda effort.

Keywords

Spotted Fever Religious School Arab Society District Administrator Market Town 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Cf. Jabir Al Safa, Tarikh; Ahmad Rida, “Mudhakkarati Lil-Tarikh,” serialized in al-‘Irfan; Sulayman Dahir, Jabal ’Amil fil Harb al-Kawniyya” (Beirut, 1986), among others. 2. JAN, January 11, 1912.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Cf. Sulayman Dahir’s Diary MSS, Al Safa’s “Tarikh Jabal ‘Amil Manuscript,” and Rida’s “Mudhakkarat” in al-’Irfan, vol. 34, no. 2 (1945), pp. 202–205.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Hani Farhat, al-Thulath al-‘Amili fi ’Asr al-Nahda (Beirut, 1981), p. 45. Cf. also Fawiz Tarhini, al-Shaykh Ahmad Rida wa-l-Fikr al-‘Amili (Beirut, 1983), and ’Abd al-Latif Sharara, “al-Shaykh Ahmad Rida,” in Wujuh Tarikhiyya min al-Janub (Beirut, 1983).Google Scholar
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    Shafiq al-Arna’ut, “Adib Mujahid wa-Majallat Ra’id,” in Wujuh Thaqafiyya min al-Janub (Beirut, 1981).Google Scholar
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© Tamara Chalabi 2006

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