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Between Palestine and Lebanon: Seven Shi'i Villages as a Case Study of Boundaries, Identities, and Conflict

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This article follows the fate of the only seven Shi'i villages in Mandatory Palestine, beginning in the time of the border demarcation between Palestine and Lebanon (1919-1924) and concluding with Hizbullah's demand to retrieve their territories back to Lebanon (2000). The article examines the relations of the villages with the Jewish Yishuv and with the Sunni population in Palestine during the British Mandate; their fate as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon; and their status in Lebanon after the 1994 naturalization law that granted them Lebanese citizenship. The story of the seven villages is examined through three prisms: that of the villages themselves, of the Palestinians, and of the Lebanese. The different narratives enlighten themes such as the colonial legacy in the Middle East, border dynamics, identity formation, and internal Lebanese politics.

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006

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