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Language, Memory and Identity in the Middle East, the Case of Lebanon
Language, Memory and Identity in the  Middle East The Case of Lebanon

A book by Dr. Franck Salameh, assistant professor of Near Eastern Studies at Boston College.

Available from:
Lexington Books
Barnes & Noble
More order details, please view the PDF.

Language, Memory and Identity in the Middle East, the Case of Lebanon


For transcripts of the interview in English or in Arabic, please see the links below:
Web pages: English, Arabic,
English PDF, Arabic PDF.

نص المقابلة يمكن الحصول عليها :
صفحة وب بالعربيّة
ب د ف بالعربيّة PDF

To order, please view the PDF Lexington Books

"Arab nationalists, and their foreign supporters, have constructed a dominant image of a monolithic Arab world held together by modern standard Arabic. In this passionate and illuminating book of intellectual revisionism, Professor Franck Salameh goes a long way toward demolishing that myth. Underneath the official Arabic edifice, he finds another map, a world of vernacular languages more true to the cultures and identities of the region. Lebanon is his case study, but his is a broader assault. A book of great originality and considerable courage. The canon of Arab nationalism has been dealt a powerful blow. Franck Salameh's book is one of the most searching yet of the nexus between language and identity in modern Middle Eastern life. This book deserves a wide audience, in the academy and beyond."

—Fouad Ajami, The Johns Hopkins University, author of The Dream Palace of the Arabs

"In a stunning polemic, a well-known professor of Arabic indicts the classical and modern standard forms of the language as 'a key factor in the Middle East's turbulence, authoritarianism, intellectual torpor, cultural rigidity, and lack of freedoms.' In their stead, Franck Salameh argues for a 'linguistic humanism' that recognizes and celebrates the Middle East's diversity of language and culture. His deeply researched and utterly original study fascinated me."

—Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum

"In an intellectual and cultural climate dominated by Arabism and an ascendant Islamism and obscurely expressed by Modern Standard Arabic, Language, Memory and Identity in the Middle East: The Case for Lebanon offers a fresh perspective for better understanding the Middle East. This study not only sheds light on the complexity, plurality, diversity of the Middle East, and specifically Lebanon as a case in point, but also breaks the barrier of "Arabist" tautological scholarship which heretofore obfuscated a pellucid and honest reading of the history, peoples, and civilizations of the Middle East."

—Robert Rabil, Florida Atlantic University

About the Book

Language, Memory, and Identity in the Middle East proposes a new reading of modern Middle Eastern history and suggests alternate solutions to the region's problems. The book is an attempt to rehabilitate and bring back to the fore of Middle East Studies the issue of language as a key factor in shaping (and misshaping) the region, with the hope of rediscovering a broader, more honest, and less ideologically tainted discussion on the Middle East. Language, Memory, and Identity in the Middle East has a special focus on Lebanon, a "Christian homeland," because Lebanon has traditionally acted as the region's template for change and a barometer gauging its problems and charting its progress.

About the Author

Franck Salameh is assistant professor of Near Eastern and Slavic Studies at Boston College.

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DATE (Christian and Phoenician): ,
year 4758 after the foundation of Tyre