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Between the Ottomans and the EntenteThe First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925$
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Stacy D. Fahrenthold

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190872137

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190872137.001.0001

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Mandating the Mahjar

Mandating the Mahjar

The French Mandate and Greater Lebanon’s Census of 1921

Chapter:
(p.137) 6 Mandating the Mahjar
Source:
Between the Ottomans and the Entente
Author(s):

Stacy D. Fahrenthold

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190872137.003.0007

This chapter analyzes Lebanon’s census of 1921 and argues that the French Mandate counted emigrants to bolster the confessional system it was building in Greater Lebanon (Grand Liban). As the Mandate’s first point of contact with its colonial citizens, census-taking was a means of refracting French authority into the transnational Lebanese communities. The Mandate used census records in lieu of a formal Lebanese nationality, making optional registration a deeply politicized act among Lebanese and Syrian migrant communities in the Americas. For some, being counted was the first act of a new Lebanese citizenship; for others, it was intolerable sublimation beneath the colonial yoke. The French Mandate used the census to domesticate the diaspora, to parse friend from foe, and to cut ties with perceived troublemakers.

Keywords:   : Lebanon, French Mandate, census, nationality, colonialism, Maronite Church, Grand Liban

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