Between authenticity and alienation: The Druzes and Lebanon's history
by Yusri Hazrana1, Harvard University
Almost ninety years have passed since the establishment of the Lebanese state, but it still lacks a consensual and unifying historical narrative. The Druzes of Lebanon, who claim to be the real founders of the historical Lebanese entity, reject the Lebanese historiography elaborated by Christian historians as ideologically motivated, sectarian and fabricated. Furthermore, they claim that their contribution to Lebanon's history has been systematically minimized.
The Druze leader, Kamāl Junblāṭ, was the first to raise public awareness of the importance of rewriting Lebanon's history, and the process of doing so has gained momentum among Druze intellectuals since the 1980s. This article discusses the efforts of the Druze intelligentsia to cultivate a historical narrative that presents an alternative to what they call the “Maronite narrative”; it focuses predominantly on the Emirate's history during the Middle Ages and the reciprocal relations between the Druze political experience within modern Lebanon and the intellectual formulation of their narrative.