Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon: The Fairouz and Rahbani Nation, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon

The Fairouz and Rahbani Nation, 1st Edition

By Christopher Stone


226 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415781664
pub: 2010-08-18
Hardback: 9780415772730
pub: 2007-09-11
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203939321
pub: 2007-09-12
from $28.98

FREE Standard Shipping!


Based on an award-winning thesis, this volume is a pioneering study of musical theatre and popular culture and its relation to the production of identity in Lebanon in the second half of the twentieth century.

In the aftermath of the departure of the French from Lebanon and the civil violence of 1958, the Rahbani brothers (Asi and Mansour) staged a series of folkloric musical theatrical extravaganzas at the annual Ba‘labakk festival which highlighted the talents of Asi’s wife, the Lebanese diva Fairouz, arguably the most famous living Arab singer. The inclusion of these folkloric vignettes into the festival’s otherwise European dominated cultural agenda created a powerful nation-building combination of what Partha Chatterjee calls the ‘appropriation of the popular’ and the ‘classicization of tradition.’

The Rahbani project coincides with the confluence of increasing internal and external migration in Lebanon, as well as with the rapid development of mass media technology, of which the Ba'labakk festival can be seen as an extension. Employing theories of nationalism, modernity, globalism and locality, this book shows that these factors combined to give the project a potent identity-forming power.

Popular Culture and Nationalism in Lebanon is the first study of Fairouz and the Rahbani family in English and will appeal to students and researchers in the field of Middle East studies, Popular culture and musical theatre.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Baalbeck and the Rahbanis: Folklore 2. The Musical Theater of the Rahbani Brothers: Representation and the Formation of Subjectivities 3. Ziad Rahbani’s Theatrical "Novelization" of the Rahbanis' Lebanon 4. Fairouz and/as the Nation. Conclusion: Beiteddine 2000 and Beyond. Appendix: The Musical Theater of the Rahbanis

About the Author

Christopher Stone is an Associate Professor of Arabic and Head of the Arabic Division at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Literatures

Routledge Curzon Studies in Middle-Eastern Literatures is a monograph series devoted to aspects of the literatures of the Near and Middle East and North Africa both modern and pre-modern. It is hoped that the provision of such a forum will lead to a greater emphasis on the comparative study of the literatures of this area, although studies devoted to one literary or linguistic region are warmly encouraged. It is the editors' objective to foster the comparative and multi-disciplinary investigation of the written and oral literary products of this area.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / Nationalism
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies