warsofLEBANON1968 | 2000


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This site has been developed in the course of my Media Design, Masters of Arts studies at the Piet Zwart Institute, Willem de Kooning Academy Hoogschool Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It was the fruit of the second trimester thematic project, Mapping Human Violence, lead by Tjebbe van Tijen.

Being an international course, the students were of different backgrounds and cultures. So each of the students researched about his/her country’s history of wars and violence. Being Lebanese, the task was very hard and very easy at the same time. The easiness was due to the amount of “violence” and conflicts that tinted the Lebanese History, the diversity of sources and references. The hard part obviously, was to make the decision to read this reference and not this one.

We were supposed to research a couple of centuries back, but with the density of material and events that took place during the past couple of centuries in Lebanon, I had to narrow down my research and decided to concentrate on the events from 1968 till 2000.

I chose this period for two reasons: the first is for me to understand the conflicts that occurred and lead to quasi-destruction of my country, the second was from the belief that “civil war” was a very inappropriate categorization of the war (or rather ”wars”), considering all the external influences and interventions (diplomatic or military).

So I concentrated my research on this phase. The first decision was to start with 1975, as it was the year when the fierce battles started. But after some researching and reading, I started realizing the difficulty to understand the reasons and motives behind those conflicts without looking through the build-up happening from the mid-60’s till the spark in 1975.

After gathering the material needed, I had to think about the way to organize it and whether I want to be critical and subjective in how I present it or choose to be rather objective and more encyclopedic. I chose the second – objective – way. But wanting to be critical as well, I added the “Battlefield Lebanon” section where I would write my views and opinions about the war. Then I decided to open it up for other individuals wanting to have their opinions in as well, either as a response or critique of already published text, essays about the war, about present situations or events, etc. In this way, I tried to combine some objectivity in presenting the events, and criticism of those events.


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