A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, June 24, 2011

Readings on ‘Alawite Self-Identity

Over at Syria Comment Josh Landis has posted a number of items dealing with the sectarian issues involved in the Syrian conflict. One particularly interesting one is this post by "Khudr," dealing with ‘Alawite identity. Khudr also links to a 2005 post on another blog, on the same subject.

They're useful reading. Most non-Syrians tend to characterize the ‘Alawites as a typical religious minority that has dominated Syria for decades.  Beyond the standard textbook definition, its clear that a lot of cultural and class baggage is part of that identity, regardless of personal religious convictions. (Though that's true of most minorities in the region, Druze, Maronites, Copts, etc.) But useful background in understanding Syria's ordeal.

Have a good weekend

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