01 Jan - 2022

The 'Collective Identity'

Principal Investigator | Raneem Diab
Researchers | Elie Azar + Lea Ghandour + Nadim Saadeh
Ex-participants | Linda Panjarian + Hazem Hazed + Jana Massoud
Author | Linda Panjarian + Nader Akoum
The 'Collective Identity Project' brings forth youth politicians and members of independent CSOs/ activist groups to a round table dialogue about the Lebanese identity. CIP is a scientific research project using both qualitative and quantitative data to identify and understand the common ground for the Lebanese identity, which is a necessity given the increase in horizontal as well as vertical cleavages, and a time where mobilization mechanisms, youth activist group activities, and opposition groups are rising. The research paper, infographics, one-pager, and other documents will invent a manifesto which will reflect the identity that the progressive Lebanese uprising is defending.
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Partnerships for Development, Cultural Awareness, Access to Knowledge, and Social Inclusion.
Project Narrative
The controversy of the Lebanese identity dates back to before the civil war [1975-1990], and happens to be the genesis of many issues that the country struggles with today. “The crisis of identity has been the source of much discord in Lebanon since the Middle Ages, resulting in bouts of interreligious conflict in the nineteenth century and, most recently, civil war,“ [Nader, M. A., & Nader, M. A.,2012]. Not very far from today, the repercussions of the diffusion of the Lebanese identity persist: sectarian strife and violence revisits the streets of Beirut reminding everybody that the lines dividing religions and sects still lead to nowhere when it comes to the collective identity. The Tayyouneh clashes, 2021, still have no unified narrative, but what is confirmed is the recurring excuse of “crossing of sectarian red lines,” [Balian and Jefferis]. Sectarian divisions & identities have been influenced by the consecutive colonies in Lebanon and have been heavily consolidated along history. This has caused sectarianism to be the base of personal identity in Lebanon; amongst others, our religion is listed on the identification cards, there is no access to civil marriage despite the fight to earn it, and we are all subject to the laws and courts affiliated with our religion [Cammett, 2021].
The research question of this project is “What metrics are used to formulate our Lebanese identity.” By bringing together independent autonomous understandings of identity, also known as self-identification metrics, and investigating historical patterns of similar dialogues via compilation of literary references, a ground for internal discussions and chains of debates would be invented. A lot of the qualitative and quantitative data is outsourced from different civil society organizations and unaffiliated [anti-corruption] authors, but then internalized and digested by the researchers of CIP under debates about culture, politics, and religion. Data finding is taking place via conversations and reliable documents. The relevant survey results transform to infographics that visually support the research study.
Future Prospects
The research report will extensively add to the Lebanese literature on the mobilization of alternative-system supporters which would then be a crucial reference to understand intergroup dialogues in this era of activism. The resulting one-pager will be circulated around all CSOs and progressive collectives in the country to sign on it in the hopes of setting the foundation for a better understanding of the differences and similarities amid Lebanese CSOs and activist