LEBANON AND THE SYRIAN CONFLICT 2011-2013 シリア問題とレバノン——2011～2013年
1. Historical Background of Modern State in Lebanon and Syria
During its long modern history, Lebanon and Syria were a part of Bilad el-Sham. They have many religious communities, ethnic and tribal groups. The Lebanese try to demonstrate that their country has existed since ancient Phoenicia, and they have written about the Lebanese independence and the Lebanese uniqueness since time immemorial.
In the course of history, many conquerors invaded the Lebanese and Syrian territories, but they were obliged to leave it later. The reality of the Lebanese and Syrian peoples is that there are small basic divisions between them in terms of ethnicity. In modern Lebanon and Syria there are nineteen religious sectarian communities, which should not be compared with ethnic groups. Language, culture, customs, music and food are common to all these communities. Socio political divisions certainly exist in Lebanese as in Syrian society, but they are not, as they had been portrayed in the western point of view, equal to independent sectarian or ethnic groups.
The European interferences in the Ottoman Empire were the main causes of the sectarian division in order to create the modern states in the former Bilad el-Sham area. Sectarian identity and tribal diversity are still strong components of contemporary Lebanon and Syria.