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Teaching Lebanese-Oriental Economic and Social History: Promoting a Societal Unity Which Acknowledges and Values Diversity
Place of publication | Year of publication | Collation: 
Beirut, Lebanon | 2012 | p. 172-180
لبكي، بطرس
Corporate author: 
Lebanese Association for Educational Studies (LAES)
Arab States

Teaching the economic and social history of the Lebanon and the Orient contributes towards the cooling down of sectarian tensions in the minds of learners and clears up common prejudices. Economic transactions connect everyone within a given area: Buying and selling, production and distribution of resources are operations in which everyone cooperates, regardless what their religious, confessional or ethnic affiliation might be. Economic and social history informs about the economic and political organization of society: in rural areas taxed farmers, governors and the Sultan; in the cities guilds (corporations) and the sheikhs of the guilds/corporations. Indeed, teaching the economic and social history of  Lebanon and the Orient contributes to a societal unity which acknowledges and values diversity because this aspect of history highlights the longstanding cooperation among the people in the production, distribution or use of resources, no matter what their religious, ethnic or tribal affiliation might be. It also highlights the organization of these activities in society and their relation to the political system. This aspect of history also points to the fact that the intervals of conflict between the sectarian communities were short, whereas the intervals of peacefully living together were the rule. Besides, this aspect of history highlights the cultural unity and its diversity in all domains and the fact that all are shaped in their lives by this same experience of unity in diversity which comes from: religions, languages, regions, societal organization (guilds/corporations in the cities, clans in rural areas) or adjacent cultures: Turkish, Persian, Greek and Indian. It allows us to see how our ancestors lived this diversity within the unity of the Arab-Oriental culture.

Resource Type: 
Case studies and research papers
Journal articles
Civic / Citizenship / Democracy
Cultural literacy / Intercultural / Cross-cultural / Multi-cultural
Peace / Culture of peace
Level of education: 
Primary education
Secondary education


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