Scholar reconstructs archives of Lebanese left before civil war


“War was the only life I have known since childhood, and the experience of the left was outside that life and its struggles.”

Fadi Bardawil Author of “Revolution and disenchantment: Arab Marxism and the bonds of emancipation”.

Bardawil’s education during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and the development of his political consciousness during the height of its events gave him a personal motivation to follow the rich partisan experience of the symbols of the Lebanese left as a different model. roles played by other political forces in the war.

“War was the only life I have known since childhood, and the experience of the left was outside that life and its struggles,” he said. “Their worldview was broader and they were brought together by ideas and political identity, rather than regional and sectarian identities,” he added. His research experience, he said, is an attempt to keep the memory of past struggle alive and to enrich intergenerational dialogue.

During his research journey, Bardawil became acquainted directly with most of the symbols of the Lebanese left, followed their roles in decisive events throughout the history of contemporary Lebanon, and re-read their intellectual books and their biographies, to understand how they came together under the banner of socialism in the mid-1960s.

In the second part of his book, he reviews the pitfalls facing Lebanese left-wing intellectuals, with discourse on the possibility of revolution declining at a time when sectarian divisions have increased, leading to the outbreak of the war.

Another factor which pushed him to choose this subject is linked to his research of the perception by leftists of the role of the intellectual in society, and of the gap between reality and the practice of politics.

Scarcity of archival documents

Bardawil excavated several archives that preserve the memory of political organizations in the 1960s, in addition to examining the secret ballots of parties that disappeared during the war, and found that many events did not attract the attention of scholars. due to the paucity of information available.


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