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Chehabism

A political study of Fouad Chehab written by Marwan Harb

Chehabism (also spelt Shehabism or Shihabism; Arabic: الشِهابية, romanizedash-Shihābiyya) is a political ideology in Lebanon which follows the principles of former president and army general Fouad Chehab . The ideology later influenced the presidency of Charles Helou and Élias Serkis.

Ideology

Chehab's rule was a delicate balancing act of maintaining relative harmony between the nation's Christian and Muslim populations. He followed the path and principles of dialogue and moderation coupled with public reforms, which came to be known as Chehabism. Generally deeply respected for his honesty and integrity, Chehab is credited with a number of reform plans and regulations to create a modern administration and efficient public services. That eventually brought him into conflict with the traditional feudal, confessional, and clan-based politicians, who saw their grip on power diminishing.

Development

1958-1963

Fouad Chehab's presidency was a delicate balancing act of maintaining relative harmony between the nation's Christian and Muslim populations. He followed the path and principles of dialogue and moderation coupled with public reforms, which came to be known as Chehabism.[1] Chehab is credited with a number of reform plans and regulations to create a modern administration and efficient public services especially after the 1958 Lebanon crisis.[2] That eventually brought him into conflict with the traditional feudal, confessional, and clan-based politicians, who saw their grip on power diminishing.[3][4]

The alliance between Chehab and Lebanese prime minister Rashid Karami, a staunch Arab nationalist, soon left Karami in effective control of the Lebanese government.[5] The most pressing issue that was first to cause problems for Helou was the Israeli diversion of the Jordan River.[6]

1964-1970

Charles Helou was elected to succeed Fouad Chehab as president by the National Assembly in 1964.

The Six-Day War of 1967 strained sectarian relations in Lebanon. Many Muslims wanted Lebanon to join the Arab war effort, while many Christians wished to eschew participation.[7]

Downfall

Chehab was widely expected to contest the presidential election of 1970 but he declared that his experience in office had convinced him that the people of Lebanon were not ready to put aside traditional or feudal politics or to support him in building a modern state. He chose to endorse his protégé, Elias Sarkis, instead. In the closest and possibly most controversial presidential election in Lebanese history, the National Assembly elected Frangieh to the Presidency of the Republic on 23 September 1970. He owed his upset victory over Elias Sarkis, the official candidate of the Chehabi regime to a last minute change of mind by Kamal Jumblatt, whose supporters in the Parliament switched their votes to Frangieh.[8][9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Monroe, Kristin V. (2017-03-15). "Circulation, modernity, and urban space in 1960s Beirut". History and Anthropology. 28 (2): 188–210. doi:10.1080/02757206.2017.1279613. ISSN 0275-7206. S2CID 151825337.
  2. ^ ""المارونية السياسية" بين نموذجين: شمعون وشهاب (3)". 180Post. 2020-11-27. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  3. ^ Abou Jaoude, Tarek (2021-09-03). "Chehabism revisited: the consequences of reform in Lebanon". Middle Eastern Studies. 57 (5): 810–832. doi:10.1080/00263206.2021.1891891. ISSN 0026-3206. S2CID 233707775.
  4. ^ "Lebanon struggling: the land of cedars between religious legacy and modern ambitions" (PDF). Tesi.luiss.it. Retrieved 2022-08-10.
  5. ^ Reich, Bernard (1990) Political Leaders of the Contemporary Middle East and North Africa: A Biographical Dictionary Greenwood Publishing Group, ISBN 0-313-26213-6, pp. 298–299
  6. ^ Meyer, Armin (2003) MeyerQuiet Diplomacy: From Cairo to Tokyo in the Twilight of Imperialism iUniverse, ISBN 0-595-30132-0, p. 129
  7. ^ Lee, Khoon Choy (1993) Diplomacy of a Tiny State World Scientific, ISBN 981-02-1219-4, p. 223
  8. ^ "Election of the Presidents of the Lebanese Republic". Monthlymagazine.com. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
  9. ^ "Requiem Mass for President Sleiman Kabalan Frangieh (1910–1992)". 1.marada-news.org. Retrieved 2022-07-22.
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Chehabism
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