Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut

Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut

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by Lara Deeb, Mona Harb
     
 

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South Beirut has recently become a vibrant leisure destination with a plethora of cafés and restaurants that cater to the young, fashionable, and pious. What effects have these establishments had on the moral norms, spatial practices, and urban experiences of this Lebanese community? From the diverse voices of young Shi'i Muslims searching for places to hang

Overview

South Beirut has recently become a vibrant leisure destination with a plethora of cafés and restaurants that cater to the young, fashionable, and pious. What effects have these establishments had on the moral norms, spatial practices, and urban experiences of this Lebanese community? From the diverse voices of young Shi'i Muslims searching for places to hang out, to the Hezbollah officials who want this media-savvy generation to be more politically involved, to the religious leaders worried that Lebanese youth are losing their moral compasses, Leisurely Islam provides a sophisticated and original look at leisure in the Lebanese capital.

What makes a café morally appropriate? How do people negotiate morality in relation to different places? And under what circumstances might a pious Muslim go to a café that serves alcohol? Lara Deeb and Mona Harb highlight tensions and complexities exacerbated by the presence of multiple religious authorities, a fraught sectarian political context, class mobility, and a generation that takes religion for granted but wants to have fun. The authors elucidate the political, economic, religious, and social changes that have taken place since 2000, and examine leisure's influence on Lebanese sociopolitical and urban situations.

Asserting that morality and geography cannot be fully understood in isolation from one another, Leisurely Islam offers a colorful new understanding of the most powerful community in Lebanon today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Winner of the 2014 British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies

One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014

"This outstanding ethnography of contemporary urban Middle Eastern life focuses on Hezbollah young adults, about whom people are generally misinformed, an effort of critical value to scholars of religion and politics as well as anthropologists. . . . The authors brilliantly illustrate the variety and complexity of moral choice, ethnic insularity, and worldliness with respect to other neighborhoods and populations."Choice

"Leisurely Islam provides an interesting study of an area many people know very little about. It will interest scholars and students alike. While the book speaks particularly to those working on Lebanon and the Middle East, it will also be relevant to researchers dealing with issues regarding youth, morality, space and diversity in general."—Marianne Holm Pedersen, Social Anthropology

"Overall, Leisurely Islam [is] a powerful, important, and well-researched text, the significance of which extends far beyond the realm of leisure. I attribute a great deal of the book's success to its multidisciplinary approach. The book doesn't neatly fall within the discipline of either author but instead draws upon the expertise of both. Perhaps more importantly, the book nicely integrates multiple forms of data, from religious texts: ethnographic data (both detailed observations and interviews); and market research (on cafes in Dahiya, size, location, etc.): to urban spatial analysis and so on. Brought together in a masterful way, this cornucopia of data enables the authors to paint a richer picture of Dahiya than would have been possible using any one methodology or data source alone."—Jane Lief Abell, Allegra

"Particularly well referenced, with an unprecedented amount of information, this book is an important tool for those interested in this region."—Erminia Chiara Calabrese, REMMM

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691153667
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/27/2013
Series:
Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics Series
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Lara Deeb is associate professor of anthropology at Scripps College and the author of An Enchanted Modern (Princeton). Mona Harb is associate professor of urban studies and politics at the American University of Beirut and the author of Le Hezbollah à Beyrouth.

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Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi'ite South Beirut 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
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Glares witj yelow eyes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thornclan sad that they have at least 70 cats each day. They have like 83 in the SPAN OF LIKE 5 MONTHS!!!
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Watches Iceflame, tears burning its eyes. Then it disappears.
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Im here to be deputy.
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A bengal tom with striking green eyes hesitated just outside of the camp, then took a deep breath and padded in.
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Walks in straight to Thistletstar. "Are the warriors ForgottonTime or any others here?" She asked urgency in her voice.
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May I join? I have been looking for a clan for a long time.
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A small shadow mobes along the cats.
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She sat down.
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She paded inn "I would like to join." She meowed
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Who is my mentor?
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Right now
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May i join?" She purrs. Pads into the clearing.
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He padded in.