Beirut 2004. 366 pp. english text with 11 illustrationsISBN 978-3-89913-353-0
This volume comprises the contributions presented at the third conference on Bilad al-Sham held in Erlangen, exploring the change of identities and loyalties and the emergence of modern political ideologies in Bilad al-Sham, with special focus on Lebanon and Syria. By analyzing these developments under consideration of the changing regional and global power relations and the emergence of new social classes, the articles illustrate the complexity and fluidity of local, religious, national and political identities and affiliations. Being based on the premise that the area in concern comprised a geographical entity distinct from its neighboring regions, the texts revolve around the issues of new political borders, the partition of the region and the emergence of Arab Nationalism in the region, and allow an enhanced comprehension of the various changes that took place in this region as a whole.
Philipp Thomas studied Arabic, Sociology and Modern Arab History at the Free University of Berlin and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem before attaining his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies. Until his decease in 2008 he was professor politics and history of the Near and Middle East at the University of Nuremberg.