Sanctity Across the Border

Pilgrimage routes and state control in Mandate Lebanon and Palestine

Authored by: Toufoul Abou-Hodeib

The Routledge Handbook of the History of the Middle East Mandates

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138800588
eBook ISBN: 9781315713120
Adobe ISBN: 9781317497066


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Well into the Mandate years, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine remained bound together in ways they no longer are through the tradition of visiting shrines across state frontiers. Pilgrimage patterns crisscrossing present-day political geographies of the region changed over centuries of political, social, and economic transformations in the region. While such practices carried over from the late Ottoman period, two main changes distinguished the form they took under the Mandate: the growing road network opened up areas to easier access, and borders introduced a new kind of management of movement across these new states. James Scott has remarked that “[t]he builders of the modern nation-state do not merely describe, observe and map; they strive to shape a people and a landscape that will fit their techniques of observation.”1 The Levant underwent such a mapping, with borders constituting an important facet of a landscape in transformation.

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