Advertisement

Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 343–366 | Cite as

The competing ontologies of belonging: race, class, citizenship, and Sierra Leone’s “Lebanese Question”

  • I. P. X. Malki
Article
  • 600 Downloads

Introduction

Late in the summer of 2010, Nasser Ayoub, a popular Sierra Leonean entertainer, philanthropist, and owner of Freetown’s Hotel Africanus, began a public campaign to urge President Ernest Bai Koroma to amend the country’s citizenship laws.1 Ayoub was born in Koidu-Sefadu, capital of Kono district, to a “Lebanese”-descended family. He described himself as a “third generation Sierra Leonean” whose father and grandfather had also been born in that diamond-rich town in the country’s Eastern Province.2 A celebrity singer, Ayoub granted interviews to newspapers, commented in online forums, and otherwise engaged his media savvy to convey his message to the public. Ayoub complained that “the only crime” he had committed to deserve “not getting my full citizenship right” was having the wrong “skin colour.”3He reminded Sierra Leoneans that individuals like him, descended from Middle Eastern immigrants, could not hold public office and faced “discrimination in every sphere – sports,...

References

  1. Abdullah, I. 1998. Bush path to destruction: The origin and character of the revolutionary United Front/Sierra Leone. The Journal of Modern African Studies 36 (2): 203–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdullah, I. 2003. When does an indigene/immigrant become a citizen? Reflections on the nation-state in contemporary Africa. African Sociological Review 7 (2): 113–117.Google Scholar
  3. Akram, S.M. 2002. Palestinian refugees and their legal status: Rights, politics, and implications for a just solution. Journal of Palestine Studies 31 (3): 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Appiah, K. 1992. In my Father’s house; Africa in the philosophy of culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Arendt, H. 1978. The Jew as pariah: Jewish identity and politics in the modern age, ed. R.H. Feldman. New York: Grove Press.Google Scholar
  6. Arsan, A. 2014. Interlopers of empire: The Lebanese diaspora in colonial French West Africa. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bah, M. Alpha. 1998. Fulbe presence in Sierra Leone: A case history of twentieth-century migration and settlement among the Kissi of Koindu. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  8. Bah, Abu Bakarr. 2011. State decay and civil war: A discourse on power in Sierra Leone. Critical Sociology 37 (2): 199–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bah, Abu Bakarr. 2013. The contours of new humanitarianism: War and peacebuilding in Sierra Leone. Africa Today 60 (1): 2–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Barth, F. 1969. Introduction. In Ethnic groups and boundaries: The social organization of culture difference, ed. F. Barth, 9–37. Boston: Brown, Little.Google Scholar
  11. Bayart, J.-F. 1993. The state in Africa: The politics of the belly. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  12. Beiner, R., ed. 1995. Theorizing citizenship. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  13. Beydoun, L. 2013. The complexities of citizenship among Lebanese immigrants in Sierra Leone. African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review 3 (1): 112–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Blalock, H. 1967. Toward a theory of minority-group relations. New York: John Wiley and Sons.Google Scholar
  15. Bøås, M., and K. Dunn. 2013. Politics of origin in Africa: Autochthony, citizenship and conflict. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  16. Bonacich, E. 1973. A theory of middleman minorities. American Sociological Review 38 (5): 583–594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bonacich, E., and J. Modell. 1980. The economics of ethnic solidarity: Small business in the Japanese American community. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  18. Brubaker, R. 1992. Citizenship and nationhood in France and Germany. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Chabal, P., and J.-P. Daloz. 1999. Africa works: Disorder as political instrument. Oxford: James Currey, Press.Google Scholar
  20. Chirot, D., and A. Reid, eds. 1997. Essential outsiders: Chinese and Jews in the modern transformation of Southeast Asia and Central Europe. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  21. Collins, R.O., ed. 1969. The partition of Africa: Illusion or necessity. New York: J. Wiley.Google Scholar
  22. Conteh-Morgan, E., and M. Dixon-Fyle. 1999. Sierra Leone at the end of the twentieth century. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  23. Cooper, F. 2002. Africa since 1940: The past of the present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cooper, F. 2014. Citizenship between empire and nation; remaking France and French West Africa, 1945–1960. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Crowder, M. 1968. West Africa: An introduction to its history. London: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  26. Cruise O’Brien, R. 1972. White society in black Africa: The French of Senegal. London: Faber and Faber Limited.Google Scholar
  27. Cruise O’Brien, R. 1975. Lebanese entrepreneurs in Senegal: Economic integration and politics of protection. Cahiers d’études africaines, 15 (57): 95–115.Google Scholar
  28. D’Alisera, J. 2004. An imagined geography: Sierra Leonean Muslims in America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  29. Dumbuya, P.A. 2008. Reinventing the colonial state: constitutionalism, one-party rule, and Civil War in Sierra Leone. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc.Google Scholar
  30. Ellis, G.W. 1912. Liberia in the political psychology of West Africa. Journal of the Royal African Society 12 (45): 52–70.Google Scholar
  31. Gellner, E. 1983. Nations and nationalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Geschiere, P. 2009. The perils of belonging: Autochthony, citizenship, and exclusion in Africa and Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Gorman, D. 2002. Wider and wider still?: Racial politics, intra-imperial immigration and the absence of imperial citizenship in the British Empire. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 3 (3).Google Scholar
  34. Hansen, R. 2000. Citizenship and immigration in post-war Britain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Harris, D. 2014. Sierra Leone: A political history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Howard, R. 1985. Legitimacy and class rule in Commonwealth Africa: Constitutionalism and the rule of law. Third World Quarterly 7 (2): 323–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Isaac, B.L. 1974. European, Lebanese, and African traders in Pendembu, Sierra Leone: 1908-1968. Human Organization 33 (2): 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Joseph, S. 2005. The kin contract and citizenship in the Middle East. In Women and citizenship, ed. M. Friedman, 149–169. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kaniki, M.H.Y. 1973. Attitudes and reactions towards the Lebanese in Sierra Leone during the colonial period. Canadian Journal of African Studies 7 (1): 97–113.Google Scholar
  40. Keen, D. 2005. Conflict and collusion in Sierra Leone. Oxford: James Currey Press.Google Scholar
  41. Kelsall, T. 2005. Truth, lies, ritual: Preliminary reflections on the truth and reconciliation Commission in Sierra Leone. Human Rights Quarterly 27 (2): 361–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Khatib, L. 2008. Gender, citizenship and political agency in Lebanon. British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies 35 (3): 437–451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Khuri, F. 1965. Kinship, emigration, and trade partnership among the Lebanese in West Africa. Africa 35 (4): 385–395.Google Scholar
  44. Khuri, F. 1968. The African-Lebanese mulattoes of West Africa: A racial frontier. Anthropological Quarterly 41 (2): 90–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Knudsen, A. 2009. Widening the protection gap: The ‘politics of citizenship’ for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, 1948–2008. Journal of Refugee Studies 22 (1): 51–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Krain, M. 1972. A comparative study of transplantations of nationalism: The cases of Israel, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. International Review of Modern Sociology 2 (2): 168–189.Google Scholar
  47. Langley, J.A. 1975. Pan-Africanism and nationalism in West Africa, 1900-1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Leighton, N.O. 1979. The political economy of a stranger population: The Lebanese of Sierra Leone. In Strangers in African Societies, ed. W. Shack and E. Skinner, 85–103. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  49. Leon, A. 1950. The Jewish question: A Marxist interpretation. Mexico City: Ediciones Pioneras.Google Scholar
  50. Malki, I.P.X. 2013. Productive aliens: Economic planning and the Lebanese in Ghana. Mashriq & Mahjar 1: 85–114.Google Scholar
  51. Mamdani, M. 2001. When victims become killers: Colonialism, nativism, and the genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  52. Manby, B. 2009. Struggles for citizenship in Africa. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  53. Ong, A. 1999. Flexible citizenship: the cultural logics of transnationality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Pitcher, A., M.M. Moran, and M. Johnston. 2009. Rethinking patrimonialism and neopatrimonialism in Africa. African Studies Review 52 (1): 125–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Polanyi, K. 1944. The great transformation. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  56. Porter, A. 1966. Creoledom. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Reno, W. 1995. Corruption and state politics in Sierra Leone. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Richards, P. 1996. Fighting for the rainforest: War, youth, and resources in Sierra Leone. Oxford: James Currey Press.Google Scholar
  59. Riggs, F.W. 1960. Prismatic society and financial administration. Administrative Science Quarterly 5 (1): 1–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Safa, E. 1960. L’émigration libanaise. Beirut: L’impremerie catholique de Beyrouth.Google Scholar
  61. Shmueli, E. 1968. The “pariah-people” and its “charismatic leadership”: A revaluation of Max Weber’s “ancient Judaism”. Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 36: 167–247.Google Scholar
  62. Smith, A. 1979. Nationalism in the twentieth century. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  63. Spitzer, L. 1974. The Creoles of Sierra Leone. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  64. Sudarkasa, N. 1979. From stranger to alien: The socio-political history of the Nigerian Yoruba in Ghana, 1900-1970. In Strangers in African Societies, ed. W. Shack and E. Skinner, 141–168. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  65. Thompson, Edward Palmer. 1971. The moral economy of the English crowd in the 18th century. Past and Present 50: 76–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Thompson, Elizabeth. 2000. Colonial citizens; Republican rights, paternal privilege, and gender in French Syria and Lebanon. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  67. van den Berghe, P.L. 1981. The ethnic phenomenon. New York: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  68. van der Laan, H.L. 1969. Syrian or Lebanese: which name is correct? Kroniek van Afrika 9 (2): 140–144.Google Scholar
  69. van der Laan, H.L. 1975. The Lebanese traders in Sierra Leone. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
  70. Wallerstein, I. 2005. Social conflict in black Africa. In Race, nation, class: Ambiguous identities, ed. E. Balibar and I. Wallerstein, 187–203. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  71. Whitaker, B. 2005. Citizens and foreigners: Democratization and the politics of exclusion in Africa. African Studies Review 48 (1): 109–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. P. X. Malki
    • 1
  1. 1.City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations