Remembering the Lebanese Wars in Abbas El-Zein’s Leave to Remain (2009)
Keywords:Diaspora, Lebanon, Memory, history, Justice, war crimes
Soon after the Civil War’s end in 1990, the state in Lebanon has engaged in a discourse of amnesia, in a bid to proscribe any heed to the question of the war. The purpose is to conceal this dark chapter of the Lebanese history through the repression of memory. Through different practices of remembering, diaspora writers have tried, however, to offer alternative narratives of the Lebanese history. In so doing, they engage in resisting the official dominant ideologies through producing what Micheal Foucault would label as “insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (Foucault, p. 81). In studying Abbas El Zein’s memoir Leave to Remain, this article sets out to explore how and in what ways post-war Lebanese Diaspora literature can be categorized as a form of history writing about war. This article focuses on the Civil War (1975-1990) and the July War in 2006.