Research Articles

What It Means to Be Shiite in Lebanon: Al Manar and the Imagined Community of Resistance



This paper is premised on the understanding that the relationship between media and religion is not new. Media, defined broadly as systems as communication, have always been involved in the mediation of religion through the articulation and circulation of a wide range of religious and spiritual symbols, meanings values and ideas, through, among other means, sermons and the spoken word. Using a historically contextualised perspective and preliminary findings of ongoing research with young Shias in Lebanon, this paper addresses the relationship between the Hizbullah-backed satellite television station Al Manar and the everyday politics of Lebanon’s Shias, underscoring that the processes of mediation do not take place in isolation of historical, political and cultural contexts. In detailing the confessional nature of Lebanon and its media, this chapter shows that Al Manar has become one of the de facto voices of the Shias in Lebanon, linking their ethos of resistance to that of the wider Shia community, thus playing a key role in the styles within which this community is imagined.

Keywords: Hizbullah, confessionalism, resistance identity, Al Manar, Shia, Lebanon, Mediation

How to Cite:

Dakhlallah F., (2017) “What It Means to Be Shiite in Lebanon: Al Manar and the Imagined Community of Resistance”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 3(2). p.22-40. doi: