Kawtharani presents a collective book on 'The State and the Question of Identity' in the Maghreb


Kawtharani presents a collective book on 'The State and the Question of Identity' in the Maghreb

Kawtharani presents a collective book on 'The State and the Question of Identity' in the Maghreb

A new collective book issued within the publications of the Takamol Center for Studies and Research, entitled “The State and the Question of Identity in the Maghreb,” presented by the prominent Lebanese historian Wajih Kawtharani.

And participated in this work, which was coordinated by the researcher Hisham Al-Hadaji, Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian researchers, they are: Al-Hussein Akhtut, Youssef Ashlahi, Abdel Latif Bakour, Mohamed Al-Sadiq Boualaki, Said Al-Hajji, Mohamed Farah, Monia Al-Alami, Abdel Rahim Al-Alam, Al-Hadi Bouwashma, Ali Morev, Hassan The student, Abdelmalek Al-Wazzani, and Nour Al-Huda Bouzagao.

These digitally accessible works examined the three Maghreb countries, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, and the problems of identity and identity, the problems of identity trust and building a state of citizenship, the question of building a collective identity in the modern state, and collective identities between cultural specificities and authoritarian disputes.

The collective book also presents topics concerned with Amazigh in Morocco between legal quotation and the problem of demarcation and integration in public life, the religious issue in its relationship to the national identity in the thought of the Moroccan national movement, the Moroccan identity before colonialism, the political religious issue in the Tunisian constitution, and the relationship of the question of identity to the political and religious in Algeria, and the presence of cultural and linguistic identity on Algerian public television.

In his introduction entitled “Identity between memory and history”, the historian Wajih Kawtharani records that the adjective “historic”, in the definitions of identity as a “historical product” or “historical given”, does not mean only the past, but rather a “time path”, that is, an “extended time”. He sees in this “historical time” the past, present and future, without inevitability, given that transformations in historical phenomena, patterns of human knowledge and their conditions, and in the pure and natural sciences, go through “difficulties, obstacles, interruptions, and transgressions.”

There is no meaning, interpretation, or understanding of the titles attached to the past, according to Kawtharani, when talking about “identity,” such as “heritage,” “civilization” or “religion,” without putting it in its temporal context, so that the speaker is aware, for example; How did Muslims live their 'identities' or 'identities', and how did they understand them as 'unity', 'division', 'sects', 'doctrine', 'roads', 'caliphate', 'sultanate', 'emirate', 'tribes' 'clans' 'families' 'associations' …”; This is 'a history in which 'difference' and not 'unity' prevailed, yet we read it as a 'da'wah' and we take it back in the present as 'one' and unified in a 'modern national state'.'

Kawtharani criticizes saying that there is a “single identity” for a society or a state, whether it is religious or ethnic, “which goes back thousands of years”; He goes on to say: 'Some of them imagine an identity for Egypt in a Pharaonic time, or an identity for Lebanon in a Phoenician time, or an identity for Tunisia in a Carthaginian or African time...or some of them imagine an eternal, fixed identity for an Arab or Islamic country with a Muslim majority in heritage, Sharia or sect (...) then All this falls within the 'myth' of history and its perception of a present valid for every time and place.

The historian continues: “The mixing of times, whatever the service that that time provides for this ideology or that, for this group or that, does not provide a solution to the existing problem: the search for a comprehensive identity from the threads of past times. The past does not unite, it is a cause for difference more than it is a cause for unity.”

While talking about the continuing problematic issue of identity to this day in the studied Maghreb countries, despite the fact that they are countries that “taken steps in the path of reform after the Tunisian revolution and the expectations of the Arab Spring, or due to its influence,” the historian recorded that this confusion contributes to “delaying and obstructing the most urgent urgent development tasks, Which the masses of revolution or reform are still waiting for, between hope and frustration, so that we do not reach the saying of 'despair'.

With Wajih Kawtharani's reference to the book's approach to research, exploration, enrichment of ideas and commitment to the scientific methodology, he interacted and commented, in his presentation, on a set of ideas presented in it.

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