Fares Damien
Assistant / PhD candidate
Fares Damien
Philosophisch-Historische Fakultät
Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften
Professur Schläpfer

Assistant / PhD candidate

Maiengasse 51
4056 Basel

Tel. +41 61 207 29 43

Fares Damien started his PhD at the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Basel in February 2021 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Aline Schläpfer. He is part of the SNF funded project Ottoman Afterlife in New Arab States.

He previously studied at the University of Geneva where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Translation and Interpretation and a Master's degree from the Global Studies Institute. During his Master’s studies, he extensively researched nationalism, historiography, nation-building and the army, memory, history and oral history in the Arab Ottoman space and specifically in Lebanon.

After graduating he spent two years working in the multilateral disarmament and demining sector before deciding to recentre his attention on academic research and the Middle East.

The aim of Fares Damien research is to look at the transition from the Ottoman period to the Lebanese Republic with a particular focus on the region of Jabal ‘Amil today in South Lebanon. The history of Lebanon has often been written from the perspective of Mount Lebanon and Beirut, but the country is composed of other parts, often considered “annexed” to Mount Lebanon, like the southern region of Jabal ‘Amil. The region is often associated with its Shiite population, and with the country’s southern border that has been since 1948 at the heart of many conflicts and geopolitical considerations.

The study goes back to the initial years of the formation of South Lebanon under the French Mandate while trying to understand the interaction between ‘Amili (and later Lebanese) identities in between the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the beginning of the new national order. It seeks to unpack the narrative behind backward peripheries through the reading of the history of Jabal ‘Amil from its own geography(ies). The research focuses on strategies of integration, identity building and adaptation to the new reality of the Lebanese Republic. It tackles notions of border-making and consolidation, nation-building and memory through archival research (published and unpublished material) and oral history to achieve the above-mentioned aim.

Nations and nationalisms, minorities, religious groups, sectarianism and languages in the Middle East with a special focus on Iraq and Lebanon.