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History General

What the War Left Behind

Women's Stories of Resistance and Struggle in Lebanon

by (author) Malek Abisaab

translated by Michelle Hartman & Caline Nasrallah

Syracuse University Press
Initial publish date
May 2024
General, Middle Eastern Studies, Women's Studies, Women, Women Authors, Interviews
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2024
    List Price

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Conspicuously missing from narratives of the Lebanese Civil War are the stories of women who took part in daily social activism and political organizing during the tumultuous conflict. What the War Left Behind documents their stories, with eight women directly sharing their experiences of action and survival through the hardship of war.
What the War Left Behind brings together oral histories of women from a range of political affiliations, socioeconomic classes, and religious identities. These histories present an alternative image of women during war, highlighting the actions of those who sought to make life better for themselves and their neighbors during conflict. By centering women’s voices in the war, Abisaab and Hartman present a new perspective on an oft-discussed historical era, demonstrating the power of resistance during difficult times. These translated texts showcase the active roles women take during wartime and how women’s political efforts are an essential part of Lebanese history.

About the authors

Malek Abisaab is Associate Professor at McGill University in the departments of History and Classical Studies and the Institute of Islamic Studies. A historian, his work focuses on gender, labor, Islamism, and the nation-state in the Middle East. His books include, Militant Women of a Fragile Nation (Syracuse UP, 2010) and (with Rula Jurdi Abisaab) The Shiites of Lebanon: Modernism, Communism, and Hizbullah’s Islamists (Syracuse UP, 2017).

Malek Abisaab's profile page

Michelle Hartman is a professor of Arabic and francophone literature at McGill University in Montreal. She is the translator of several works from Arabic, including Radwa Ashour’s memoir The Journey, Iman Humaydan’s novels Wild Mulberries and Other Lives,Alexandra Chreiteh’s novels Always Coca Cola and Ali and His Russian Mother, Shahla Ujayli’s novels A Sky So Close to Us and Summer with the Enemy as well as Jana Elhassan’s IPAF shortlisted novel The Ninety-Ninth Floor.

Michelle Hartman's profile page

Caline Nasrallah is a Master’s student at the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill University, where her research focuses on language as a feminist tool. She also works as a translator, mostly from Arabic to English, and has an MA in Translation from the École de traducteurs et d’interprètes de Beyrouth (USJ).

Caline Nasrallah's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This book rings with whispered knowing and sings aloud of struggle and striving in stories that did not die, and truths that will not be erased, because they are told here.

Tracey Jean Boisseau, Purdue University