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This paper examines the persistence of tribal identity and authority and the increasingly public self-representation of Bedouin in the Badia of Syria and the Bekaa of Lebanon. It sets out the significant challenges to Bedouin tribal identity and authority over the past three decades. The paper argues that, despite the formal annulling of the Bedouin tribes’ legal status in Syrian law in 1958 and the ‘silenced’ legal status of most Bedouin in Lebanon, tribal identity and the authority attached to traditional leaders continues to exist.


Journal article


White Horse Press

Publication Date



18 (2)


16 - 33