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An Invitation to LaughterA Lebanese Anthropologist in the Arab World$
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Fuad I. Khuri and Sonia Jalbout Khuri

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226434766

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226434759.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

The Exotic in the Suburbs of Beirut

The Exotic in the Suburbs of Beirut

“It Is Written”

(p.94) Nine The Exotic in the Suburbs of Beirut
An Invitation to Laughter
University of Chicago Press

In 1969, the author obtained a two-year research grant from the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut to do fieldwork in two suburbs of Beirut. His interest in the suburbs grew out of his research on rural-to-urban migration from two Lebanese villages, which in turn grew out of his research on the Lebanese immigrants in West Africa. By the turn of the twentieth century, emigration had become the primary subject of discussion in every Lebanese family. Migrants went in two directions: overseas and to the coastal cities of Lebanon, especially Beirut. To complete his study on migration, the author had to focus on those who settled in Beirut. It is commonly believed that anthropology focuses on the exotic in other cultures. Much like the art of tracing genealogies and family origins, witchcraft and fortune-telling exotically engage large parts of the suburban communities in Beirut, especially women. The author's firsthand experience with fortune-tellers in Beirut took place when his car was stolen a few years earlier.

Keywords:   American University of Beirut, Lebanon, Beirut, migration, anthropology, genealogies, fortune-telling, research

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