He grew up in Lebanon and moved to France inat the age of He sees himself as both Lebanese and French. He celebrates our ability to maintain numerous identities.
Since I left Lebanon in to establish myself in France, I have been asked many times, with the best intentions in the world, if I felt more French or more Lebanese. I always give the same answer: This is precisely what determines my identity.
Would I be more authentic if I cut off a part of myself?
How could I forget all of this? How could I untie myself from it? But on another side, I have lived on the French soil for 22 years, I drink its water and wine, my hands caress its old stones everyday, I write my books in French and France could never again be a foreign country.
Half French and half Lebanese, then? The identity cannot be compartmentalized; it cannot be split in halves or thirds, nor have any clearly defined set of boundaries.
Sometimes, when I have finished explaining in detail why I fully claim all of my elements, someone comes up to me and whispers in a friendly way: This question made me smile for a long time.
It reveals to me a dangerous and common attitude men have. As for the rest, all of the rest—the path of a free man, the beliefs he acquires, his preferences, his own sensitivity, his affinities, his life—all these things do not count.
I said both to be clear, but the components of his personality are numerous. This could be an enriching and fertile experience if the young man feels free to live it fully, if he is encouraged to take upon himself his diversity; on the other side, his route can be traumatic if each time he claims he is French, some look at him as a traitor or a renegade, and also if each time he emphasizes his links with Algeria, its history, its culture, he feels a lack of understanding, mistrust or hostility.
The situation is even more delicate on the other side of the Rhine. To his adopted society, he is not German, to his society of birth, he is no longer really Turkish. Common sense dictates that he could claim to belong to both cultures.
But nothing in the law or in the mentality of either allows him to assume in harmony his combined identity. I mentioned the two first examples that come to my mind. I could have mentioned many others.
The case of a person born in Belgrade from a Serb mother and a Croatian father. Or a Hutu woman married to a Tutsi. Or an American that has a black father and a Jewish mother.
Some people could think these examples unique. These few cases are not the only ones to have a complex identity. For some, this is simply obvious at first sight; for others, one must look more closely.Find great deals for On Identity by Amin Maalouf (, Paperback).
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[Identites meurtrieres. English] In the name of identity: violence and the need to belong / Amin Maalouf; translated from the French by Barbara Bray. p. On Identity [Amin Maalouf] on timberdesignmag.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This book offers a lucid inquiry into the precise meaning of one of the most misapplied words and concepts in our languageReviews: 6.
Buy, download and read On Identity ebook online in EPUB format for iPhone, iPad, Android, Computer and Mobile readers. Author: Amin Maalouf. ISBN: Publisher: Random House.
The notion of identity - personal, religious, ethnic or national - is one that has given rise to heated passions and crimes throughout the history of mankind. In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong by Amin Maalouf and a great selection of similar Used, New and Collectible Books available now at timberdesignmag.com All too often, however, the notion of identity - personal, religious, ethnic, or national - has given rise to heated passions and even massive crimes."I want to try and understand why so many people commit crimes in the name of identity," writes Amin Maalouf.4/5(3).