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The Vanished Imam: Musa Al-Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon

This text is more than a story of one man or country, as it attempts to treat with understanding the central themes of Muslim society and the political structures of the region.

In his life, Musa al Sadr was caught up in the ambiguities of Lebanese politics. His aim seems to have been not to overturn the system, but to create a coalition of notables, men of religion, men and women of modern education, and merchants who had money in West Africa, and use it to win for the Shia a better place within the Lebanese system. Once he disappeared, however, he “turned into an icon”. He became, for the Shia masses dispossessed by poverty, civil war and invasion, an embodiment of that idea of the vanished Imam who will some day reappear, which has formed the Shia imagination. This text is more than a story of one man or country, as it attempts to treat with understanding the central themes of Muslim society and the political structures of the region.

About the Author

Fouad Ajami is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the cochair of the Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. From 1980 to 2011 he was director of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

Bibliographic Information

Title: The Vanished Imam: Musa Al-Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon

َAuthors: Fouad Ajami

Publisher:  Cornell University Press

Language: English

Length: 228 pages

ISBN:  978-0801494161

Pub. Date: 1987

The Vanished Imam Musa Al Sadr and the Shia of Lebanon

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