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Title: The Muslim Greek speaking community of Syria and Lebanon : constructions of Greek identity in the Middle East
Author: Lasithiotaki, Efsevia
ISNI:       0000 0004 5368 9163
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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The focus of this thesis is the analysis of a Greek–speaking Muslim community that resides in Syria and Lebanon and who claim Greek identity and Diaspora membership on the basis of Greek language and customs. My empirical research on the community was guided by the following research question: in which ways do the members of the Greek-speaking community practice and project their Greek identity? This thesis draws on theories regarding identity construction, community building, memory, gender, diaspora and immigration. All of them have been useful in order to understand and analyze the empirical data gathered during the fieldwork. Anthropological research was conducted for more than 17 months in Syria, Lebanon and Crete. Modern Greeks have constructed their identity around Orthodox Christianity, the Greek language, the glory of Ancient Greece and around policies in support of the Greek state; all concepts that people should respect, support and identify with in order to be included in the Greek fold. The voices of the members of the community in this study tell a counter narrative to that of the official Greek state, and to the formal Greek nationalist historiography that accompanies it. In this counter narrative, Greek history incorporates Muslims, and relates that good relations amongst religious groups are possible and desirable. Significantly, Greek identity is disconnected from Orthodox Christianity, while it does remain attached to Greek customs and Greek language. The community under examination constructs its identity around memories of Crete, gendered norms and practices, and the experience of living in Crete as illegal immigrants.
Supervisor: Richter Devroe, Sophie Sponsor: State Scholarship Foundation of Greece
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Greek identity ; Syria ; Lebanon ; Greek Muslims