For a thousand years, the Druze community played a central role in the history of Mount Lebanon. It shaped the face of the mountain, and, consequently, influenced, and sometimes even dictated, the course of events there. However, the establishment of greater Lebanon in September 1920, which joined Mt. Lebanon with the coastal cities, led to the emergence of a new reality on the ground. It was based on the amalgamation of two political traditions, that of Mount Lebanon and that of the coast, as Albert Hourani explained in an article published in 1976.1 This new reality alienated the Druze community and denied it the leading and authoritative role it had played over the centuries.

Two factors connected with the establishment of Greater Lebanon in 1920 greatly affected the political position of the Druze. The first was that the Lebanese entity's center of gravity shifted from the mountain, Mount Lebanon,...

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