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Title: From a window in Jaramana: Imperial sectarianism and the impact of war on a Druze neighbourhood in Syria
Authors: Kastrinou, M
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: In: Hinnebusch, R, and Imady O (eds), "The Syrian Uprising 2011-2014: Roots and Trajectories, Vol I", 2017
Abstract: By providing a window into Jaramana from 2011 until today, this chapter pieces together the local micro-history of events and the shifting socio-political dynamics in a Druze neighbourhood at a time of war in Syria. Starting with a dramatic and violent event that shocked and inevitably changed the neighbourhood of Jaramana, it seeks to understand two broad concerns regarding the Syrian war (1) how sectarian violence has emerged; and (2) why minorities in Syria, the Druze in particular, have not joined the anti-regime oppositions. In order to address these concerns, the paper firstly de-lineates how sectarian violence has been theorised with reference to the anthropology of war, glob-alisation and the State. Secondly, ethnographically it explores ideologies of sectarianism, paying attention to the rhetoric of ‘imperial sectarianism’ employed by the Syrian State before the war as a way of understanding the dialectics between state and sects; and, lastly, it presents an empirical mi-cro-history of war and sectarianism in Jaramana by analysing how both identities and political dy-namics have changed on the ground over the past five years. More broadly, the site of Jaramana is a unique case-study of minority belonging and the evolution of sectarian ideology at a time of war, because it involves the study of the Druze community vis-a-vis its changing relations with the Syrian State, the internally displaced people who find refuge there, and the territorial conflicts raging between different opposition fractions. Finally, this work is methodologically novel since it employs multiple research methods in order to continue an ethnography when it is impossible for an anthropologist to conduct field research due to war.
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