Dr. Bassem Fleifel, a University Libraries staff member in the Gifts and Exchange department, published a new book entitled: “العثمانيون وحماية لبنان في عصر الأمير فخر الدين الكبير “, which translated into “The Ottomans and the protection of Lebanon in the ruling era of Emir Fakhreddin".
According to Fleifel, the purpose of the book is to shed light on this era of Lebanese, Levantine, and Ottoman history, in which European powers started to interfere in the inner matters of the Islamic Levant, for the first time since the end of the crusades, due to the ambition of Emir Fakhreddin II. This is technically Fleifel's second book, and it includes two chapters from his Ph.D. thesis.
Elaborating on the book's content, Fleifel explains that "The Ottomans and the Ma'nids were not on the best of terms since around 1544, when the Lebanese Emirs started to communicate with Italian city-states and principalities despite them being a major enemy to the Ottoman Empire. This escalated when Emir Fakhreddin II took control of his father's lands and expanded his domination over his neighboring feudal Emirs till he became powerful enough that some Italian states wanted to exploit his ambitions of expansion and independence to fulfill their own agendas, most importantly, taking control of Jerusalem, which could have placed the entire region from Mount Lebanon to Hijaz in a great danger."
Fleifel says that the experience of writing a book was thrilling and that he especially enjoyed writing the second half of the book, which is his favorite part. That same part of the content was highly praised by his editors and his thesis readers, confirming that an author writes best when s/he is enjoying what s/he is writing.
Fleifel appeared as a guest on TeleLiban's “Ahla Sabah" earlier to discuss his book. Here is the video.
Get more details about the book here, and learn more about Bassem here.