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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Memories of Place and Belonging: Identity, Citizenship, and the Lebanese in Ghana
Author:Akyeampong, EmmanuelISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic term:Ghana
minority groups
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Abstract:There have been Lebanese communities in West Africa since the 1860s and most West African coastal countries have established Lebanese communities several generations old. Fresh immigrants continue to arrive, encouraged by the presence of other Lebanese or driven by the situation in their homeland. In Ghana, there are Lebanese Ghanaians, Lebanese permanent residents, Lebanese workers on work permits, and Lebanese tourists. Nevertheless, political integration remains problematic. The two key issues addressed in this paper are: to reveal the ideological resistance to non-black citizenship in sub-Saharan Africa in general and to use the concepts of cosmopolitanism and flexible citizenship to call for a reconceptualization of citizenship transcending indigeneity and privileges residence. The author seeks answers to his questions through the life histories of Lebanese Ghanaians and Lebanese residents in Ghana, and the place assumed by Lebanon and Ghana in their affective memories. He demonstrates that people can have two deeply felt loyalties: to place of origin and to place of residence. The time has come to review what he considers the outdated idea, based on the artificial conflation of race and geography, of the absurdity of non-black citizenship in black Africa. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]