Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 August 24

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< August 23 << Jul | August | Sep >> August 25 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.


August 24[edit]

Counties of Iran[edit]

I am confused. I was reading about the counties of Iran and the articles of each provinces of Iran. 9 articles of each provinces of Iran had different numbers from the articles Counties of Iran. These 9 provinces are Qazvin, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Fars, Hormozgan, Kerman, North Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan and South Khorasan. Please, take a look at these articles and the article "Counties of Iran" and please tell me, which one is right about the number of Iran in each provinces? Thank you.

As in Bangladesh mentioned above, perhaps some counties were divided or merged recently, so that all the articles were accurate when they were written. I wonder whether the CIA website would have good data on this. —Tamfang 06:58, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
a good source for Iran could be the Iranian National Portal of Statistics. But the system is so messy, I gave up trying to understand it in detail... Fabienkhan | talk page 15:48, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Is science Infinite?[edit]

Will we ever run out of things to discover in physics or mathematics? Is science infinite? And what about Art and other stuff will we ever run out of ideas for films, painting, plays, books etc? 89.243.215.246 01:04, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Not really. Einstein said that the only 2 infinite things were the universe and human stupidity, and he wasn't even sure about the universe. That leaves human stupidity as the only definitely infinite thing. But I reason that with all that stupidity (aleph-null), there must be at least an aleph-1 amount of science, art, creativity as well. Or, at the very least, a very great number of stupid scientists, stupid artists, stupid writers etc. Maybe this very post is a perfect demonstration of that.  :) -- JackofOz 01:19, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
I seriously doubt Einstein made such a mediocre statement. In Wikiquote it is just attributed, but not sourced. For the OP: not directly related to your question, but maybe technological singularity can provide some useful information for your purposes. --Taraborn 18:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
This is a serious question in the philosophy of science. How you answer it will depend on what you ultimately believe science is, what you believe are the limits of human comprehension (if there are any), and whether or not you believe science is truly progressive or not. One of my favorite essays on just this question is Ludwik Fleck, "Problems of the Science of Science" (1946) which is unfortunately a little hard to come by these days. In any case, there's no simple answer to this, and the deeper you probe into it the more difficult the entire problem becomes, largely because in the end it rests on the ever-tricky of how exactly one relates ontology (what the world is) and epistemology (how we know). (And JackofOz, Einstein did fundamentally believe that the all aspects of the universe were in theory graspable by the human mind, unlike, say, Niels Bohr, who believed that representations were all one could have and that our language would in the end limit our understanding. Just a nitpick!) --24.147.86.187 02:29, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Mathematics is definitely not finite - we will never run out of things to discover and/or invent in mathematics. As far as physics and the rest of the natural sciences are concerned, most scientists would say we are nowhere reaching the limits of what can be discovered or understood by the human mind - see unsolved problems in physics, unsolved problems in chemistry and unsolved problems in neuroscience. However, a contrarian view was taken by John Horgan in his 1996 book The End of Science. Gandalf61 10:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems to me that whenever science answers one question, it opens up several others. For instance, the word "atom" means "uncuttable" or "irreducible," but more than 100 years after the establishment of atomic theory, scientists realized atoms were made up of subatomic particles. The behavior of subatomic particles completely messed up established theories of physics, leading to the creation of quantum mechanics theory. Then they discovered quarks, and for the past 40 years have been figuring out what they're all about. There are now all kinds of unsolved problems with the Standard Model of particle physics. And they all come from further investigation of a problem thought to have been solved 200 years ago: What is the basic unit of matter? The more that question was investigated, the more questions arose. The same can be said about just about any area of science. -- Mwalcoff 10:07, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Click on "Random article" nuff sed ;) Perry-mankster 10:59, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
In the late 20th century, quite a few pop science books came out predicting the end of science. Hubris! I like the Isaac Asimov quote, thought frustratingly can't find it right now - he says that knowledge is fractal: the more one knows, the more there is to know - each solution opens a new universe of questions. Adambrowne666 22:08, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Around 1900 there was also this sentiment that in the field of theory (almost) everything was discovered and all that needed to be done was fill in the gaps of factual knowledge, which would be simple administrative work. However, there were still some nasty issues like the particle/wave duality of light, some of which were solved by Einstein in a way that raised even more questions - Mwalcoff's point. DirkvdM 08:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Gandalf, since mathematics is the language of science and the way we view the world scientifically, if mathematics is infinite, then isn't science also? DirkvdM 08:37, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Exactly - I wonder too if the lacunae in mathematics discovered by Godel - the definitively insoluble problems - are matched by the lacunae in the physical universe - the singularities. Adambrowne666

Has there never been a full-length bigraphy of Tristan Tzara?[edit]

Has there never been a full-length bigraphy of Tristan Tzara? If not, why not? He may not be a household name, but he founded Dadaism, and everybody has heard of that. And he led such an intersting life. I'm a screenwriter who's had some success with bio-pics, and I'd love to have Tzara for my next subject, but I can't do all the legwork of a biography. 64.131.162.63 04:57, 24 August 2007 (UTC)Matt Bird

There is none written in English. One has recently been translated from French; I have heard that another is in the works. I cannot remember the name of the translated work, but I did remember reading about it approximately two years ago in the TLS or the NYRB; it seemed to be somewhat unsatisfactory. Hornplease 05:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Apparently not in English, but there are several works in French.[1][2][3] You can buy a 1930-word biography for $9.95.[4] I've no idea of the quality.  --Lambiam 05:48, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

What piece of classical music is this?[edit]

It starts off the Word for the Wise broadcast at Merriam Webster. It can be found here. Thanks! Baseballfan 05:26, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I think it's from a symphony by Josef Haydn. But which one, I don't know. -- JackofOz 05:44, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Article finder?[edit]

I try to stay as informed as possible, so I subscribe to The New York Times, The LA Times, The New Yorker, Harper's, and various other periodicals. And if that wasn't enough I go to a newspaper stand fairly regularly, and pick up a whole bunch of magazines and newspapers there. I didn't know where to ask this, so I decided to ask it here. Does anybody know of a website that gives me good articles, interesting editorials, or controversial columns in various publications? I've looked all over the internet for a media guide, but I can't seem to find one. If anyone can help me out it would be great.--Bobpalloona 06:28, 24 August 2007 (UTC)BobPalloona

Proquest comes to mind, as one can search numerous journals and publications. However unless it is accessed at a library that has it, you'd need a login, such as with a student ID. There are plenty of other periodical indexes out there too. Hope that is of some assistance. Baseballfan 09:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
It sounds like what you want is some sort of editorial service that will cull the "interesting" (in your tastes) from the rest. Blogs often serve such a function these days, serving as specialized collections of links and commentary about certain types of media. --24.147.86.187 11:39, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
There are dozens of clipping services. Without knowing anything specific about your interests, I can tell you that I use Google News and then go to Slashdot for a supplement. I let my bloggers, like DailyKos alert me to some other things, and I'll check in on Salon.com and The Nation online. However, the really specialized news aggregators are subscription, and I am poor. Geogre 12:35, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

United States to invade Iran?[edit]

I asked my contacts in Iran, and they tell me:

"Not at all! The United States won't attack or make war on Persia, because they don't want to change the regime here. It's all talk and no action, so that ordinary people in the world and especially in the US will continue to support the US. The United States profit enormously from Persia's oil and strongly want to maintain the status quo, but this is all hidden. Did you know that the United States and the UK caused the Islamic Revolution in Persia in 1979? This was an entirely American plan in my country!"

Is this accurate?--Sonjaaa 06:51, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

In a word, no! The CIA were involved in the rise to power of the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, helping him in his arguments with the prime minister in 1953 for example. When he was overthrown by the Islamic revolution in 1979, the US froze Iranian assets. They also, along with many other countries, backed the secular dictator Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war. I fail to see how the US benefits from having an islamic theocracy in Iran as opposed to a secular government, who would be more likely to support the US and less hostile to the US and its favourite ally Israel. Now I would expect some Iranians to have been told a few lies by their government, but I doubt the successors of the revolution would claim American influence. And while people exist who blame the US for absolutely everything in the world, this sounds a very strange claim to me. Cyta 08:05, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

  • "helping him in his arguments with the prime minister in 1953 for example"—that's understating a bit. I mean, they helped stage a coup. --24.147.86.187 00:27, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes it was more than that, my choice of words was poor. Cyta 07:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I suppose the Iran hostage crisis must, by this odd contention, have been part of Jimmy Carter's deep-laid plan? Scepticism, Sonjaaa, is, as Napoleon said, a virtue in history as well as philosophy! Clio the Muse 00:15, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Anything can happen when Commander Koookoo-bananas is president. Gzuckier 13:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Subquestion:[edit]

Do Iranians call their country "Persia" instead of Iran as we do? --Taraborn 15:59, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

The article at iran says it's called "Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān". Corvus cornix 20:12, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
And as usual Wikipedia have an article, Iran_naming_dispute. Cyta 07:53, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Oooops... sorry for not searching. Thank you very much to both. --Taraborn 13:12, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Art versus science[edit]

Can anyone point me to any essays or quotes - if such exist - on the virtues of art over science from 17th or pre-17th century philosophers? I realise this is an obscure one - any help at all would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Adambrowne666 09:24, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The problem is going to be that "science" isn't science in the 17th century. It's mostly "natural philosophy," but the general line taken is Aristotle's. In Poetics, Aristotle argued the superiority of "poetry" (any fiction) over "history," for history tells us merely what has happened, while poetry tells us what "must" (by logic) or "should" (by morality) happen. Because morality and logic are from a superior position in the universals, poetry is superior to the mundane recording of the actual. Ok, well, that's poetry, except that Philip Sidney, in Defense of Poetry, extended that to what you might call "art" in general. In fact, the general attitude throughout is that the universals and divine are more ennobling than the grubby reals, and therefore more appropriate to communicate. Do you want to tell your people about a tyrant being overthrown? Yes. Do you want to tell them of a frenzied mob killing a good king? No. The duty is to communicate. Otherwise, there isn't an opposition really between "investigating the natural world by philosophy and by art."
If you believe Jonathan Swift's A Tale of a Tub is 17th century, you can find some ridicule of the Royal Academy -- though nothing like what he would unleash in the 3rd book of Gulliver's Travels. Geogre 12:30, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Wonderful answer, thanks Geogre Adambrowne666 22:09, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

You will also find the articles 17th century philosophy and History of science helpful.
As Geogre says, in and before the 17th century people saw 'art' and 'science' in classical terms. I should put it more simply: in Latin, ars is 'skill' and scientia is knowledge, and the two are complementary. I can't think of any early modern philosophers who took a view on knowledge (sciences) having less virtue than skills (arts). Indeed, if we focus on the general nature of the centuries leading up to the 17th (the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Scientific Revolution), they developed (especially in Northern Europe) Aristoteleian natural philosophy into what we now know as physics, astronomy, chemistry, botany, biology and so forth. Men with classical educations like Nicolaus Copernicus, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz began to lay the foundations of the modern world. If you have time to look at the work of the philosophers, you should perhaps concentrate on the most significant ones. A key man of the period, René Descartes, was himself important to the scientific revolution. Francis Bacon developed the Baconian method, a form of scientific inquiry. Baruch Spinoza, apart from being a rationalist, was a lens-grinder and saw the benefits of science as an aspect of philosophy. And so on... read the articles on them and others! Xn4 00:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
The critical distinction or friction was probably one of logos vs. praxis. "Projectors" and what we would call experimental philosophy was open for satire (Swift, above), but it's not just satire. Some natural philosophers worked from universals to particulars, in the deductive method, and this was "pure" and classically ordained. Others poked and prodded and worked from experiment to figure out laws (inductive method). All of them were obeying the Baconian method, in England, but the scientific method only tells you what to do after you have the hypothesis, and some people seemed to have no hypothesis. This group (what we would now call experimentalists) was opposed by those who wanted to have the pure idea first. However, I'm simplifying, for it was not merely being an experimenter that was a 'problem' for discussion. After all, people like John Arbuthnot (got to point at one I wrote) attacked Woodward's "principle means practice" attitude in medicine.
Descartes, as we all know, famously had to do the Method and therefore the rationalist set of principles before the exploration. Newton, too, had the idea and then investigated it. On the other hand, there were people who seemed to be blowing up dogs (yes, they did) just to see what would happen. Others did, in fact, think they could get sunlight out of a cucumber. From Thomas Shadwell's The Virtuoso to book 3 of Gulliver's Travels and onward (and the examples there came from Arbuthnot), there is a two track argument going on (too dedicated to universals, and you're Woodward; too free of them, and you're a Projector), the art vs. science is really Nature (understood in an Aristotelian and Christian sense) vs. Actual. At least that's how it seems to me. Geogre 12:06, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and one more shout out for what I consider to be a simply great as well as fascinating bit of philosophy from a contemporary German thinker. "Indicted and Unburdened Man in Eighteenth-Century Philosophy," from Odo Marquard's Farewell to Matters of Principle, Wallace, Robert M. and Susan Bernstein, James I. Porter, transl., OUP, 1989 (got it with an Odeon imprint), 38-64, is really, really cool. He wrote on the same subject in In Praise of the Accidental, and it's interesting both in terms of its discussion of theodicy and the origins of social science in the 18th century and what it says about the post-war moment in German thought. Way, way neat. Geogre 13:43, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Whew! Okay, thanks again - thanks too Xn - I'm gonna print this out and read it at my leisure. Adambrowne666 03:48, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Ecclesiastical customs, England[edit]

(moved from WP:HD by 69.118.235.97)

Can you describe for me the history and the mechanics of "a living" in 19th-c. England, as alluded to in novels by George Eliot, Jane Austen, and others? I surmise that a "living" is a sort of endowment established at a given church for the support and salary of the rector, and I take it to be a rural or provincial custom. But how is it established, and who administers it?

One phrase that I have repeatedly encountered is "The living was in his gift." How does it come to be in anyone's gift?

Thank you for your help.

209.247.23.5 16:14, 23 August 2007 (UTC)Anne Lunt, Temple, NH -- [[email redacted to prevent abuse by spammers etc..]]

Some ecclesiastical posts were (and are) in the hands of temporal appointers. Notably, many rural rectors (etc) of the type your authors delight in describing, would have been appointed by their local great land-owner. --Dweller 11:37, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Clio will fill this in comprehensively, I'm sure, but the 'living' of a parish was usually the small income that was attached to the position of the rector. The income came from tithes or the endowment of glebe lands. For reasons usually to do with the original gift of land to the parish and the organisation of local feudal system, the right of advowson was usually vested in a local landowner. He could appoint the rector who would then either conduct services himself or appoint a less well-connected clergyman as the vicar. The right of advowson was hereditary, but the income from tithes and glebe lands was like any other asset, and could be impounded or used as collateral.
The Catholic Encyclopaedia says "The right of presentation which, originally, was conferred on a person building or endowing a church, appears to have become, by degrees, appendant to the manor in which it was built."
The right of presentation is covered here.
This system actually continued until all glebe lands were centralized sometime in the 1970s. Hornplease 11:39, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Clio can make little improvement on the information and links that you and other editors have supplied here, Hornplease! I have only one small addition to make on the question of advowsons. Over time the English monasteries gathered a great many of these, most often by some form of grant or bequest. At the time of the Dissolution in the sixteenth century the right of parish nominations, along with the lands, passed to lay benefactors. Clio the Muse 00:02, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Relevant stuff includes Advowson, Patronage#Canon_law and Parish#Church_of_England. Whoever had the living in their gift could select the priest for that parish when the incumbent dies or retires. Vicar#Anglican might be useful too (vicars, rectors and curates being different things). Angus McLellan (Talk) 11:42, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Incidentally, this sense of living is the origin of the phrase eke out a living: eke is an obsolete word meaning also, and to eke [something] out is to supplement it. —Tamfang 07:04, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

german violent videogames ban[edit]

I read today that violent videogames may be banned in germany.. Can someone provide a link etc giving more infomation on what constitutes 'violent' in this context etc. Plus is there a relevent page? Thanks87.102.79.29 14:41, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

I think what you're thinking of is more concentrated. They're not banning violent video games in general, just the hyper violent Manhunt 2 which Rockstar is currently toning down and re-issuing. Even the US banned the original version. Beekone 15:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
No. Not what I meant - Gears of war, and dead rising were unrated and as such never got an official release.
I wanted to know what the policy was - most computer games invlove 'killing things' don't they.?87.102.75.201 15:40, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
It's probably to do with the degree of slaughter and torture, but you're right. Mario's been killing goomba's with 8-bit fire balls for almost twenty years. Beekone 15:53, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
StGB#.C2.A7_131:_Representation_of_violence might be of some interest. --24.147.86.187 12:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes thanks - if anyone is interested there is also Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien - relating to things that 'corrupt young people'.87.102.84.56 13:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
it is not about violence itself its about either showing nazi symbols (thats why Wolfenstein was banned) or depiction of the death or killing of humans. Some games just make them Zombies with green blood to pass that requirement. Its not about violence itself.--Tresckow 01:33, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Eastern European Fashion[edit]

Does anybody know of any quirky fashion trends in and around Prague in the late 1800's, early 1900's? Did the standard attire for the rest of Europe apply there or did they adopt a more Russian image? What kinds of mixtures were happening? Even if you know of a good book I should checkout, that would be helpful. Thank you! Beekone 15:04, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

On the question of fashions, Beekone, I can only make an educated guess here, but my hunch is that Czechs, among the most advanced of the people of the old Austrian Empire, would dress little differently in Prague, as they would in Vienna. If you wish I could point you in the direction of some good reading on Czech history in general, and the history of Prague in particular. No prêt-à-porter, though! Clio the Muse 23:49, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

You would get a to some degree differng fashion in hungary were hungarian style ornaments were on uniforms and some civilian suits. At this time many people would still have worn their folcoristic traditional costumes. But generally and especially in the upper class and middle class just normal. Same for Russia id say.--Tresckow 01:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Wi, prêt-à-porter! Everything is helpful. I'm not looking for a glossed over definition of the clothing styles. Little quirks will help maintain realism. Pedestrian fashion is important for illustrating the time line in an obvious way, but the exaggerated trends of high fashion would be like icing on a cake. Thank you, Clio and Tresckow! Beekone 18:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Dog tags of Jewish soldiers in the Allied armies during World War II[edit]

Dear Sir/Madam,

Assuming the notion that Jewish soldiers serving in the Allied armies during World War II could possibly be (and were probably) captured by German forces, was the information of their religious affiliation encrypted considering antisemitism was quite prevalent amongst the population of the previously mentioned nationality ? I'm not trying to say that all Germans would have lynched the first Jew in sight, but I'm skeptical that they would have received the same treatment than the other prisoners and even less if the antagonists would have been part of the Waffen SS.

Sincerely, Matt714 19:26, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Sources http://www.fathom.com/course/21701756/session2.html http://books.google.com/books?id=6dExD3wChyMC&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=jews+american+army+wwii+dog+tag&source=web&ots=BjtL-9LH3l&sig=-2c56Ew3bKqh9zGtyi5lwUF99aA say that american jews had an 'H' on their dog tags signifying 'hebrew'87.102.75.201 19:46, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
This reference http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq70-1.htm suggest's that having a religion included was optional - see

Markings consisted of name; officer file number, or enlisted service number; blood type; date of tetanus inoculation; service; and religion, if desired by the service member: Catholic (C), Protestant (P), or "Hebrew" (H).

As for the actual german treatment of jewish prisoners that is another question - which you could ask if you wish.87.102.75.201 19:55, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

The treatment accorded to Jewish prisoners of war was determined, in large measure, by their national origins. Those from Britain and the United States were afforded some degree of protection under the terms of the Geneva Convention; those from Russia had no protection whatsoever. In general the Germans behaved atrociously towards Soviet prisoners of war. For example, it was captured Soviet soldiers who were the subject of the first test gassings at Auschwitz in early 1942, regardless of religion or of race. Of the 100,000 or so Russian Jewish soldiers who fell into Nazi hands almost none survived. The western allies, as I have said, generally fared better, though even here there were exceptions. If you are particularly interested in the American case I would refer you to Given Up for Dead: American POWs in the Nazi Concentration Camp at Berga by Flint Whitlock. Some 350 soldiers, mostly Jewish, taken by the Germans in the Ardennes offensive of 1944, were separated from the other prisoners and taken to the slave labour camp at Berga south of Leipzig, in the only known case where Americans were subject to 'special treatment.' Clio the Muse 23:25, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Wow. The users of the Wikipedia reference desks have again amazed me by their prompt and concise replies. My sincere remerciments to everyone who replied, this was exactly the information and even more that I was searching for. Matt714 08:19, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Why on earth would the US opt for H/Hebrew, rather than the more obvious J/Jew? Was J already taken by Jains, Jehovah's Witnesses or some other group I can't think of? --Dweller 17:07, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Using "Jew" as an adjective has been offensive since at least the late 19th century. See Jew (word). FiggyBee 04:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for that remarkably irrelevant point. If it makes you happier, read the question as: "why not J for Jewish"? —Tamfang (talk) 01:23, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Shias in Lebanon[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg
WikiProject Reference Desk
Article Collaboration
This question inspired an article
to be created or enhanced:
Islam in Lebanon
Please consider contributing

I would like to know something of the history of the Shia community in Lebanon. Philip the Arab 22:31, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

There is no certainty as to when the Shi'a community first established itself in Lebanon, though they were well settled across the Levant by the tenth century. Later still Shi'a emirates were establlished in Tyre and Tripoli, though these collapsed at the time of the First Crusade in 1099. After the fall of the Crusader kingdoms, the Shi'a peoples, who had withdrawn to the hinterland of Lebanon, were persecuted by the new conquerors, the Sunni Mamelukes. People were forced out of the mountainous areas of Kisrawan where they had taken refuge in the wake of the Crusaders, moving through the Beqaa plain, to new strongholds in Jezzanine and Jabal Amil, in what is now the south and east of Lebanon. During the time of the Ottoman Empire the Shi'a were largely ignored, though they found themselves competing for scarce resources with the expanding community of Maronite Christians.
During most of the Ottoman period the Shi'a largely maintained themselves as 'a state apart', though they maintained contact with the Safavid dynysty, which established Shi'a Islam as the state religion of Persia. These contacts made them all the more suspect to the Ottoman Sultan, who was frequently at war with the Persians, as well as being, in the role of Caliph, the leader of the majority Sunni community Shi'a Lebanon, when not subject to political repression, was generally neglected, sinking further and further into the economic background.
Towards the end of the eighteenth century the Comte de Volmy was to describe the Shi'a as a distict society, outside the main currents of Lebanese life; and so they were perceived by their Sunni, Druze and Maronite neighbours, right into the twentieth century. It was by default that they found themselves as part of the new state of Grand Liban, created by the French in September 1920.
Interestingly, the Shi'a were among the first to take advantage of the new political realities. The Sunni had attempted to resist the French mandate; and when they were defeated, refused to participate in the administration of what they considered to be an artificial political entity. Sunni opposition had aimed at the creation of a 'greater Syria', where the Shia would have been a permanent minority. But in the new state of Lebanon they acquired both an independence and a far greater political significance in relation to the size of their community. This was further emphasised by French colonial policy, which sought to reach out to the Shi'a, with the intention of preventing a possible alliance with the Sunni.
After independence in 1943, although the Shi'a remained part of Lebanon's delicate confessional and political balancing act, their homelands were still economically among the most backward areas. Many of them gravitated towards the slums of Beruit, progressively becoming more radicalised in the process; they also became deeply resentful at the affluence of the Sunni and Christian middle classes, prospering in the liberal atmosphere of the 1950s. In 1959 the Shi'a acquired a more determined and unique voice, when Musa al-Sadr arrived from Qom to take up the position of Mufti. In 1967 he established a Supreme Islamic Shi'a Council, regulating the affairs of the community, and giving it as high a profile in the state as the corporate bodies set up by the Maronite, Sunni and Druze. People who had been carried along by left-wing and secular currents were slowly drawn back into a reinvigorated Islam, many joining Amal, the militia founded by Sadr in 1974. Although Sadr disappeared under mysterious circumstances in 1978, his influence, and his radical message, lived on, contributing later to the rise of Hezbollah. The Lebanese Civil War, and Israeli intervention in southern Lebanon, also went a long way towards consolidataing a new and more radical Shi'a identity. Clio the Muse 03:10, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I copied Clio's reply to Islam in Lebanon. --Ghirla-трёп- 14:09, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

My thanks to you for all of this information, Clio the Muse.Philip the Arab 22:20, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Since haitians are just of West African descent, does include all the countries of west africa?[edit]

Let Me List Them:

Benin Burkina Faso Côte d'Ivoire Cape Verde The Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Mauritania Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo

Even though they too have Central, South and SouthEast african ancestry, but still does it include all countries of west africa?--arab 23:13, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

You are confusing geographical terms referring to broad movements of populations with the precision required by political boundaries. It means "West Africa" in a hazy way, and should not be taken to refer to specifically 21st century political entities (or even biological populations, necessarily—a lot of time has passed since then). --24.147.86.187 00:31, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Additionally, "95%" does not mean "all", and "predominantly" does not mean "fully". The ancestry of the large majority of current Haitians goes back for the larger part on ancestors who came from West Africa, in particular the Slave Coast and the Gold Coast. These are geographic indications. The local kingdoms from that time no longer exist, and the present republics there have no historic relationship with these kingdoms and have different boundaries.  --Lambiam 03:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Not to mention that slaving was a business for Africans as well as Europeans and the supplied slaves came from a wide area. Rmhermen 15:40, 25 August 2007 (UTC)