Hebah Farrag


“New Imaginings: Hizballah, Iran, and the Dynamics of Articulation,” a masters thesis for the American University in Cairo by Hebah H. Farrag, under the supervision of Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Dr. Martina Rieker, and Dr. Pandeli Glavanis addresses the rise in the politics of identification in Islamism today. The resistance narrative in the Middle East has undergone radical changes in the last two decades; transforming, adapting, and metamorphosing in response to local, regional and global conditions. Corresponding with these rapid changes, the politics of identification has taken center stage. The recent alliance between Iran and Venezuela, corresponding with a shift in Venezuela’s policy towards Israel and enhanced through its ideological and financial support of Hizballah, has excited Middle Eastern populations, frightened Arab leaders, and left many an academic wondering where exactly the resistance narrative is heading. This combined with a flurry of perceived sectarian divisions and internal domestic struggles has left many questing: What is behind these recent connections and how have these changes impacted our understanding of Islamism, anti-imperialism, third worldism, and resistance? The actors and issues that are the main focus of this work are, first, Hizballah and its attempt to forge new understandings of resistance, identity, and Islam within and without a nation-state context, and secondly, Iran and its current re-definition of conceptions such as development and sovereignty in response to conditions of ‘geopolitical exclusion.’ An original and integral element in this study is the inclusion of comparative regional experiences, drawing mainly from Latin America, specifically Venezuela, in order to show not only the extent of south-south relations being formed today and on what basis, but also the variance within these assorted discourses even within self-defined anti-imperialistic alliances. Methodologically, this work uses theories such as articulation and tools such as the ‘border guard’ and ‘mythomotuer’ in order to garner a deeper understanding of if and how Islamist movements such as Hizballah, and nations such as Iran, remain ideologically consistent by transforming and adapting to political, social, and culturally trends. By complicating an often used and interrelated example, such as the relationship between Hizballah and Iran, this work delves into the question of identity formation and defines what it means to use modern means to search for a post-modern identity.


Middle East Studies Center

Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Date of Award


Online Submission Date

February 2013

First Advisor

Ibrahim, Saad Eddin

Committee Member 1

Ibrahim, Saad Eddin

Committee Member 2

Rieker, Martina

Document Type



227 p.


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