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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Za'im system, also known as zuama clientelism,[1] is a corrupt patronage system in Lebanon. A political boss, known as a Za'im (plural Zuama), is from a leading family in the country's electoral districts. They manipulate elections and distribute political favours and financial rewards to the highest bidder. A za'im can run for office or encourage votes for another to have another in his debt. Votes are often obtained through bribery or force. Individuals elected to parliament view their primary goal to serve the needs of their local clients, neglect any national issues and use parliament to further their regional-sectarian interests. The Za'im dressed in tailored European suits, which misled many visitors at the time.[2][when?] According to As'ad AbuKhalil, many Zuama became warlords during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990). He has also stated that they are often sponsored by foreign governments, through which foreign embassies play a role in making political decisions in Lebanon.[3]

Notable Lebanese Zuama

See also


  1. ^ "Zuama Clientelism". Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  2. ^ "A History of the Modern Middle East." By William L. Cleveland and Martin Bunton. Published by WestView, 2013.
  3. ^ AbuKhalil, As'ad (15 June 2018). "The Meaning of the Recent Lebanese Election (and How Hariri Suffered a Stinging Defeat)". Retrieved 16 June 2018.


  • Alain Menargues, Les Secrets de la guerre du Liban: Du coup d'état de Béchir Gémayel aux massacres des camps palestiniens, Albin Michel, Paris 2004. ISBN 978-2226121271 (in French)
  • Denise Ammoun, Histoire du Liban contemporain: Tome 2 1943-1990, Fayard, Paris 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-61521-9 (in French) – [1]
  • Edgar O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92, Palgrave Macmillan, London 1998. ISBN 0-333-72975-7
  • Fawwaz Traboulsi, Identités et solidarités croisées dans les conflits du Liban contemporain; Chapitre 12: L'économie politique des milices: le phénomène mafieux, Thèse de Doctorat d'Histoire – 1993, Université de Paris VIII, 2007 (in French)
  • Itamar Rabinovich, The war for Lebanon, 1970–1985, Cornell University Press, Ithaca and London 1989 (revised edition). ISBN 978-0-8014-9313-3, 0-8014-9313-7 – [2]
  • Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, Oxford 1990. ISBN 0 86187 123 5[3]
  • Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press, (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9[4]
  • Thomas Collelo (ed.), Lebanon: a country study, Library of Congress, Federal Research Division, Headquarters, Department of the Army (DA Pam 550-24), Washington D.C., December 1987 (Third edition 1989). – [5]
This page was last edited on 13 July 2021, at 21:15
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