Every society has subterranean fractures—ethnic, regional, racial, tribal, or sectarian. Given the right confluence of events, these can erupt and take on new life. When imperial and colonial powers produce a body of knowledge about those they rule, they often construct sociodemographic categories along these very fault lines. In the Middle East, this process has coincided with an attempted regional remapping using imagined and yet real (although newly configured) social categories. With the democracy project fading, the mosaic—in which the region is conceptualized as a multitude of discrete sociocultural units based on sect, ethnicity, and tribe—has appeared. Complex social categories are distilled into bounded categories whose correspondence to reality is problematic.