Tripoli: the new deal

Nobody understands Sunni politics like Fida’ Itani. Here, here, and here, he has comprehensive reviews of recent political relations between Lebanon and other Sunni governments.

By the way Al Akhbar (for example today) has been doing a great job at reporting and analyzing the recent political ‘reconciliation’ breakthrough in Tripoli, another periphery of the ‘Lebanese’ entity. I call it the periphery because today, The South, an older peripheral region has been quite well integrated in the overall Lebanese imaginary psyche, thanks to newspapers like Al Akhbar. Before that, The South (and the Bekaa) was only covered well (local news) by Hizbullah or Amal newspapers that only spread in the mentioned areas.

Interestingly enough, the structure of a newspaper like Al Akhbar makes it mandatory that it will spread an exhaustively nationalist coverage. Al Akhbar is mostly where other have not ventured (at the very least betraying a quest for content originality), circling the country and giving equal importance to everything thus fostering nationalistic feeling and re-writing the national imaginary. But I’ll write more on that later.

Should I translate any of that stuff?

4 Replies to “Tripoli: the new deal”

  1. So basically Itani talks about how Saudi politics is divided within the ruling family and also with regards to the appropriate stance to hold with Al Mustaqbal. According to him, the Saudis have been moving away from Saad, looking for other allies among Sunni elites.

    He also talks about the different political state that prevailed under Rafic Hariri’s rule and his relation to the Saudis. After the latter’s assassination, Mustaqbal as a political ‘coalition’ if one may call it this way starts branching out into individual political agendas represented by the different actors (like salim diab and bassam el sabe’) that once were around Hariri the father.

    With the weakening of Mustaqbal, the Saudis helped financially what is grossly called ‘the salafist’ parties.

    The basic idea here (and following the ill-fated agreement between Hizbullah and one such salafist group) is that Saudi Arabia does not go through Mustaqbal anymore to do politics in Lebanon, although Saad Hariri (son) stays their most loyal ally but weakened.

    Saudi Arabia is not the only country backing up “the salafists”. UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait. Huge amount of money is being given for social and political use.

    The salafist have been co-opted by Mustaqbal for electoral reasons (Itani wonders here how could Mustaqbal convince the salafists to vote for Sitrida Geagea…).

    So the agreement between Hizbullah and the salafist of shahal was put to pieces by Saudi Arabia mainly because it strengthened Syrian and Iranian position from its point of view.

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