Lebanon in Syria

The fates of the modern states of Lebanon and Syria are inextricably linked. It is important to read their history not just as was done conventionally that is Syria never fully recognizing Lebanon as an independent state but also the reverse, as Lebanon, or particular segments of the Lebanese political establishment involving and using Syria […]

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Raï in Jerusalem

The new Christian maronite patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros el Rai, has been making some bold moves since the beginning of his mandate. First his visit to Syria in the midst of the conflict degenerating, and now his decision to visit Jerusalem as the Catholic pope has schedule a Middle East tour, all show that Rai […]

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Isolationism or Regionalization?

Recently the Phalangist MP Sami Gemayel has proposed to “amend the preamble of the constitution to stipulate Lebanon’s neutrality towards regional conflicts”. “We request amending the constitution to clearly state that Lebanon must stay neutral towards regional events,” Gemayel said after the weekly meeting of the party’s political bureau. He elaborated: “We are very concerned […]

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The framing of a “research question”

I came across this paper written for a particular Middle East Policy Council. I have never seen a more awkwardly posed question regarding Hizbullah’s political development: Hezbollah’s evolution speaks to a larger question in the literature on nonstate actors, both in the Middle East and elsewhere: Why do some nonstate military groups survive attempts to […]

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War always

I was listening to Hizbullah’s Al Nour radio station two days ago when I heard, in the words of the radio speaker, that the main guy behind the reconstruction of the south, an Iranian engineer, Hassan Shateri, was killed in some kind of an ambush returning from Damascus to Beirut. I was wondering why the […]

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Nasrallah with Assange on Russia Today

There are several points to remember from Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s televised interview conducted by Wikileaker Julian Assange two days ago. Though as it was geared to a Western audience, most of what was said was already known by the local population from Nasrallah’s various televised speeches in Beirut, there is, I think, […]

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Feltman’s response to Al Akhbar

Former US ambassador in Lebanon Jeffrey Feltman responded in the NY Times today to the allegations made in a previous article in the same newspaper on Al Akhbar about waking up every morning and getting upset after reading  Al Akhbar. Feltman answered! There is something quite desperate in this act. Check the argument: Actually, Al […]

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Nasrallah’s press conference

While the world analyzes the meanings, validity, and consequences of yesterday’s Secretary General of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s press conference one should, I think, focus on one major important point made by this event as a whole: Regardless of who killed Lebanese former prime minister Rafic Hariri, this press conference showed that just like other […]

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Jews, Jews, where art thou?

Back in September 2009, after listening to a speech by Hizbullah’s SG Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, I wrote this post that was left unfinished. I thought of proposing it today. On the 18th of September 2009, Hizbullah celebrated what Khomeini had instituted as “Jerusalem Day” (that takes place every year on the last Friday of the […]

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A Christmas Lesson

In Christian festive times, Al Manar TV uses such rituals in order to focus attention on a political cause either pertaining to internal Lebanese issues (Jesus and messages of co-existence), regional (usually related to the Palestinian cause) or even international. On Christmas Eve for example, the seven o’clock news broadcast has most of its content […]

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Tayyar views on Hizbullah

One has to wait a long time in order to read an article in the Lebanese press that actually takes the time to interview people from several corners of the country. I already said elsewhere that Al Akhbar contributes in a novel and ‘fuller’ way (i.e. more in line with European press standards of constructing […]

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Writing Hizbullah

An excellent article today in Al Akhbar by a friend of mine deciphering the various media and other type of intellectual production in the “Lebanese” sphere that came to shape how Hizbullah was and is written. In so doing Raed Charaf goes through a very detailed account of the various types of intellectual activity that […]

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Unearthing civilizations

How did the “Lebanese” discover that they had a Phoenician tradition? Or for that matter how did the Arabs discover that they had some past glorious tradition that was decimated by the Ottomans? Don’t we read Arabic history as one that stops around the Abbasid era, and that then picks up around the end of […]

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Military codes and what have you

The day after the quick removal of Mustaqbal’s mercenaries from West Beirut, a Saturday if I am not mistaken, there were no cats on the streets. The roads from Hamra to Gemmayzeh were totally deserted. At the start of the bridge of Beshara el Khoury coming from Burj el Murr, the main road was blocked […]

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Was this a (mini) Civil war?

For those not interested in academic empty quarrels you can skip this post. Our colleague, friend and fellow blogger Abu muqawama, has proposed to call the conflict that is happening in this little slice of land that came to be called Lebanon another civil war. And here, he provides more evidence of that. I think […]

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A note to the reader

It is important to understand that I am not defending Hizbullah’s viewpoint in the previous posts. I am just trying to describe certain social realities I observe. I am not saying that Hizbullah did good or bad. I am not really judging Hizbullah’s actions. But probably I should in a certain way say a line […]

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The metamorphosis

In a small village of the south of the country called Lebanon, the legend has it that the Secretary General of Hizbullah has a very specific method to move from one place to the other in order not to get spotted by Israelis or other head hunters. A young woman tells what circulates in stories, […]

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Are you a leftist or a Shi’a?

We often hear people deplore the state of ‘Shi’a affairs’. According to this line of reasoning, although “the Shi’a” filled the majority ranks of Leftist parties in the 60s and 70s, they were the most ‘secular’ of all ‘confessions’ in the country, but that a guy like Musa Al Sadr had to screw things up […]

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Hegemony: an illustration

This just in: CBNNews.com – JERUSALEM, Israel – Iranian missiles are making their way to Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorists via Turkey, according to intelligence reports. Ok, let’s try something: XXXNews.com – BEIRUT, Lebanon – USA missiles, cluster bombs, and uranium-rich weapons, are making their way to the Palestine-based Zionist terrorist army, via USA, according to intelligence […]

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