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Tag Archives: Lebanon

Lebanon’s efficient security services are stepping up their watch over Islamist supporters in Beirut and beyond

Until this Wednesday, the sound of mortar and rifle fire has echoed across the streets of the southern Lebanese city of Sidon. As usual, the world has ignored it on the grounds that Palestinians have been fighting Palestinians yet again in the largest refugee camp in Lebanon. And so they have.

Palestinian secular factions have been fighting Islamist groups. The camp lies just to the east of the centre of Sidon and is the usual warren of poverty and concrete huts and filthy apartment blocks, ironically called Ein el-Helweh – which means the “sweet well” or “sweet spring”.

Few noticed that this latest series of battles was set off shortly after an official visit to Lebanon by Mahmoud Abbas, the doddering old Palestinian president who long ago lost his legal electoral mandate in the occupied West Bank but who remarked before he left Beirut that Palestinians were dedicated to crushing “terrorism”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/lebanon-palestine-president-mahmood-assad-isis-tourist-police-terrorists-arrests-fighting-a7681946.html

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2017 in Middle East

 

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On the 40th anniversary of Kamal Jumblatt’s death, is trouble brewing again in Lebanon?

Walid Jumblatt looked a worried man yesterday. He seemed a trifle frail. He was, after all, commemorating the brutal murder 40 years ago of his Druze father Kamal, an earnest and secular socialist who might have been compared to the pre-First World War MP Keir Hardie, although Hardie spent 11 years in the mines and did not live in a palace. Kamal’s butchering – he was shot to death in his car, along with his driver and bodyguard, not long after the start of the Lebanese civil war – was followed by a massacre of hundreds of Christians by their Druze neighbours in surrounding villages.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/lebanon-civil-war-walid-jumblatt-christianity-anniversary-a7638021.html

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Marine Le Pen has arrived in Lebanon to find out that the Christians she thought were her allies aren’t on her side at all

Marine Le Pen has been doing a little Trumping in Beirut. Yes, all the way from Paris she came to ride her French presidential election campaign through the sectarian thickets of Lebanon by refusing to wear a veil to meet the Sunni Muslim Grand Mufti. Given the nonsense she spoke to the (Christian) president of Lebanon and the schoolgirl interview she granted to the country’s (Christian) French-language newspaper, many Lebanese – and a few Christians, too – concluded that this wretched lady embarked on her visit with the sole aim of insulting the country’s Muslims.

Of course, it was a publicity stunt. Marine Le Pen doesn’t care about the votes of Lebanese Christians who hold French passports – her Front National (FN) anyway wants to get such dual nationals to choose their country of citizenship, so the poor old Christians of Lebanon whom Le Pen supposedly loves may have to abandon their country of origin if they want France to “protect” them from the Muslim hordes. No, her refusal to wear a veil – a mere headscarf to show respect to the Sunni Mufti, Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian – was intended for her domestic audience in France. Muslims want to subjugate women. It was the old message. To hell with Lebanon. Which is surely why she was accompanied on this pantomime by more French than Lebanese journalists.

Source: Marine Le Pen has arrived in Lebanon to find out that the Christians she thought were her allies aren’t on her side at all

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Article 522: Letting rapists off the hook in Lebanon

The Turkish government, in keeping with its established reputation as a shameless violator of human rights and decency, recently made unfavourable headlines yet again with what international media have termed a “child rape bill” that would have pardoned men convicted of statutory rape provided they marry their victims.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/article-522-letting-rapists-hook-lebanon-895143812

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2016 in Middle East

 

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Lebanon is a sectarian nation, yet it has avoided civil war while the Middle East burns – here’s why

Maybe it’s because I live in Lebanon, and return to Beirut from Aleppo and Damascus, that the place seems so “normal”. While all around this little jewel, the Middle East burns – Syria, the occupied West Bank, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, increasingly Egypt and, alas, Turkish Kurdistan – Lebanon glistens brightly in the darkness, largely untarnished by the horrors on the other side of its borders. Or so it seems.

We might be forgiven for believing that this little paradise still exists in the Arab world. True, Lebanon has no president, no functioning government and constant power cuts (I currently have three electricity outages a day, sometimes totalling six hours, without a generator). Reading by candlelight might seem as romantic as Milton – preferably without its physical effect on him – but it gets a little boring after a while.

Source: Lebanon is a sectarian nation, yet it has avoided civil war while the Middle East burns – here’s why

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2016 in Middle East

 

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Camp Code: How to Navigate a Refugee Settlement

Start with the obvious: not all refugee camps are the same. The experiences of some 60 million people — “one in every 122 humans,” according to the United Nations 1 — cannot be generalized. They live in tarp shelters, tents, shipping containers, or concrete buildings; in formal settlements administered by the UN, or in makeshift camps on the urban fringe. They are refugees, asylum seekers, stateless, internally displaced. Around the world, their numbers are increasing.
https://placesjournal.org/article/camp-code/

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2016 in Middle East, Reportages

 

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Who will fund the dream of rebuilding Syria back to its former glory?

It might seem obscene, even grotesque. But the businessmen, construction giants and entrepreneurs of Lebanon are already planning the rebuilding of a physically shattered and broken nation called Syria. With at least 280,000 dead – the statistics become more wobbly the longer the civil war continues – what’s the point of talking about the nation’s restoration, you may ask?  Well, who could be more expert than the men and women who have restored – not very successfully, it must be said – the glories of their own capital of Beirut after Lebanon’s 15-year civil war?

Who will fund the dream of rebuilding Syria back to its former glory? | Voices | The Independent
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/who-will-fund-the-dream-of-rebuilding-syria-a7076436.html
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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in Middle East

 

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What the killing of Mustafa Badreddine means for Hezbollah and the future of the Middle East

The announcement by Hezbollah that the death of Mustafa Badreddine in Syria was due to artillery fire by rebels fighting the Assad regime appeared, at first glance, to clarify just which of his many enemies have finally managed to catch up with him.

But in death, as in life, mystery and intrigue shrouded the man who has been held responsible for some of the most spectacular atrocities in the Middle East.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/mustafa-badreddine-hezbollah-killing-future-of-the-middle-east-a7030311.html

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Middle East

 

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How the life of Hezbollah’s Mustafa Badreddine tells the political history of the Middle East

For almost five years, UN investigators wanted to find Mustafa Badreddine. And now, at last, they know where he is: buried close to his brother-in-law, Imad Mugnieh, in the Rawdat Shahiyadayn cemetery in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Killed near Damascus airport by a shell fired by Syrian Islamist rebels – according to his Hezbollah comrades – the man accused of planning and organizing the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in 2005 is no longer available for questioning. His commander-in-chief, Hezbollah’s chairman Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, had promised to “cut off the hand” of anyone trying to capture Badreddine or his three accused fellow conspirators – and no-one dared.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/hezbollah-mustafa-badreddine-killed-syria-lebanon-beirut-middle-east-history-robert-fisk-a7030721.html

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Middle East

 

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Returning to the scene of a war crime: amid the vile slums of Sabra and Shatila, hope glows

Sabra and Shatila were the scene of war crimes. In September of 1982, Israel’s Lebanese Christian allies – watched by Israeli troops who had surrounded the Palestinian refugee camps – massacred up to 1,700 civilians. It was a place of horror and, much later, of memorial. The mass grave still lies beneath a tide of mud behind a stand of trees where Syrian refugees sell cheap shirts and DVDs. But the names of Sabra and Shatila are today associated with a shame which no one could have imagined 34 years ago .

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/returning-to-the-scene-of-a-war-crime-amid-the-vile-slums-of-sabra-and-shatila-hope-glows-a6901636.html

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2016 in Middle East

 

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