(My Middle East)

77 days with a journalist, Lebanon, and a list of non sequiturs

Posts Tagged ‘Hezbollah

Summer reading Vol. 2 | In the Path of Hizbullah

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What happened to Vol. 1.0 you ask , well that was Killing Mr Lebanon, which I already wrote about in past posts, and received a stellar rating of 4.5 out of 5.

The second item on my reading list is In the Path of Hizbullah by Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh. For those who want an understanding of what Hizbollah is, how it works, and what it’s about, that isn’t tainted by Western preconceptions, this is a good place to start. Hamzeh goes through detailed numbers graphs and research to give you an idea of every working part of the Hizbollah apparatus (if you do get your hands on a copy of the book, check out the graph on page 46 that shows all 19 sections of Hezbollahs operation.) That being said, its not a completely ideal work on Hezbollah. The writing tries a little too hard to be academic with convoluted sentence structure and questionable word choice making the book not easily approachable for an average reader (but at only 150 pages it’s not so bad). Also occasionally the Hamzeh can be a little overly glowing about Hezbollah, which is understandable given the sensitive nature of his subject, but is also something to look out for.

Some of the key points I pulled out of the book:

  • Hezbollah is a committed and principled organization, it has a complex structure of which the resistance arm is only part. Hamzeh steers clear of an in depth analysis of Hezbollah’s weapons, and instead focuses on their political and social network.
  • Hezbollah’s social services are far more advanced and help far more people than does the government of Lebanon, not to mention most other small states.
  • Hezbollah’s tie to Iran is difficult to understate, millions of dollars for its political and military aims are channeled through the supreme leader. That being said, Hezbollah is not tied to the government of Iran, but rather the supreme leader, Khamenei, who is essentialy at the head of Hezbollah’s religious government based on Velayat-e Faqih. Khameni and can provide final arbitration and guidance for Hezbollahs leaders.
  • Hamzeh thinks Hezbollah uses politics and democracy to achieve its aims, not because it is a democratic institution. In fact the system of Velayat-e Faqih is not very democratic at all.
  • Islamic order is it’s the final goal. Currently resistance is the key to achieving that. Hezbollah will continue to resist: until Jerusalem.

Final Rating (out of 5): 3.7

Summer Reading Ratings

Killing Mr Lebanon by Nicholas Blanford: 4.5

In the Path of Hizbullah by Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh: 3.7

From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman

Engaging the Muslim World by Juan Cole

The Inheritance by David E. Sanger

The Great War for Civilization by Robert Fisk


Written by stephenddockery

June 22, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Election Maddness

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No time for a full post, because I’m still at work. But quickly:
I spent the day with Dana driving around Jbeil, Batroun and Koura.
1)Almost fell of the mountain in Jbeil (which means mountain) a few times, White knuckled the entire way up. But once we got to the top ridge it was incredible, beautiful towns nice people waving flags and wearing orange and red shirts (the opposing parties) camping out and celebrating right next to each other.
2) Batroun, went into more election areas (went into about 12 total) met with Antione Zahra at the Lebanese Forces stronghold, asked him a tough question which he dodged.
3) Went to Koura saw the Greek Orthodox who talked completely different and didn’t understand what I was saying. Saw SSNP and Lebanese Communist Flags and all sorts of different political parties. Very unusual place.

The jist: AOUN, everywhere. If I had to predict just by the amount of Orange Green and Yellow I saw on the street (FPM, Marada, Hezbollah) I would say March 8 wins by a landslide in the districts I was covering. I heard the same for Baabda and Aley and other districts around the office. So if I had to make an early prediction it would be March 8 and just a determination of by how much

Turn it Aoun

Turn it Aoun

Written by stephenddockery

June 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm