From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER108

It may never be possible to know who killed Bashir Gemayel. No one had more blood on their hands from the last eight years of civil war than the president-elect; his many enemies cut across the range of political and sectarian divisions in Lebanon. The circumstances and scale of the attack suggest that it involved at least the cooperation of some elements within his Phalange Party.

Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose

by Lee O'Brien
published in MER118

Etel Adnan, Sitt Marie Rose (trans. Georgina Kleege) (Sausalito, CA: Post-Apollo Press, 1982).

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Randal, Going All the Way

by Eric Rouleau
published in MER118

Jonathan Randal, Going All the Way: Christian Warlords, Israeli Adventurers and the War in Lebanon (New York: Viking Press, 1983).

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Campaign of Terror

Car Bombings in Lebanon

by Lee O'Brien
published in MER118

On September 17, 1981, a car booby-trapped with 300 kilograms of TNT exploded in front of the Joint Forces headquarters in Sidon, killing 21 people and wounding 96. Within the next three days, three other serious explosions occurred throughout Lebanon: a bomb in the grounds of a cement factory in Shakka in the north, where four people were killed and eight injured; a car bomb in Beirut’s southern suburb of Hayy al-Salloum which left three dead and four wounded; and a bomb explosion in the popular Salwa cinema in Barbir, west Beirut, where a Bruce Lee film was playing, which killed five people and injured 26. [1]

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George Hawi, Problems of Strategy, Errors of Opposition

by
published in MER118

Criticism and Defeat: An Introduction to George Hawi

A secondary objective of Israel’s invasion of Lebanon was to strike at the forces of the Arab left, which since 1967 had made Beirut their intellectual and, in many cases, operational center. Israel did not fully achieve this objective, just as it failed in several other of its war aims. Nonetheless, the invasion marks an end to a certain period in the historical development of the Arab left, and particularly the Lebanese left.

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Report from Lebanon

by Joe Stork
published in MER118

I flew into Beirut on May 17. As we descended over the city, what struck me was the many patches of vacant land, obvious gaps in the space of urban lives, large empty lots of red clay with milliards of glass and metal shards and slivers, glinting in the brilliant morning sun. Approaching the airport, we flew closer, over the ripped slum camps of Sabra, Shatila and Burj al-Barajna. Amidst them, a golf course, bizarrely green, from another time, like the postcards I found in the Hamra shops.

Reflections on a Village in Time of War

by Michael Gilsenan
published in MER133

It is easy to talk about “then.” The “now” is far more difficult. Memories confronted with that “now” take on a sense of fantasy and unease. A strange light is shed over the inner landscape by the changes in the outer. Since I speak of Lebanon, the light is also lurid. I am not sure what shadows it casts back onto the “Lebanon” of a dozen or so years ago. Nor do I quite know how to write out vertigo onto the page, or that almost stifling feeling of arrest, the lurch into a time where suddenness and absence of movement come together to create a dreamworld of rushed and still impressions. In the three days of my return, that dreamtime never left me. Inscribing it now, already a different now, I take refuge in a certain distance.

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A Lebanon Primer

by Tom Russell
published in MER133

Lebanon is a microcosm of the peoples, cultures and religions found in the Middle East region as a whole. Under Ottoman rule from the 16th century until World War I, that province of mountainous eastern Syria known as Mt. Lebanon was home and refuge for various religious and ethnic communities. Lebanon has a long history of foreign intervention. In the 19th century, European powers established their trade and investment interests under the guise of “protecting” one or another group within Lebanon. The French adopted the Maronite Catholics and Russia the Orthodox Christians of Syria and Palestine, while the British favored the Druze. This insertion of foreign interests occurred in the course of a protracted shift of power in the Mt. Lebanon area from Druze to Maronites and contributed to the tensions among the various communities and ruling clans.

Roots of the Shi'i Movement

by Salim Nasr
published in MER133

Many saw the Shi‘i revolt in west Beirut and its southern suburbs in February 1984 as the sudden and unexpected mass uprising of a rapidly expanding social group in the midst of a tumultuous religious revivalism. But the February uprising was a significant social movement, with roots in the profound social transformation of the Shi‘i community over the course of 30 years, from Lebanese independence at the end of World War II to the beginning of the civil war in 1975.

"People are suffering tremendously"

Interview with Dan Connell

by James Paul
published in MER133

Dan Connell, a contributing editor to this magazine, is executive director of Grassroots International, a relief agency working in Lebanon and the Horn of Africa. Jim Paul spoke with him in New York on June 17, 1985.

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