"Sidon, 'Ain al-Hilweh and the villages are only the beginning"

by Elias Khoury
published in MER131

This article, by the Lebanese novelist and literary critic, Elias Khoury, appeared in the Beirut daily, al-Safir, on February 18, 1985, immediately following what Israel has termed the first stage of its withdrawal from Lebanon. Khoury highlights the contradictions of the current situation in the region: while the invasion dealt the Palestinian national movement a serious setback, this same invasion created the basis for a major Israeli defeat and the victory of the Lebanese national resistance.

Arabs in Yiwu, Confucius in East Beirut

by Roschanack Shaery
published in MER270

The September 11, 2001 attacks marked the beginning of large-scale trade between the Middle East and mainland China in the modern era. New visa restrictions in the United States -- until then the number-one trading partner of Arab countries -- forced Arab merchants to find business destinations in various Chinese cities. Statistics attest to the intensification of Sino-Arab trade: In 2004, the volume was less than $36 billion but in 2011 it reached nearly $200 billion. The Chinese government’s goal is to boost trade to $300 billion in 2014.

Refugee 101

Palestinians in Lebanon Show Refugees from Syria the Ropes

by Sarah E. Parkinson | published April 3, 2014

Crossing the border at Masna‘, al-‘Abboudiyya or Mashari‘ al-Qa‘a, Syrian refugees entering Lebanon face an immediate choice: Stay in the tented settlements in the north and the Bekaa Valley or make their way to coastal cities such as Beirut and Sidon. Their experiences will vary greatly depending on the choice they make. The tented settlements are exposed to the elements, lack privacy and have virtually no job opportunities, but are accessible to aid providers. By contrast, refugees from Syria often have family connections in the coastal cities. Though Beirut and Sidon are expensive and crowded, there are more varied accommodations, schooling options and limited chances for employment.

Jansen, The Battle of Beirut

by Ibrahim Abu-Lughod
published in MER114

Michael Jansen, The Battle of Beirut: Why Israel Invaded Lebanon (London: Zed Books, 1982).

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The Peace Now Demonstration of February 10, 1983

published in MER114

This account by Shulamit Har-Even appeared in Yediot Aharanot on February 14, 1983. It was translated from Hebrew by Israel Shahak. According to Shahak, who was present at the demonstration himself, the pro-Sharon crowd was made up of West Bank settlers (“Gush Emunim types”) and young yeshiva students of the Agudat Israel Party, both of these largely Ashkenazi, and a separate group of young Oriental Jews brought in on special buses from Beit Shemesh. Shahak observed that while the Peace Now crowd was continuously joined by new marchers, virtually no individuals joined the pro-Sharon group during the demonstration.

Maxime Rodinson Looks Back

by Joan Mandell , Joe Stork
published in MER269

Maxime Rodinson (1915-2004) was a pioneering scholar of Islam and the Middle East, as well as a prominent Marxian public intellectual. A product of classical Orientalist training, he was professor of Old Ethiopic and South Arabian languages at the Sorbonne. His scholarly sensibility was historical-materialist, a perspective he brought to his famous biography of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (1961), as well as later publications including Islam and Capitalism (English edition, 1973), Marxism and the Muslim World (English, 1979) and Cult, Ghetto and State: The Persistence of the Jewish Question (1983). Rodinson was a contributing editor of Middle East Report from 1988 to 2000.

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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Pictures from the North

by Marie-Christine Aulas
published in MER118

Nadia

Fifty-two years old, with an opulent and well-rounded shape. A head of hair that once tried to be reddish. Despite her weight, an energy and dynamism that say a lot about her will. She is a woman who is mistress of her surroundings, who dominates places -- in this case, the Villa Nadia.

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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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"There Is No Room for Any Palestinian in Lebanon"

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER118

Abu Arz (“father of the cedar”) is the symbolic name taken by Etienne Saqr, born in Haifa to Lebanese parents, leader and commander-in-chief of the Guardians of the Cedars. The Guardians of the Cedars were born with the Lebanese civil war, out of the Party of Lebanese Renewal, itself established in 1969 as part of the Christian right. At that time, the Phalangists and the National Liberal Party (Ahrar), which were old established parties, did not want to avow openly some of their own orientations. This might have damaged their relations with other Lebanese political forces and hurt their standing with Arab countries. The more extreme elements, such as the poet Sa‘id ‘Aql, founded the Party of Lebanese Renewal.