Dahr Jamail

Resistance Being Rebuilt Too

BEIRUT, May 7 (IPS) - As reconstruction resumes in the heavily bombed southern Beirut district Dahiyeh, the signs are evident of a rebuilding of resistance against Israel and the U.S.-backed government, largely by way of increased support for Hezbollah. Hezbollah is leading much of the reconstruction. Dahiyeh was bombed by the Israelis last year because it was seen as a Hezbollah stronghold. At least 15,000 houses were destroyed. Many local people accuse the U.S.-backed Lebanese government of refusal to help reconstruction in pro-Hezbollah areas like Dahiyeh. 

Palestinian Refugees Learn to Substitute Government

BEIRUT, May 2 (IPS) - The influx of refugees from Palestinian areas and the inability of the government to do much for them has strengthened a unique NGO providing essential services. The Popular Aid for Relief and Development (PARD), which began working in the early 1980s before registering as an official NGO with the Lebanese government in 1990, has taken it upon itself to provide environmental services, health education, medical services and community development centres for refugees. 

Tensions Run High After Sunni Killings

BEIRUT, 27 April (IPS) - The killings of two pro-government Sunni Muslims has raised tensions across Lebanon. Rival political leaders have called for calm amidst fear that the killings could spark civil strife. The Lebanese police found the bodies Thursday of a pro-government supporter and a 12- year-old boy abducted earlier this week. The abduction was believed to be in retaliation for the killing earlier this year of a Shia Muslim opposition activist. 

One Unexploded Bomb Per Person

SRIFA, Southern Lebanon, 27 April (IPS) - Close to a million unexploded bombs are estimated to litter southern Lebanon, according to UN forces engaged in the hazardous task of removing them. The United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) was created by the Security Council in 1978 to confirm an Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and restore international peace and security. After the war last year it has a new job on its hands. 

This Protest Won't Go Away

BEIRUT, Apr 25 (IPS) - Lebanon is caught in political gridlock in the face of sustained opposition to the U.S.-backed government. The government is refusing to give in to opposition demands for more representation. The government says it is there to stay; so do the protestors. Their opposition is very visible. Scores of tents, many with solar powered television sets, wooden walls and doors, and cooking facilities fill several huge parking lots at the foot of the heavily barricaded headquarters of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora’s government. 

Tempers Rise Over Reconstruction

BINT JBAIL, 23 April 2007 (IPS) - Eight months after Israeli attacks left devastation across many villages in southern Lebanon, reconstruction comes with mounting anger towards both Israel and the central Lebanese government.The war which raged between Israel and Hezbollah Jul. 12 to Aug. 14 last year destroyed many villages in the south, and left others badly damaged. Starting from within hours of the ceasefire, about a million people who had fled southern Lebanon began to return, many to wrecked homes. 

Lebanon Destroyed, Destabilised, Desperate for Change

The 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah has left Lebanon heavily damaged and politically destabilised, with hopes for a better future only dimming as the New Year approaches. Before Jul. 12 this year when the war broke out, many people in this nation of four million situated north of Israel believed they were finally shaking away the last of the dust from the 15-year civil war 1975-90 which decimated the country. That civil war was fought between extreme Muslim and Christian groups. Lebanon is now believed to be about 60 percent Muslim.