March 24, 2009

JUST ANOTHER POLITICAL PARTY:

Hezbollah Spends Millions to Rebuild Stronghold (AFP, 3/24/09)

Salam Hassoun is thrilled by the new flat Hezbollah has built for her to replace the one Israeli bombs destroyed during the 2006 summer war on the Lebanese Shiite movement.

The war ravaged Beirut's southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold that includes the teeming neighbourhood of Haret Hreik, where a mammoth Hezbollah-orchestrated reconstruction drive is underway.

The deafening explosions of Israeli bombs have been replaced by the grinding cacophony of earth-movers and cement mixers contracted to rebuild 241 of the 282 buildings destroyed in the bombing.

The project, dubbed Waad (pledge in Arabic), has won the heart of Hassoun but has also raised a storm of political dust between Hezbollah and the government, whose authority in the southern suburbs has lagged for decades.

"I used to dream of an apartment where the living room was separated from the dining area and where the kitchen would be much bigger, and Waad gave me that," Hassoun told AFP during a Hezbollah-organised tour of Haret Hreik.

"May God protect (Hezbollah chief Hassan) Nasrallah. He has kept his promise," she said from her ninth-storey flat in one of several spanking new towers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 24, 2009 7:26 AM
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