October 23, 2009

IT WILL MAKE A FINE CAPITOL OF SOUTH LEBANON:

Beirut's Shiite bastion revives after '06 war (HAMZA HENDAWI, 10/23/09, Associated Press)

The sprawling Shiite suburb of south Beirut has made a comeback after the destruction wreaked by Israel during 2006 fighting, a symbol of the community's resilience at a time when its political patron, Hezbollah, is seeking a greater voice in Lebanon's government.

The district, called simply Dahiyah - meaning "the suburb" in Arabic - is the stronghold of Hezbollah, and was heavily targeted by Israel during its war with the militant Shiite group three years ago. The bombardment leveled Hezbollah's headquarters as well as entire blocks across the neighborhood.

Now dozens of newly built or repaired apartment blocs stand in place of those destroyed, the result of a reconstruction program led by Hezbollah, which receives millions of dollars a year in aid from its ally Iran.

Property prices are soaring. The district's main streets are congested bumper-to-bumper with cars, while uniformed Hezbollah members direct traffic. Commerce is thriving, restaurants are packed.


There is no Lebanon.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2009 6:23 AM
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