Monday, March 24, 2008

The Lebanese civil war

The al Jazeera documentary on the Lebanese civil war is very very good. I've just started watching it and I'm shocked at how little Lebanon's problems have changed since its independence and till today. Has anyone noticed how Arab cities in old video recordings always seemed much tidier and less crowded than they are today? I actually spotted parking spaces, roads with little traffic in the middle of city centres and there was a LOT less advertising and rubbish strewn everywhere. The other thing which I found quite interesting was that some of the PLO's best work seemed to have been done following the 1967 war when most Arab governments were too weak to control it. Can we say there is a direct corelation between the level of "official" Arab support for the resistance and its level of effectiveness? The documentary itself is actually quite sad and for the first time I think I can imagine how someone Lebanese would feel to see everything fall apart around them. One thing about these documentaries is how they tend to focus on "action" shots with lots of shooting and the civilian is only worthy of camera time when they are clutching their intestines or something.

This morning I woke up and felt like listening to songs by Khaled al Habr and Marcel Khalifeh

9 comments:

Nicolas said...

All episodes of the documentary can be found on google video... with english subtitles
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=The+War+Of+Lebanon&sitesearch=

and after listening to Khaled al Habr and Marcel Khalifeh you could also listen to the legendary Fairoz ;-)

to get an overview about the events have a look at the wikipedia article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_Civil_War
(As with all articles in wikipedia keep in mind that it is open to manipulations from "interested groups" of all sides)
if you feel overwhelmed & confused (you will ;-)) but still interested read Robert Fisk's "Pity the nation"
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pity-Nation-Lebanon-at-War/dp/0192801309


@Wassim
I hope it is OK to post all these links - they are obviously neither spam nor advertisement - i just thought they could help to shed some light :-)

nadia n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arima said...

Thank you thank you thank you...I was just going to ask where you got this from and the Nicholas came forward with the links. I've seen the first part of this but have never got round to watching the rest so inshallah I will finish the rest and give you an opinion.

As to the roads seeming tidier and less crowded...well that is a natural result of the population explosion.

The Syrian Brit said...

Take it from someone who's been there, done that, seen the movie, and got the T-shirt: VERY little has changed since the ugly days of the (un)Civil War..
And for all you can say about Robert Fisk, I think his book, 'Pity the Nation' is one of the most powerful narratives of that era...

zuni said...

The PLO's best work was done following the 1967 war? Are you referring to the 1968 Athens hijacking, or the 1970 bus massacre in Nahariya? Maybe the murder of Israeli athletes at the Munich olympics in 1972. Excellent work - you should be very proud.

nadia n said...

Uh, well off the top of my head since the civil war there's the decline of the Maronite nationalism as their divided between the sunnah-shia pissing contest, instead of being divided over Arab v pro-WEstern causes, and now everyone being united around hating Palestinians as opposed to being divided over their cause.

Though if by nothing changes you meant that there's sectarianism/tribalism/corruption and people really hate each other, then ok.

Nobody said...

Has anyone noticed how Arab cities in old video recordings always seemed much tidier and less crowded than they are today? I actually spotted parking spaces, roads with little traffic in the middle of city centres and there was a LOT less advertising and rubbish strewn everywhere.

I bet any city should seem much tidier and less crowded before it gets hit by a demographic explosion that doubles and triples the country's population in the span of two-three decades

Libanos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libanos said...

You can watch all the 15 episodes of Lebanon War at this Site:

tyros.leb.net/lebanon_war

Also, there are some nice songs here:

tyros.leb.net/janoub/liberation.html