Hazem Al Amin

Thank you, Qatar

Some Lebanese events coincide with the revolution in Syria.

- A Lebanese TV station, which – up until the recent past – was a rostrum of the “rejectionist” and “anti-corruption” option, became nowadays the target of the Resistance’s “suspicions” just because it decided not to remain silent after the Syrian army killed one of its cameramen. The publisher of Burhan Ghalioun’s e-mails, whose newspaper abstained from mentioning e-mails “allegedly” sent by the Syrian president and his family, appeared on a “right-wing” Lebanese TV station and started attacking Qatar’s Al-Jazeera. The Qatari station thus became the station of “petrodollars” as soon as it dissented from the Syrian regime. Prior to that dissent, the “rejectionist” newspaper had not published a single word of criticism, as its tradition held Al-Jazeera as a world media icon before it started showering it with suspicions overnight.

- During a session of parliament, Free Patriotic Movement MP Ziad Aswad launched an unprecedented attack on Arab revolutions for bringing Islamists to power. Immediately after MP Aswad came his lay ally, Hezbollah MP Ali Ammar. Aswad talked about the Nahda Movement forcing women to wear veils in Tunisia, while his lay ally provided him with papers on how the Iranian regime was abstaining from forcing women to wear veils in Iran and saying that Armenian women are wandering around unveiled in Tehran. During this time as well, no March 14 MP attempted to set the Aounist MP right by explaining that the Nahda Movement is not forcing women to wear the veil, that it issued a document whereby the Koran is not a source of legislation in Tunisia, and that Tehran – “[Lebanon’s] new caring mother” – flogs unveiled women. No March 14 MP was around to remind MP Aswad that the banner of his great ally, i.e. Hezbollah, holds an expression that is not included in the Memorandum of Understanding, namely the “Islamic Revolution in Lebanon.” Rather, the March 14 coalition was busy with the gas ships issue. Following the end of MP Aswad’s address, he and his lay ally had a conversation, which spectators could not hear. Yet no one expects the Hezbollah MP to have inquired about the health of Aswad’s fellow FPM figure Brigadier General Fayez Karam, who was released after serving a two-year sentence for having been in contact with the Israelis.

- The neighborhoods of Basta al-Tahta and Noueiri in Beirut witnessed about a year or so ago clashes between Hezbollah and the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (Al-Ahbash). Before that, these neighborhoods also were the starting point for Hezbollah fighters in the great May 7 battle, which is likened to the “Great Battle of Badr” (a battle pitting Prophet Muhammad’s Forces against Quraysh men guarding a major caravan returning to Mecca). Nowadays, posters are up across these two neighborhoods to welcome the visit of Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, “the patriarch of Resistance and Liberation.” One gets the feeling that the visit and the welcome posters belong to a world of mystery that has started to seep into Beirut in the wake of the Syrian revolution. This world is witnessing media and political dissents and the awakening of mad instincts in which eyes are blinded into seeing Hezbollah as the son of the French revolution, which lays the foundations of a lay state and society. This is a truly entertaining world, where visions bear a greater resemblance to dreams.

It is a world where Sufi figure Al-Nafri’s saying is taken in reverse: The narrower the vision, the greater the expression.

This article is a translation of the original, which appeared on the NOW Arabic site on Friday April 20, 2012