HARET HREIK, LEBANON – I have been to Haret Hreik, Hezbollah’s dahiyeh and de-facto “capital” south of Beirut, many times. But I didn’t expect to see it on my most recent trip. Every Lebanese person I know warned me to stay out of there. The destruction from the summer war is severe and Hezbollah’s fear and loathing of visitors, especially Americans, is even more so. The most paranoid party in Lebanon is more paranoid than ever before. Best to steer clear of their base.
That was before I met the resident moderate Shia cleric Sayyed Mohammad Ali El Husseini, an outspoken enemy of Hezbollah from within the community. I interviewed him in his modest apartment, and afterward he showed me around the bombed out parts of his neighborhood.
“You can take pictures,” he said. “Don’t worry. No one will do anything or say anything to you if you are with me.”
Sunday, January 21, 2007
A visit to Haret Hreik
Here is a fine article by Micheal Totten, a blogger and independent jounalist on his latest visit to Lebabnon. Here's the opening: