[Marxism] NY Times profiles Hezbollah
schaffer at optonline.net
Sat Aug 5 21:03:52 MDT 2006
I was waiting for the Times to run a piece like this. i know they waited
as long as they could:
Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah
[Haider Fayadh, left, watched the Hezbollah channel at his cafe in Tyre
on Friday. Hezbollah took care of a huge electricity bill he could not pay.]
By SABRINA TAVERNISE
Published: August 6, 2006
TYRE, Lebanon, Aug. 5 — Hezbollah paid for his wife’s Caesarean section.
It brought olive oil, sugar and nuts when he lost his job and even
covered the cost of an operation on his broken nose.
Ahmed Awali, a security guard, ran out of money after a daughter was
born. He told one of his neighbors, and soon bags of groceries arrived.
Like many poor Shiites across southern Lebanon, Ahmed Awali, 41, a
security guard at an apartment building in this southern city, has
received charity from Hezbollah for years. He says he is not a member.
He does not even know the names of those who helped him.
Hezbollah fighters move like shadows across the mountains of southern
Lebanon; its workers in towns and villages, equally as ghostly, have
settled deeply into people’s lives.
They cover medical bills, offer health insurance, pay school fees and
make seed money available for small businesses. They are invisible but
omnipresent, providing essential services that the Lebanese government
through years of war was incapable of offering.
Their work engenders a deep loyalty among Shiites, who for years were
the country’s underclass and whose sense of pride and identity are
closely intertwined with Hezbollah.
Their presence in southern Lebanon is so widespread that any Israeli
military advance will do little to extricate the group, which is as much
a part of society as its Shiite faith.
“The trees in the south say, ‘We are Hezbollah.’ The stones say, ‘We are
Hezbollah,’ ” said Issam Jouhair, a car mechanic. “If the people cannot
talk, the stones will say it.
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