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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Salaams everyone, This is my first time posting on shiachat though I've perused the forums many times before as a guest. I moved to Beirut last summer with my husband (he's from here, I'm an American convert with no arabic). While we are very close with my in-laws, because of the language barrier I'm having a very hard time making friends. I'm in the house most of the day with just my son (he's 2) and so there hasn't been much opportunity to just meet people. I've been getting increasingly lonely and so I thought I might try posting here. I'm really eager to meet other english speakers here in Beirut (just other ladies please, sorry brothers :P ) Thanks for reading this far!
Warning: contains music, some western-dressed women. Julia was born in Beirut, Lebanon on April 1, 1968 into a Greek Orthodox Christian family to a Lebanese father and Palestinian mother. She was educated at the Rosary Sisters Schools where she sang in the school choir. Growing up, she and her brother were heavily influenced by Ziad Rahbani's works. When she was 12 years old she recorded her first song, entitled "A Maman" at Elias Al Rahbani studios. This was introduced to her by her music teacher Fouad Fadel. She also recorded two songs, "C'est la Vie" & "Viens dans Ma Vie". On October 11, 2006, Julia announced a new single called "Ahibaii" (My loved ones). The lyrics are based on a letter sent by Hizbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah to the fighters in South Lebanon during the 2006 Summer War between Lebanon and Israel. The poet Ghassan Mataradapted the original text. The music is composed by Ziad, brother of Julia and arranged by Michel Fadel. The profits from the song's sale went to help the families of Hizbollah fighters and to all Lebanese who died during the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Sales eventually garnered three million dollars for the families of the Lebanese civilians, soldiers, security forces, and Hezbollah militants who have been killed in the Israel-Lebanon conflict. The sum was triple the original aim, which was only one million dollars. The families of Lebanese soldiers killed during operation Naher el-Bared also received a portion of the money.
Hezbollah members getting in position right before a match starts. It’s almost like they’ve done this before or something. We figured they’d cheat; they were Hezbollah, after all. But none of us—a team of four Western journalists—thought we’d be dodging military-grade flash bangs when we initiated this “friendly” paintball match. The battle takes place underground in a grungy, bunker-like basement underneath a Beirut strip mall. When the grenades go off it’s like being caught out in a ferocious thunderstorm: blinding flashes of hot white light, blasts of sound that reverberate deep inside my ears. As my eyesight returns and readjusts to the dim arena light, I poke out from my position behind a low cinder-block wall. Two large men in green jumpsuits are bearing down on me. I have them right in my sights, but they seem unfazed—even as I open fire from close range, peppering each with several clear, obvious hits. I expect them to freeze, maybe even acknowledge that this softie American journalist handily overcame their flash-bang trickery and knocked them out of the game. Perhaps they’ll even smile and pat me on the back as they walk off the playing field in a display of good sportsmanship (after cheating, of course). Instead, they shoot me three times, point-blank, right in the groin. From this distance (well within the 15-foot “safety zone”), paintballs feel like bee stings. I raise my hands in pain and confusion, signaling to the referee that I’m leaving the game. But the bigger one—a tall, muscular farm boy from the deep south of Lebanon who tonight is going by the name Khodor—isn’t finished with me yet: He wraps his giant hands around my body and tries to throw me over his shoulder with the kind of deftness that only comes from practice. I’m quick enough to break free and flee, but my teammate Ben isn’t so lucky. Khodor and his partner move past me in perfect military formation, plunging deeper into our defenses. Soon they apprehend Ben, pushing him ahead of them, human shield-style. To read the rest of the 6 pages... http://www.vice.com/read/paintballing-with-hezbollah-0000151-v19n3?Contentpage=1
Hezbollah Secretary General Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah says the United States, Israel, and some Arab states, as well as al-Qaeda, seek to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Press TV reports. “There is an Arab, Western, American, and Israeli insistence that there is no solution in Syria except toppling the Syrian government,” Nasrallah said in a televised address in Beirut on Thursday marking the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah Head of Security Imad Mughniyah. “Any alternative in Syria is better for Israel as the opposition is being sponsored by the US and the Arabs whose history is well-known… Israel believes that any new regime is better than Bashar al-Assad’s government,” he added. He noted that Syrian officials know that reforms are needed and that they are taking steps towards major changes. He also accused the US of “seeking destruction in Syria while ridiculing the reforms launched by President Assad.” Slamming some Arab states for their hostile stance against Damascus, he said “When we tell the Arab governments to negotiate with Syria on a political solution they answer that there is no time. How do you accept negotiation with Israel while you do not accept to negotiate with an Arab state?” Nasrallah also accused Lebanon’s March 14 alliance of instigating violence in Syria, denouncing the alliance for "sending weapons to Syria.” Hezbollah leader also noted that the Syrian president has never bowed to the demands of the US and Israel. Turning to Israel’s role in the region he said “We should observe Israel’s stance on what is going on today in the region, especially on what is happening in Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.” The Lebanese leader stressed Hezbollah's strategic ties with Damascus and expressed optimism that Syria will take major steps toward significant reforms in the face of Western media propaganda and foreign-funded unrest in the country. http://youtu.be/s82Q0YF_8XQ
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