Friday, September 22, 2006

Beirut's two DIVINE rallies

Two rallies are under way in Beirut. Two rallies that vividly reflect the current political schism in Lebanon.

Today will be the big day in South Beirut. The Shiite Party Hezbollah is organising a huge rally to celebrate the party's 'divine victory' over the Israeli Army. The rally will take place in a huge square that has been prepared for the occasion not far from the destroyed quarters of South Beirut. It is not known if Sayed Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, will appear in person or if he will deliver a pre-recorded speech. There are fears that Isareli Army may seize the oppurtunity to assassinate Nasrallah if he makes an appearance. Today's 'Divine rally' will be a show of force by Hezbollah and its pro-Syria allies in addition to Michael Aoun's Movement.

On Sunday, Christian Maronite Lebanese Forces will organise its 'Martyrs Day' in the church of Harissa to the North of Beirut. It will be the first time that the Lebanese Forces organsie a public event of this size after being banned for more than 10 years. Lebanese Forces with its anti-Syria allies are expected to rally for this event to show their popularity.

Two rallies organised under religous banners; Though the two rallies are attracting support from across the sectarian communities, they reflect the role of religion in shaping Lebanon's politics. Whatever comes out of these two rallies will contribute to the polarization of Lebanon's political factions. The political tug-of-war shall continue.


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