“Two things about my own life became clear: I really did understand both sides, and I didn’t understand them at all.”
Gerard Russell’s account of disappearing Middle Eastern religions has an elegiac quality. It’s heartrending and often infuriating.
"I sell exclusively to fellow Shi'ites and to Christians," says one Lebanese arms dealer. "Demand from Christians has increased immensely."
Cinema has long been a critical medium for exploring religious themes in mainstream culture. Today, filmmakers continue to find a distinctive religious voice.
Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon in massive numbers. The situation threatens to overwhelm a country already struggling to maintain a delicate peace.
It’s possible that Hezbollah was inviting a sharp Israeli response when it decided to cross into Israel, ambush an Israeli patrol and kidnap two soldiers. In any case, the Israelis’ decision to launch land and air strikes on Hezbollah strongholds and on Lebanon’s infrastructure has only burnished Hezbollah’s credentials.Far from turning the Lebanese against the “Party of God," Israel’s military response has bolstered Hezbollah’s self-appointed role as defender of the nation. In fact, it has made Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a hero throughout the Arab and Muslim worlds.