Every day Lebanon is being plunged further into a state of general insecurity, as chaos from the war in Syria seeps across the border.
Since its inception, Hezbollah’s clout within its community has been solid. However, in recent weeks, the Party of God has been facing increasing difficulties controlling its support base and stymieing discontent. These developments have led analysts to question whether or not Hezbollah is losing its grip on its followers.
The Arab Spring brought a host of new actors to the political stage. In Jordan, it pushed the Salafists to the fore, where some of the group’s more radical elements are now calling for holy war in neighbouring Syria.
The Arab Spring sent scores of sick and injured Libyans, fleeing their war- torn country, straight to Jordan, where the influx of patients is putting a lot of pressure on Jordanian hospitals and disrupting the lives of Libyan and Jordanian patients alike.
On a warm Friday afternoon, police cars blocked the roads around the Al Husseini mosque, where hundreds of men were kneeling for the noon prayers. At the end of the service, the crowds rose and marched in a compact protest behind a car bearing a banner for the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
A few kilometres separate the two Lebanese villages of Ersal and Qaa from the Syrian border, both of which have been unwillingly drawn into the violence of the Syrian uprising. Unrest has been brewing in the region for weeks and recently it was on the receiving end of intermittent gunfire from the Syrian army. The situation remains tense despite the fragile new ceasefire.
The Druze stronghold of Sweida, Syria, witnessed several pro-democracy protests last week. While the movement remains marginal, it is charged with symbolism: the Druze have long been considered the "spiritual cousins" of the Alawites, the religious group to which the Assad family belongs.
Chants erupt from the second floor of a decrepit building in Tripoli in the Sunni stronghold of Bab el-Tebbaneh. Young voices loudly sing "Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar," or "Come on, leave, Bashar," directed at the Syrian president, Bashar al- Assad. It has become the anthem of the Syrian revolution.
Odette Klysinska, a Catholic French native, sits in her living room in an affluent neighbourhood in Beirut, clutching her will in one hand, shocked to learn that it is no longer legally valid in the country she now calls home.
As the Syrian uprising enters its tenth month, the country’s economy is suffering. Since last March, the Syrian government has been cracking down on pro-democracy protests, and the once peaceful uprising has morphed into a full-blown armed rebellion in areas such as Homs, Hama and Jabal al-Zawiya.
Syrian refugees fleeing the brutal crackdown on citizens calling for an end to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime have encountered a sinister reception in neighbouring Lebanon.
Scores of buses carrying Syrians out of the country are waiting in uneven lines on the Lebanese-Syrian border for their paperwork to be processed. There are no Arab or Western tourists eager to cross to the other side, usually seen in hordes this time of year.
A wave of mysterious disappearances is befalling members of the Syrian opposition in Lebanon, where Syria’s military and intelligence apparatus had a strong presence during its occupation of the country from 1976 until 2005.
A soldier and an Islamist - both fleeing the crackdown on Syrian pro-democracy protesters and seeking refuge in neighbouring Lebanon - have discovered that they share similar views on the ongoing uprising.