Sectarian impact of war on Lebanon

Anthony Shadid, always supplying fine, lyrical journalism, worries about the future of his country of origin and the reopening of sectarian wounds. Some of the comments of the the people he interviewed in this article really made me wince.

I edited the English translations of articles today written by a couple of friends in Lebanon -- Hassan Dawoud, the writer and editor a major cultural weekly and the journalist and poet Youssef Bazzi -- and they will both be shortly online (in Arabic, English and French) at babelmed.net, the Mediterranean culture site. Hassan and Youssef's articles make me worry about the psychological impact of this war, which seems much greater than the 1996 Israeli operation Grapes of Wrath (then again, so is the damage). Youssef -- your classic mad, intense Lebanese poet -- has a wonderful turn of phrase to describe Lebanon in his piece: "a P.O. box for violent opportunists."
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.