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Thread: What we need is a...Hezbollah!!! -- Rebuilds South Beirut

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    Default What we need is a...Hezbollah!!! -- Rebuilds South Beirut

    nola still underwater

    bodies still unburied and the fam dissed and forgotten b.u.t. if we had a hezbullah...

    What we need is a...Hezbollah!!! -- Rebuilds South Beirut

    Hezbollah Rebuilds South Beirut
    Bassem Mroue - The Associated Press - 18/11/2007 - 22:29 | Hits: 99

    Lebanon‘s biggest construction project since downtown Beirut was rebuilt in the 1990s following the country‘s 15-year civil war — is being planned and directed by "Waad."

    The Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah has launched a massive project to rebuild south Beirut, devastated in last year‘s war with Israel — and it‘s paying for much of the construction with international donor funds that were meant to strengthen its top rival, the Lebanese government.

    But in south Beirut, long a Hezbollah stronghold, most of the families have promised to give their compensation — about $53,000 each — to the militant group to redevelop the devastated area in an ambitious plan likely to bolster Hezbollah‘s standing.

    It does not appear money from the United States and the European Union was ending up in the hands of Hezbollah, an ally of Iran and Syria which is considered a terrorist organization by Washington. Al-Jack said the American and EU donations — about $140 million and $110 million promised, respectively — were not earmarked for family compensation but for infrastructure and technical help.

    The European Union has not yet sent any reconstruction aid, waiting for a damage assessment by officials from the U.N., World Bank and Lebanese government, said Christiane Hohmann, a European Commission spokeswoman.

    "If this project succeeds, it will give credit to Hezbollah on a political as well as a popular level," Adnan Sayyed Hussein, a professor of international relations at Beirut‘s Lebanese University, said of the south Beirut reconstruction.

    A Saudi Foreign Ministry official said his country has "nothing to do with how the government distributes the money." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

    The $370 million campaign — Lebanon‘s biggest construction project since downtown Beirut was rebuilt in the 1990s following the country‘s 15-year civil war — is being planned and directed by "Waad," a branch of Hezbollah. It aims to transform the district, home to hundreds of thousands of people, mainly Shiite Muslims.

    It also will improve roads and build parking lots and gardens. The remaining 87 destroyed buildings are being rebuilt by individual owners who decided not to participate with Waad.

    One Dahiyeh resident, Ahmad Khalil, said the residents of his nine-story apartment building voted on whether to give their money to Waad to rebuild their home, which was destroyed along with the nearby Hezbollah‘s headquarters complex. Two-thirds of the families voted for Waad, so all went along with the decision.

    Immediately after the war, Hezbollah gave every family whose home was destroyed $12,000 to rent an apartment until their homes were rebuilt.

    The name "Waad" — Arabic for "Promise" — refers to a television address made by Hezbollah‘s leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah hours after the war ended on Aug. 14, 2006. Nasrallah declared victory and promised Hezbollah would help the Lebanese rebuild, saying, "Completing the victory can be done with reconstruction."

    As an AP reporter and photographer toured Dahiyeh recently, builders and architects were seen working at construction sites under close watch of Hezbollah members. A Hezbollah representative accompanied the AP journalists, since the militant group has restricted the media from going into the area without its permission.

    Dozens of workers also were preparing the foundation for a new building on the site that once was Nasrallah‘s Secretariat General building. But Hezbollah officials would not say whether new buildings planned for the site would again be used as a headquarters.



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