Besieged: A Doctor's Story of Life and Death in Beirut

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Giannou, a Canadian surgeon and self-described PLO member, garnered media attention in 1982 when he claimed to have witnessed atrocities by the Israeli Defense Forces (a claim that the IDF has refuted) during their military action in southern Lebanon while he was working at a PLO-run hospital. Now he offers an admittedly partisan and ``simplified'' account of his later years at a Palestine Red Crescent facility in Beirut's Shatila refugee camp, which was under siege between 1985 and 1988 by warring Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian factions. Giannou did not function as an outsider providing medical services: he also arranged secret gatherings among leaders of various PLO factions under hospital cover. Here he glorifies the guerrilla fighters on whom he operated and tells of meeting with PLO leaders of various stripes (from the more moderate to those who speak of ``liberating all of Palestinep. 82 ''); he even numbers members of Hizbollah--the Iranian-backed Shi'ite fundamentalist group responsible for hostage-takings and other atrocities--among his friends. In 1988 Giannou returned to Canada after realizing that he had gotten ``lost in his passion'' and had become ``inefficient as a doctor.'' Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Giannou was the primary surgeon and medical resource for the Shatila camp in Beirut from October 1985 until January 1988. During those 26 months of duty, he performed nearly 700 operations (200 major procedures) under some of the most primitive wartime conditions imaginable. Shatila, ``a self-sufficient, isolated community of 3,500 people living in 200 yards by 200 yards, under attack, under siege,'' was surrounded by elements of Amal (a Syrian-backed Lebanese faction) for nearly three years. During Giannou's tour of duty, the camp endured a four-day battle in January 1986, a 20-day battle in April 1986, and an incredible 134 days of nonstop attack that accounted for 765 wounded and 110 dead residents. Besieged is a well-written work that will bring home the horrors that abound when a country unravels: particularly a country beset as Lebanon is with internecine and international warfare. Highly recommended for all collections.-- David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780940793804
  • Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/1991
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 65.00 (w) x 92.50 (h) x 1.25 (d)

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