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Syracuse University Press
In the Path of Hizbullah

In the Path of Hizbullah

by Ahmad Hamzeh


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Of the many Islamist groups that have emerged within the Muslim world over the last two decades, perhaps none has had so great an impact on Middle Eastern and International affairs as Hizbullah, the Party of God. This group of mainly Lebanese Shìte Muslims gained both infamy and fame by its resort to militancy mixed with political pragmatism in the pursuit of its goals. The oscillation between these two extremes has left most scholars and policymakers perplexed.

This book serves as a pathway for understanding not only Hizbullah but also for other Islamist groups and their challenges to contemporary politics. A. Nizar Hamzeh examines the Hizbullah of Lebanon through a structural analysis using original and archival sources. Based on a constructed theoretical framework from a number of theories on crisis conditions, leadership, political parties and guerrilla warfare, In the Path of Hizbullah stands alone in its qualitative and quantitative treatment of one of the most complex contemporary Islamist organizations and provides a view of the party's future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815630531
Publisher: Syracuse University Press
Publication date: 12/28/2004
Series: Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East Ser.
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh is associate professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. He is the author of many journal articles on Islamic movements and coauthor (in Arabic) of The 1998 Lebanese Municipal Elections. His teaching and research interests include political theory and methodology, Islamic politics, and international law.

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In the Path of Hizbullah 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Beirut768 More than 1 year ago
This is a new expression that I learned in the wake of the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon In July 2006, describing the reason for the ability of Hezbollah fighters, up to now, to stand fast and defend their positions in Maroun el Raas and Bent Jbeil.
The man from whom I heard this `expression'- "intimacy with the terrain' was Anderson Cooper, of CNN.
Cooper also describes HZB as tenacious and clinging persistently to their land and villages

The violent attacks on Lebanon have been carried out by the elite of the elitist Israeli Army and were intended to have far reaching consequences. Actually, they've turned HZB from relatively marginal group in most Arab countries into a global luminary and a source of inspiration with divine and sacred influence in the Moslem world.

The notion that HZB could be coerced or inhibited by Israel shows a misunderstanding of the HZB psychology.

Hezbollah's men have spent many years fighting the Israelis in South Lebanon remaining on the front line, under constant threats by Apache Attack Helicopters; making a point they delight in their close calls with Allah.

Although the Israelis paid the piper they could not call the tune, meaning that although they bear the cost of their fighting initiative with Hezbollah, the Israelis are still unable to have authority over ending it, notably after a little more than four hellish weeks.
The fight with Israel is instrumental in the HZB rise to power, in addition to the support the Hezeb is gaining from hundreds of thousands in Lebanon.
The psychology of the HZB is an amalgam of Muslim faith and pride in their destinies. "What's written is ordained by Allah and there is no way out. This must be our road to deliverance".
In addition, there is an Old Persian Verse: "He who earns his bread by the sweat of his brow needs favours from no one". The Verse is 600BC and HZB literature is full of meanings along these lines, which describe the rise of the Shiite community in Lebanon like witnessing the birth of time that only fate has decreed.

Similar to the 16th Century Catholics in their choice of heroes, HZB grew up to believe that the image of themselves in their own eyes is more important than their image in the eyes of others. Anyone who seeks to restore dignity, by whatever means, can join them in this battle. They claim they sprang up with no personal demands or glory, because they who are in need of nothing are their own masters.
They built their own hospitals, schools, higher educational standards, financial org. and a well-spun web of infrastructures.

At a certain edge they were estranged with the late Prime Minister Hariri accusing certain hangers-on and retinue with equivocation and hypocrisy, which, in their views, are the occupational vices of many starts-up politicians in the Lebanon, and who permitted their own bigots to act in ways that tended to justify the HZB suspicions against them.

However, in the HZB literature they abhor the cult of demi-gods in whose wonder-working powers the Arabs were invited to put their faith that what others achieved in peaceful means were for naught except they only gained notoriety and little glory.
And lost much to their declared enemy - Israel.
The HZB criticized an Arab world where empty words are so often taken for deeds.
Perhaps we should not omit to appreciate this: many historians understood Shiizm as the Revolution in Islam.