- Advertising Agencies
- Architects

- Banks

- Car Dealers
- Car Rental
- Casinos
- Commerce
- Consulting
- Cosmetology
- Craft

- Data Processing &
Computer Systems
- Decoration &

- Editing
- Elementary Schools
- Engineering &
- Environment / Waste
Management Services
- Express Delivery

- Fashion
- Financial Services
- Food & Beverage
- Furnished Apartments

- Health / Beauty
- Higher & Vocational
- Home Appliances
- Hotels 3
- Hotels 4(A)
- Hotels 4(B)
- Hotels 5
- Hotel & Restaurant

- Industry
- Insurance
- Interior Design /
- Internet

- Jewelleries

- Lighting
- Luxury

- Media
- Music

- Office Equipment /
- Oriental Carpets
- Outside Decoration

- Printing
- Promotional Materials

- Real Estate
- Recruitment
- Restaurants

- Sanitary Wares
- Security
- Services
- Sweets

- Taxi
- Telecommunication &
Mobile Phones
- Transport
- Travel Agencies
- Technical Studies

- Watches
- Water Treatment



Back to archives Back to news
French Version

Assassination of Hajj adds to pessimism among Beirutis

A car bomb explosion on Wednesday targeting a senior army commander, General Francois Hajj, marked the seventh in a string of political assassinations that have daunted Lebanon since the 2005 attack on former Premier Rafik Hariri.

The latest tragedy comes at a time when the nation continues to suffer in a deep crisis of political division preventing the election of a new president.

The Daily Star went to the Beirut neighborhood of Hamra for a local perspective.

Monday morning's attack in the Christian suburb of Baabda that killed Hajj was the first of such strikes strike against a Lebanese army official. With the head of the military, General Michel Suleiman, being a likely candidate to take up presidency, Hajj had been considered a probable replacement.

As chief of operations, Hajj led the military campaign and eventual victory against Fatah al-Islam at the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli last summer.

The killing of Hajj and its timing raised speculation as to who may be behind the bombing. The attack's occurrence in the highly secure neighborhood of Baabda, home to several international embassies and the military's headquarters, also raised questions about security capabilities in Lebanon.

"People have gotten used to these attacks happening over and over again and anyone you ask will express this feeling of numbness. With the way things continue to be, it is no surprise that another attack has happened. However, what is especially crucial about this attack is that it happened to an army general and at a time when the country has no president to turn to. This element worries me more then anything else," said Omar Doughan, 22.

For Mahmoud Kodeih, 29, political violence in Lebanon has become common game.

"We are used to these things happening," said Kodeih. "I go out and carry on with my regular routine regardless of when this happens. News to me is just something I see on TV."

Marwan Hrajli, 17, also felt apathy, saying: "We have gotten so accustomed to the situation that it doesn't affect us anymore. I don't think many people care about this stuff as much as they used to."

Many respondents indicated anxiety and added insecurity over the fact that the attack targeted a military commander. Speculation over internal involvement were especially common among those who spoke to The Daily Star.

"Those whose responsibility is to ensure security over the civilian population have failed in securing themselves," said Sarah Zgheib, 20. "I feel that internal involvement from within the army must have taken place for such an act to be carried out. Nothing can be expected anymore, especially under our current condition of not having a president."

Ibrahim Berjawi, 72, echoed this view.

"There are many people, be it in the government or Syria or whoever, that just don't want a president for Lebanon. They benefit more from the way the country exists now, which is under chaos. What happened today is a very important sign," said Berjawi. "It indicates that the army is not capable of protecting its own."

"This latest situation was internally cooked in their kitchen," said Kodeih.

Despite the common theme of insecurity respondents expressed a common admiration for the army.

Yousef Hishi, 50, said the crisis existing in the political sector has an effect on all other sectors as well, be it civil society or military security.

"The continuing divisions that are paralyzing the government will affect the security for sure," he said. "The army was hit and this is something scary. The connection between the slaying of General Hajj and the current elections is undeniable."

Others suggested a link to Fatah al-Islam.

"It's too easy to just connect this to the elections," said Khaled, 38. "Although a lot has happened politically in the past couple of months, we shouldn't forget that we not too long ago defeated a militia in the north that may still want revenge."

The reccurrence of politically motivated violence has left many frustrated and fed up.

"The situation is bad all around and I am just disgusted with the whole thing," said Marie Dib, 40. "I travel regularly and I can tell you that Lebanon is the best place in the world but these politicians are ruining it dramatically. As far as I'm concerned, all the politicians should be thrown into the sea."

Beirut 13-12-2007
The Daily Star

Business News
Business Forum
Business Opportunities
Fairs & Exhibitions
Useful Addresses
Currency Exchange Rates
Some Marks
To see in Lebanon
Media of 1stlebanon
Impact of 1stlebanon
Add your company
Press Book
Flowers delivery Lebanon
Flowers delivery Dubai
Oriental food specialty
Lebanese wine
Real estate agency Beirut
Hotel Hamra-Beirut
Car rental
Rent a car lebanon
Reservation for your travel in Lebanon
Association des français de l'étranger
-section Liban
Diamond jewelry Lebanon
Jewelry manufacturer Lebanon
Jewelry watches-Swiss made watches
Diamond Swiss watches
Modern and comtemporary jewelry
Byzantine & Phoenician jewelry
Jewelry creation
Oriental, classical and traditional decoration
Hand made furniture
Construction management Lebanon
Projects development
Shoes manufacturer and distributor Lebanon
Sole agent of Philips & Whirlpool in Lebanon
Web development
Web marketing
Printing press services
Paper products
Insurance company Lebanon
Insurance Lebanon
Rent villas France
Hotels all over Syria
Hotel management company
University Lebanon
Arab Media News