Buses that will transfer Nusra Front militants are seen parked in Jroud Arsal, Syria-Lebanon border, July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
Jabhat Al Nusra militants, their families and several thousands of refugees will head back to Syria after truce with Hizbollah. Ali Hashisho / REUTERS

Lebanon's executive power is hijacked by Hizbollah

After a week-long campaign in the mountainous no-man’s land near the village of Arsal in northern Lebanon, Hizbollah and the group formerly known as Jabhat Al Nusra signed a truce that ensured militants, fighters, their families and several thousand refugees could cross the Syrian border and go to Idlib.

Since 2011, several incidents at the border have been a tell-tale sign that the conflict could cross into the plains of the Beqaa Valley. This is mainly linked to Hizbollah’s active participation in the war, though several terrorist attacks have touched various Lebanese regions in the past few years.

The country’s government, held hostage by the powerful Iran-backed militia, was operating under a presidential vacuum that lasted two and a half years, in a state which the economy and security may reach breaking point at any moment. Several months into his presidential mandate, Michel Aoun has been unable to bring about the many reforms he had promised and has described Hizbollah as "an essential part" of the country's defence architecture. The country is strained by more than one million registered Syrian refugees and a sovereign public debt expected to grow to more than 160 per cent of GDP by 2021, according to the IMF.

Some say that Lebanon has served as a land of asylum for refugees ever since wars started troubling the region. The conflict between Palestine and Israel at the end of the 1940s and the beginning of the 1950s led to the establishment of several refugee camps in Lebanon, many of which are home to refugees living in precarious circumstances, under the yoke of armed factions that violate stability and often enter into confrontations with the Lebanese Army.

In the meantime, the unwanted Syrian refugees that are willingly heading back to their home country will live in the fear of the unknown, where home may no longer be home.


Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Springtime in a Broken Mirror,
Mario Benedetti, Penguin Modern Classics


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Real Madrid 1 (Ramos 73' pen)

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Sheikh Zayed's poem

When it is unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art, the Standing Tall exhibition will appear as an interplay of poetry and art. The 100 scarves are 100 fragments surrounding five, figurative, female sculptures, and both sculptures and scarves are hand-embroidered by a group of refugee women artisans, who used the Palestinian cross-stitch embroidery art of tatreez. Fragments of Sheikh Zayed’s poem Your Love is Ruling My Heart, written in Arabic as a love poem to his nation, are embroidered onto both the sculptures and the scarves. Here is the English translation.

Your love is ruling over my heart

Your love is ruling over my heart, even a mountain can’t bear all of it

Woe for my heart of such a love, if it befell it and made it its home

You came on me like a gleaming sun, you are the cure for my soul of its sickness

Be lenient on me, oh tender one, and have mercy on who because of you is in ruins

You are like the Ajeed Al-reem [leader of the gazelle herd] for my country, the source of all of its knowledge

You waddle even when you stand still, with feet white like the blooming of the dates of the palm

Oh, who wishes to deprive me of sleep, the night has ended and I still have not seen you

You are the cure for my sickness and my support, you dried my throat up let me go and damp it

Help me, oh children of mine, for in his love my life will pass me by. 

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