Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Biography of George Hawi (Georges Haoui)

George Hawi, 67, was born in 1938 in Bteghrine, in the Metn district east of Beirut. In 1964, he was sent to prison for his role as a labor organizer. A noted defender of the Palestinian cause, he was again arrested in 1969 during a pro-Palestinian protest. In 1979, Hawi was elected General Secretary of the Lebanese Communist Party, a post which he retained until 1993. A man of dialogue, he was a close friend of Druze leader Kamal Jumblatt, assasinated in 1977 near a Syrian dam, and of Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat, who died in 2004.

Hawi urged reconciliation among Lebanese factions who fought during the civil war. He was also prominent in the Lebanese National Movement, a leftist organization, during the conflict(1975-1990) and founded the National Resistance Front which fought against Israeli occupation forces. The Lebanese Communist Party, from which he resigned as chairman in 1993, has always been pro-Syrian. Hawi kept his party membership but was a member of an internal opposition faction.

Hawi was married to Sossie Madayan, a daughter of the party's founder, Artine Madayan, with who he had three daughters. He also adopted Rafi Madayan, son of his wife from a former marriage. Madayan lost in the recent legislative elections. George Hawi will be buried after a public funeral in Beirut.

:::Another leftist dies in Lebanon. How ironic that the US is outraged; only yesterday it would have applauded. Both George Hawi and Samir Qassir were outspoken, pro-Palestinian, pro-democracy leftists. This may have placed them on anyone's enemies list--Israel, United States, Hamas, Aoun, Syrian security, Lebanese right wingers...:::

Cécile Hennion, Le Monde's correspondent in Beirut, describes the incident and local reaction.

George Hawi, former Communist Party chairman and pro-Syrian pubic intellectual, was assassinated on Tuesday 21 June in Beirut by a bomb placed under his car. The incident took place around 10 am in the Wata Moussaytbeh quarter of central Beirut. Hawi had just gotten into his Mercededs Benz, parked near his residence.

This death evokes the prior assassinations of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on February 14 and Samir Kassir, an editorialist for the newspaper An Nahar and anti-Syrian leftist, on June 2. Who will be the next to die? Why did we think that the elections would change anything? Emotion and outrage is intense in the streets of Beirut as people recall the other two assassinations, especially that of Samir Qassir. The bomb was doubtlessly placed underneath Hawi’s blue Mercedes, which literally imploded.

The explosion gravely wounded the driver and killed George Hawi on the spot. In this crowded quarter which is generally bustling, this assassination could have caused a massacre. The entire district is in a state of shock. Women are screaming. The Army has been called out.

Ghazi Aridi, former Lebanese Information Minister, after running to the scene of the assassination, said Again, this is the same plan to assassinate all the leaders of the opposition. For me the big question is why these opposition leaders are targeted one after another? The last time Mr. Aridi spoke to George Hawi was two weeks ago. We discussed the political situation in Lebanon and the elections.

George Hawi, the former Communist Party leader, was famous for his pro-Palestinian stance during the civil war and for his condemnation of Lebanese and Syrian intelligence activities in Lebanon. He was a very close fried of Nassib Lahoud.

Following the death of Rafik Hariri, Hawi announced plans to launch several initiatives with the Syrian Communist Party as well as leftist and democracy activists to scrutinize the provisions of the Taëf Accords.

The assassination of George Hawi takes place two days after the victory at the polls of the anti-Syrian coalition led by Saad Harai and Walid Jumblatt in alliance with several Christian notables. The coalition has won an absolute majority in the lower house of parliament.

This is an attempt to facture national unity and reconciliation following free and democratic elections, but we will not give in, said Justice Minister Khaled Kabbani. We accuse Israeli intelligence for the series of assassinations targeting our country, said current Communist Party Secretary General Khaled Hdeydi.

Concerning the assassination of Rafik Hariri and Samir Qassir, Syria has denied any involvement but many Lebanese suspect that Damascus is directing these assassinations. The United States claims that Damascus keeps an "enemies list" of Lebanese personalities targeted for assassination.


Blogger Traveller said...

I'm a professional doubter...

2:08 PM  

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