Inside Hizballah

Granted unprecedented access to the militant group, photographer Alexandra Avakian captured these intimate portraits of the men, women and children caught up in the struggle with Israel

Alexandra Avakian made three trips to Lebanon in 2005, with the daunting ambition of getting closer to Hizballah than any Western photojournalist before her. She expected to be assigned an escort, but none was necessary. "Party discipline is so tight, no one was going to reveal any secrets," says Avakian. "Members have to report on all the contacts they have with outsiders." She was allowed to see each of her subjects only once, and she was stopped a few times. "Out of nowhere a security agent appeared on a motorcycle," she recalls. "One time my digital camera was taken and photos...

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