Beirut: A Man for All Reasons

It would have been a daunting assignment for any diplomat: untangling the emotions of a region rent by hatred and factionalism. Philip Charles Habib, 62, the U.S. special envoy who has been at the center of the negotiations about the future of Beirut, brings a rare blend of talents to the task. The son of a Lebanese Catholic grocer, he combines the street smarts of his native Brooklyn with sensitivity to the mind-sets of both Arabs and Jews. Twice last week President Reagan went out of his way to praise Habib for "laboring...

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