Movements Within Movements

More extremist than ever, Shi'ite factions vie for power

Pity the nation divided into fragments, each fragment feeling itself a nation.

-- Lebanese Poet

Kahlil Gibran

The author of The Prophet could not have provided a more fitting epithet for his own tortured homeland. In Lebanon, moreover, even the fragments have - fragments. The country is split not just between Christians and Muslims. The Christian community is composed of both Maronites and Greek Orthodox; the Muslim one is made up of Sunnis, Shi'ites and Druze. In the chaotic redistribution of power now taking place, the most serious challenge has come from Lebanon's Shi'ites, who constitute some 40% of the population...

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