A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

SSNP watch, week three

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 1, 2008

Thousands of congratulatory posters and billboards celebrating Sleiman’s election as president fill the Christian areas of Beirut. But they have not yet reached Hamra, I notice.

Instead I keep finding more and more traces of the SSNP’s takeover, like this one, which I found last week:

It says “Long live Syria” – but the word used isn’t Syria-the country. The final letter here is an alif, while Syria-the-country ends with a taa marbouta.

The SSNP advocates a greater Syria, stretching south to Palestine and west – over water, mind you – to Cyprus.

Good luck, qawmiyeen – Greater Syria seemed like an uphill battle even in the 1930s. Taking over Hamra (with Hizbullah’s help) is one thing. Taking over Cyprus is quite another!

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6 Responses to “SSNP watch, week three”

  1. Hi Diamond,

    Allow me to correct, Syria the country is written in Arabic as “Sourya” سوريا or with a “t” marbouta سورية, most of the time “Souryat” سورية is used as an adjective.

  2. By the way, the Qawmiyyeen controlled the Sidani Street during the 15 years war, and had their office in the building facing the gas station, most of them were Orthodox Christians from Koura. Their specialty, selling contraband alcohol and racketeering of the businesses in Ras Beirut…

  3. Well the ealy 80’s Mercedes 280C in the picture looks in excellent condition; hopefully, it will not get smashed at the next riot!

  4. Actually, it was the SSNP who first congratulated Michel Suleiman with a banner in the midst of Hamra, on Sidani Street. See here for the pic on my blog

  5. Kheireddine, thanks for all the comments! Very interesting about the alif/taa marbouta – I was told about the distinction several years ago by a real local, but I see what you are saying about the adjectival use of the taa marbouta.

    I didn’t know about the business activities of the SSNP, but I did know that they were quite active in Ras Beirut. I was told that many AUB professors sympathized with them, mostly because of their secularism.

    And finally: your ability to identify a Mercedes model from a small photograph that shows only its back half comes from your Lebanese side, not your Canadian side :)!

  6. Riemer, it looks like our comments crossed paths in cyberspace. You are quite right – the banner in front of the gas station went up quickly. But the only presidential posters I’ve seen are in front of the butcher’s shop on the street that leads down to the gas station.

    And if Sleiman’s request to remove political posters sinks in, those will probably be gone soon!

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