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Lebanon - The Earthquake, May 2005


Related Features THE STORY
Synopsis of "The Earthquake"

FACTS & STATS: LEBANON
Land and People, History and Government, Economy, Culture

FACTS & STATS: SYRIA
Land and People, History and Government, Economy, Ancient Culture

LINKS & RESOURCES: LEBANON AND SYRIA
General Background, Recent Events, International Reaction, Blogs

MAP OF THE REGION

PREVIOUS DISPATCHES
Our weekly reports from Lebanon and Syria

WATCH
Streaming video

REACT TO THIS STORY
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Links and Resources

• General Background
Recent Events
• International Reaction
• Regional Blogs
Media Resources


General Background


Lebanon: "Party of God"
FRONTLINE/World's segment on Lebanon, broadcast in June 2003, examines the evolution of Hezbollah from an outlawed terrorist organization into an accepted political party.

Syria's Role in the Middle East
Syria has been on the U.S. State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. This compilation of features on PBS's Online NewsHour delves into Syria's ties to terrorism, its history and its relationship with the United States. The Web site includes recent news stories and an interactive regional map.

CIA World Factbook: Lebanon
Approximately 60 percent Muslim and 39 percent Christian, the 3.8 million people of Lebanon live in a country about two-thirds the size of Connecticut. Learn this and more about the people, geography and economy of Lebanon from the CIA World Factbook.

CIA World Factbook: Syria
More than 410,000 Palestinian refugees live within the borders of Syria. Find this and other information about Syria, its people and its economy in the CIA World Factbook.

The Library of Congress's Country Study on Lebanon
This country study is a comprehensive resource for understanding Lebanon's history. Though the information has not been updated since 1987, this link to the Library of Congress Web site provides insight into Lebanon's civil war, which began in 1975.

The Library of Congress's Country Study on Syria
When President Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, ruled Syria, his decision to put troops in Lebanon was unpopular -- both domestically and with other Arab nations -- because in effect, the move aided Lebanon's Christian faction against the Muslim side in the conflict, described here. The Library of Congress research provides detailed information about Syria, from the area's first mention by the ancient Egyptians until 1987.

Elections in Lebanon
Electionworld.org, an online resource for global elections, provides comprehensive information about elections in Lebanon, including historical background on its political parties and an analysis of recent elections.

Timeline: Syria and Lebanon
These timelines on the BBC Web site chronicle the intersecting histories of Syria and Lebanon since both countries' rise from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 20th century. The timelines also include the rush of events at the beginning of 2005.

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Recent Events


Council on Foreign Relations
The assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri and the announcement of the withdrawal of Syrian troops that followed that event is summarized and put into the context of the two nations' complex relationship, in this account by the Council on Foreign Relations, a nonpartisan think tank and publisher that promotes the study of international affairs.

"Lebanon Still Faces Tense Future"
In April 2005, Syrian troops left Lebanon after almost 30 years of occupation. This report on BBC Online looks at the changes and challenges that await Lebanon.

"Exit Strategy"
In March 2005, PBS's Online NewsHour talked with Lebanon experts about the varying views within the fractious country on the withdrawal of Syrian troops.

"Spotlight on Syria"
In this report from February 2005, PBS's Online NewsHour considers the future of Syria as political upheaval roils Lebanon.

PRI's The World: Lebanon and Syria
Listen to FRONTLINE/World correspondent Kate Seelye's reports from the Middle East for the Public Radio International program The World.

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International Reaction


"U.N. Calls for Troop Withdrawal"
The September 2004 U.N. Security Council resolution 1559 calls for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Lebanon and for free and fair elections.

"In Damascus, a Siege Mentality"
Hassan M. Fattah of The New York Times reflects on how President Bashar al-Assad and his government are closing ranks as events in Lebanon and Iraq attract growing international pressure on Syria to reform. The article is printed in the International Herald Tribune.

U.N. Resolution Calls for Assassination Investigation
Issued in April 2005, U.N. Security Council resolution 1595 reiterates previous support for Lebanon sovereignty, calls for an international investigation into the February 14, 2005, assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and criticizes the Lebanese investigation into the attack.

"Joint Statement by the United States and France on Lebanon"
On May 2, 2005, the United States and France stressed the necessity of the removal of residual Syrian influence in Lebanon and declared that both France and the United States would be ready to assist the government that will be formed by Lebanon's scheduled May 2005 elections. The joint statement follows the two nations' previous declaration of support of Lebanon's sovereignty.

"France and Germany Urge Lebanon to Hold Elections"
German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder joined the international chorus calling for free elections in Lebanon, according to Reuters. Schroeder also backed the move toward an international investigation into the death of former Lebanon prime minister Rafiq Hariri.

"Foreign Secretary Urges Syria to Withdraw Troops From Lebanon"
U.K. foreign secretary Jack Straw talks about Britain and the international community's reaction to the assassination of Hariri and the Syrian occupation.

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Regional Blogs


Joshua Landis
Joshua Landis, assistant professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oklahoma, closely follows events in the Middle East. Here, he offers thoughtful commentary on political developments in the region.

Martin Kramer on the Middle East
Martin Kramer is a senior editor for Middle East Quarterly. His blog, also known as Sandbox, interweaves his own thoughts on politics in the Middle East with commentary by other well-known analysts.

Informed Comment
Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan, points blog visitors to analyses of political developments and religion in the Middle East.

Across the Bay
This blog by a doctoral student in ancient Near Eastern studies provides lively comments on events and politics in Lebanon.

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Media Resources


The New York Times
News from the Middle East section of The New York Times.

Yahoo! News: Middle East
Breaking news from the Middle East section of Yahoo! News.

Middle East International
This British publication includes lengthy editorials on Middle Eastern politics.

The Daily Star
The Daily Star has been Lebanon's leading English-language newspaper since 1952 and is considered the "journal of record ." The online version of the paper features local coverage of political and business events in Lebanon as well as coverage of the region.

Monday Morning
Published in Beirut, this weekly English-language newsmagazine offers coverage of Lebanese politics and news from around the Middle East. It also features interviews with dignitaries from the region as well as editorials on Middle East politics.

Syria Daily
Syria's top English-language daily.

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