people need to know يحتاج الناس إلى معرفته
by Pierre Chiartano – Naquoura. Also now, Hezbollah has to think about energy, clean water, work and activities for its people. It’s a different task. Weapons depots are now well hidden just few meters north of Litani river. At Noqoura there is the UNIFIL’s (United Nations Interim Force in Labanon) second base. Mahmoud Ali Mahdi, Naqoura’s mayor from the Amal party, has the winning smile of all Middle Eastern smart people. He is aware that with the Israeli’s withdrawal, the wealth would disappear. No more cross border trading. “Trader coffers, were pouring about one million dollars each day in Naqoura. That happened before 2000″, stresses Madi Mahdi, with the tone of voice of someone telling the obvious, possibly overestimating numbers. Naqoura border is a choke point for all that goods directed to the Arab world, which Jerusalem would not export officially. It is also an opportunistic and advantageous location for the lucrative business with the “Zionists”, which rich Muslims wanted to keep out-of-sight. The little coastal town, few miles from Tiro, was an easy back door for Arab traders. However, the circumstances were different during the 2006 war. Prisoners were released by Israel as part of a swap with the Hezbollah movement, at the Naqoura crossing on the Lebanese side of the border. Mahdi was elected with the support of Amal, the allied party, led by Nasrallah’s movement. The main problem for Naqoura’s citizens (11.500 inhabitants, of which only 3800 are still residents) is unemployment. «Only 38 Naqoura citizens work in the UNIFIL base» complains Mahdi, who would like to place more people on the UN payroll. «Due to the foundation of the Jewish State, in 1948, many Palestinians had to leave and came here to Aytaroun. Then, the Palestinian revolution in Lebanon took place. In 1978 the Israelis were occupying our area and until 2000 this was a region almost completely closed to the rest of the country. Many residents have emigrated abroad especially to Germany, Australia and Canada. From 17 000 residents, only 2.500 remained. Some of those remaining had to work with Israel until the 2000′s withdrawal. Many people came back from abroad and the local authority took over to rule. We were growing back to 6500» said Salim – the Hezbollah mayor. «The 2006 war has left us with 42 victims, out of which 5 were Hezbollah fighters. Numerous fights against Israeli’s troops happened on the outskirts of the city: 205 buildings were destroyed, 700 were partially ruined» if these Maroud words are not enough, we should remember Katya Nasser report on Al Jazeera (2010).
(to be continued)