Monday, February 05, 2007

Al Jazeera's "The War of Lebanon"

By far not an 'unopinionated' recount of our bloody history, Al Jazeera's documentary movie about Lebanon's civil war still serves as an adequate starting point for anyone interested in reviewing events that preceded the "Syrian Mandate" era of Lebanon's history (from 1990 onwards).
Here is the complete series, broken up into its 15 episodes.

(H/T to Arabian Circle)


  1. Anonymous9:28 PM


  2. George11:30 PM

    Great thank you.

  3. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Please do not remove the 15 episodes of "The War Of Lebanon" from your blogger site. Not yet anyway. They are facenating insights of what happened in Lebanon during the unfortunate civil war. I have been glued to my laptop screen trying to understand what really happened to my country at a time when I was living away from it. Yes the Lebaneese civil war was covered by the international press, but not to such details. Please keep it available as I am quite sure many more Lebaneese expatriates will be also interested to watch these episodes. Is it possible to download these programs? If so please let me have the instructions.

  4. I'm glad you've enjoyed them anonymous! I am going to try and keep a link to this post in the sidebar so that anyone can click on it and will be taken directly to this post.

    If you can find a picture of civil war fighting in the winter snow (to go with the pic that I will put for the link to the post in the sidebar, and so that it matches the other pix) bkoon mamnounak, and it would probably speed up the posting of a link!

    Feel free to email any relevant pix or comments to:

    Thanks! :D

  5. jonathan11:45 AM

    please keep the whole series up for as long as possible. i heard about it a few years back and i'm so glad to be able to watch it. 2 quick notes: first, it seems that the first few episodes that i watched are tilting towards the left and the palestinians. you make the christians look like murderers. you don't mention the displacement of christians in remote villages or inside pockets of moslems nor do you mention the massacres in damour in which 560 christian civilians were murdered. neither do you mention the crosiing of the palestinian liberation army from syria as well the yarmouk corps of the syrian army which was composed of palestinians also into lebanon to fight against the lebanese forces. finally, i pose this question: why was it so sinful for the lebanese right to seek israel's help when arafat did RECOGNIZE israel later on. also jordan and morocco making peace, and of course egypt sighning the camp david accord in 79. why the double standard. come to think of it, wasn't the christian right in lebanon correct when it comes to what happened in lebanon during the 80's,90's and 21 st century so far?? lebanon remains in a constant state of turmoil and will do so until no armed foreigners remain on our soil.

  6. kheireddine8:47 PM

    Contrary to what Jonathan wrote, the massacre of Damour is mentioned in Episode 4. I discovered that documentary 6 months ago and saw all of the episodes. Having lived the 15 years of war, I can certify that it is an accurate depiction about what happened; Unfortunately, narrow minded people are always going to stick to their side of the story.

  7. jonathan6:14 AM

    it is very interesting that kheiredine is calling me narrow -minded when all i wrote was to praise the documentary and express my democracy-guaranteed rights. but i respect his opinions because he too has democracy-guaranteed rights. and so it goes...

  8. Anonymous7:24 PM

    thank you for posting this, but i have a few comments to anyone watching this:
    THIS IS A VERY BIASED documentary, told by one side. all the "analysts" belong to one side, and the documentary leaves out many key events. i won't go into a deep discussion about this, what i recommend is reading up on the topic from other sources as well as this one

  9. i was very happy to have stumbled across such a serious historical documentary and this site as a whole.i now read it everyday.i was born right next to the manara in a building still there which i saw fron a distance having diner across from the sporting club which i visited afer a 30 year absence from lebanon.The first instalments took me back to my very happy childhood in beirut like many i live abroad not knowing wether i will ever go back to peacefully end my days there.

  10. Thank you for posting this very informative from India and ive had the pleasure of having met a lot of Lebanese from all different confessions..all in all I've found them to be very accepting and friendly to me..ive always been intrigued by the war and have subscribed online to get as many books on the subject of the War for Lebanon.. However, it is sad that such a beautiful country as this had to go through so much bloodhsed..hope it never happens again though..this documentary has been very informative. Thank you once again.

  11. Al Jazeera's point of view is not objective, their reports are bios, and their facts are mutilated.


    Helping to distribute Al Jazeera's reports about the war in Lebanon is cooperating in the Arab propaganda against the Lebanese people.

    Lebanon, at your service.

  12. Anonymous5:25 PM

    Before I comment on the episodes, I have to ask... Really Guardian? You really think that? SEVERAL events led to the war. Contributions were made by the Arabs (Egypt, Syria, Jordan etc) YES, the Palestinian cause, YES, but also due to an INTERNAL LEBANESE struggle with a sense of unification and national identity, specifically between the two main religious factions. It is not 1 factor. And it is definitely not a "conspiracy". Why would you say that even? I'm willing too listen.

    As far as the doc goes, I've so far only watched the first 2 episodes and am thrilled at the several different points of views this documentary incorporates. Contrary to some posts, I personally do not think it is biased, but an attempt to present the events leading up to the War as an unbiased historical perspective. Naturally, there will be people from the left and the right that will complain about the bias... To me that only ascertains to the accuracy of such a doc.
    However, I have not reached the events of the 80's and 90's which I am most familiar with, so I will reserve further judgment til then. As a Lebanese first, a Christian second, an Arab third and a Canadian 4th, I could not be happier with at least an ATTEMPT to provide a historical perspective leading upto and including the events of this War... which I am sure most of us here experienced first hand and will never want to experience again.

  13. Anonymous,

    1- Why a conspiracy: Foreign cause(s) being fought for in Lebanon, while the countries relative to those causes live in security and peace. Syria, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and in later periods, Iran and Libya, USA and France, all intervened in turning the face of the war in Lebanon from "War against Lebanon by the palestinians", to " Lebanese Civil Religious War ".

    Read into the series of events of intervention of those countries, eg. how Asad's political speech gradually turned from "protecting the christians" into "Lebanon is a syrian state", and later into "no peace with israel without syria"...

    The same thing for the roles of the United States and the Kissinger agenda, and the role of the KSA in financing Arafat until he had more funding than 10 times the GDP of Lebanon!

    And finally, turning Lebanon from " having an Arab face" into " Arabic Belonging and identity ", when in the original constitution of 1926 - the best and purest consititution... mentions nothing about Arabism!

    Dig into the media archives from 1958 through 1969 and the cairo accord, then into the 70s and 80s, and you'll see how all the millitants... right and left, lebanese and foreign, and later on, christian and muslim and religious... gradually were pulled into this conspiracy, simply by monitoring the development of their political speeches and announcements...

    How can a "cause" change within a few years from "helping the palestinian refugees", to "protecting Lebanon from Arafatitis and the claim for an alternative state for the palestinians in Lebanon (which the Aljazeera's reports never mentioned!")...into "preserving the Lebanese Identity" and finally "protyecting the christian existence in the east!!!!)

    The mistake of the Lebanese Parties was that they were not aware of the consipracy, and they fell into it.

    2- Why i said it was biased:
    I am not accusing Al-Jazeera of being aggressive and conspiring, i am accusing Al-Jazeera's team who made the report of being IGNORANT - equally ignorant as many many lebanese who think they are Arabs now, or whothink the war in Lebanese was a civil religious one.

    It is not Al-Jazeera's fault as much as it is the Lebanese people's fault. And most of all, i blame myself! I, who claim that i know, have the responsibility of telling the people the truth, and clearly, i am not doing a good job.

    3- About the ATTEMPT to document the Lebanese War:

    Refer to Antoine Khoueiry's Series "Hareb Lebnan" ( The Lebanese War ).. an encyclopedia of 12 books documenting the events, the political announcements from all sides, and NEVER implying his own opinion.

    I can mention a few other books but not as comprehensive, they only cover certain periods ( 1975-1976, the peace treaty with israel, the taef accord,...)

    Finally, comment on how you identify yourself:

    Lebanese first (national identity)

    christian second (religious belief)

    Arab third (lingual?)

    Canadian (another national identity!)

    Where do you belong? what is your belonging (intima'a)? To whom are you loyal?

    And WHY is a lingual identity (which actually is relative to a dead language that no one speaks anymore - not even some countries in the Arab League), is just as important as your schitzophrenic national identity and religious views?

    You may as well identify yourself as:
    Lebanese first, christian second, arab third, canadian forth, chocolate lover fifth, football player sixth, and salma's cousin seventh!

    Forgive my sarcasm, i mean no disrespect, but i am pointing out that your way of identifying yourself is just rediculous, and if you wish to discuss it (it takes a lot of time for discussion) add me on my email address:


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