Hezbollah accused of evicting mum, kids from home for criticizing party members

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Video footage showed furniture and other items belonging to Fadwa scattered outside her rented house in Debaal. (Social media)
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Photos of Fadwa with her two children at the mayor’s house were circulated on social media. (Supplied)
Updated 06 August 2019

Hezbollah accused of evicting mum, kids from home for criticizing party members

  • Al-Amin noted that Fadwa’s public criticism of Hezbollah indicated the extent of unrest within communities in South Lebanon, through social problems and falling standards of living

BEIRUT: A mother who publicly criticized Hezbollah party members claims she and her children have been forced out of their South Lebanon home in retaliation.
Video footage which went viral on social media, showed furniture and other items belonging to Fadwa, who is in her mid-40s, scattered outside her rented house in the town of Debaal.
The woman has for weeks been critical of Hezbollah supporters and leaders from Debaal and her hometown of Majadel over alleged marriage relationship matters. She has been seen on a popular social media platform naming people who she claimed had harassed her after she exposed them.
Fadwa said local police had failed to properly address her complaints about the individuals and she had also questioned the role of Shariah courts on the issues.
Taking to social media Fadwa claimed she had been previously abducted and had received threats for putting party members in the spotlight.
Fadwa said: “You (Hezbollah) are condemning me for swearing at Hezbollah while everyone else swears at them, but I was the one who dared to speak out.”
She said she had gone to the police and courts in the hope of getting justice against those who she alleged had harassed her.
After leaving Dabaal, the mum and her two children moved to the village of Babliyeh, but she says they were also evicted from there.
News websites have been sharing Fadwa’s eviction story with some posters saying she had been “treated like a pariah” while others defended Hezbollah.
The municipality of Babliyeh issued a statement denying it had evicted Fadwa and her kids. Mayor Saleem Dia said: “The municipality has not forced Fadwa to leave the village nor has it assigned anyone to evict her.
“What happened is that some angry people, whose family members and relatives have been targeted by Fadwa’s insults, evicted her as a spontaneous response to her repeated insults.”
Photos of Fadwa with her two children in the mayor’s house were circulated on social media as he met with her in a bid to resolve the issue.
Activist Ali Al-Amin, director of Al-Janoubia news website, told Arab News: “What happened has great implications, and has never occurred before. The eviction of a woman because she criticized Hezbollah reflects the extent of the party’s influence in South Lebanon in the political and security sense, the scope of its power, and its authority even over police stations —  based on what the woman said on the police station’s response to her complaint.

The eviction of a woman because she criticized Hezbollah reflects the extent of the party’s influence in South Lebanon in the political and security sense, the scope of its power, and its authority even over police stations — based on what the woman said on the police station’s response to her complaint.

Ali Al-Amin, director of Al-Janoubia news website

“The woman’s boldness in her criticism of Hezbollah was not tolerated by the party, and I don’t think her relatives were the ones who forced her to leave the town because relatives don’t do that,” he added.
“It seems Hezbollah also could not bear the consequences of evicting the woman, so they issued a statement through the municipality of Majadel to deny having anything to do with the move.”
Al-Amin noted that Fadwa’s public criticism of Hezbollah indicated the extent of unrest within communities in South Lebanon, through social problems and falling standards of living.
“When people are stressed out and oppressed, they must express their anger freely,” he said.
“This is what Fadwa did, but Hezbollah responded to her by sending a message to the people that they might face a similar fate to that of Fadwa if they crossed the party’s red lines.”


Grand Egyptian Museum symbol of Japan cooperation

Updated 20 August 2019

Grand Egyptian Museum symbol of Japan cooperation

  • The museum will house thousands of monuments and artifacts including mummies

CAIRO: The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), set to open in 2022, is already a beacon for future Egyptian prosperity.

Built to showcase Egypt’s civilization and heritage, the museum will house thousands of monuments and artifacts including mummies, as well as housing a very important restoration center which will help in preserving Egyptian Pharaonic heritage.

It is hoped the GEM will boost tourism, and act as beacon of a new, forward-facing nation in the aftermath of several years of political upheaval, and centuries of losing its treasures overseas.

Egypt began work on the museum in 2008 at a cost of approximately $550 million, with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities funding $100 million, with the remainder facilitated through a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in addition to local and international donations.

Covering the third phase of the build, Japanese support was not limited to the loan, but extended to the financial and technical support of the museum’s preservation and conservation center. 

Moreover, Japan currently supports the museum’s archaeological database and the team chosen to cultivate and manage it. 

The JICA also organizes a program that holds several restoration training sessions in both Egypt and Japan, in partnership with the Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties. 

Egypt’s Ambassador to Japan Ayman Kamel talked about the details of Japan’s participation in constructing the GEM.

“This project, which was launched years ago, is a success story in Egyptian-Japanese bilateral relations,” Kamel said.

BACKGROUND

It is hoped the Grand Egyptian Museum will boost tourism, and act as beacon of a new, forward-facing nation in the aftermath of several years of political upheaval, and centuries of losing its treasures overseas.

He added that Japan contributed in supporting one of the Egyptian centers specializing in monument restoration, providing “unmatched” Japanese eco-friendly materials and technology. 

Kamel predicted that following its inauguration, the GEM would be a source of pride not only for Egypt and Japan but also for the whole world.

“The final inauguration will take place in 2022 when all construction operations are completed.”

Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke said the GEM was a “huge project that transfers heritage to the coming generations” and hailed Egypt for carrying out “this huge archaeological project.” 

Noke added that the Japanese were very happy to participate in this huge achievement which he considered of paramount importance “not only on the economic level but also on the human level in general.”

Around 42,000 Japanese tourists visited Egypt in 2018, adding to an increasingly large community of Japanese residents, and a sizable presence of archaeological missions working in the country.  

Egyptian archaeological expert Ahmed Kadry told Arab News that there are currently 10 Japanese archaeological missions in Egypt with universities and institutions.

Kadry said that the GEM’s inauguration in 2022 will change the perspective of museum tourism the world over, and hailed to work of Japanese and Egyptian archaeologists for their work in the field of diagnostic examination of monuments by using hand-held devices called XRFs, a primary examination machine using X-rays.

He added the results of such examinations provided useful information regarding the preparation of painted layers “which help in not only deepening the understanding of the condition of murals once they are restored but also in conducting more research to gain more knowledge in the field of archaeology.”

In July 2018, Dr. Tadayuki Hara, an associate professor and senior research fellow at the Institute for Tourism Studies, gave a lecture on how to improve the value of touristic assets in Egypt at the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, where he cited the importance of the GEM in Egypt’s future.

“Revenues can be created through great memories,” Dr. Hara said. “That can be achieved through the GEM, the project that Japan is taking part in constructing.”