Sami Moubayed is a Syrian analyst and historian, and author of “Under the Black Flag: At the Frontiers of the New Jihad” (IB Tauris, 2015).
Lebanese President Michel Aoun is seeking to extend his mandate, either through another term or by handing the presidency to his son-in-law and political heir, Gibran Basil. But the 81-year-old Aoun and wildly unpopular Basil have a steep hill to climb, including garnering the approval of a splintered parliament and an increasingly shaky alliance with Hezbollah.
In early September, gunfire erupted in Tareek Jdideh, an overwhelmingly Sunni neighborhood of Beirut, between supporters of the two al-Hariri brothers, Saad and Bahaa. The embarrassing incident was quickly shored up by the Hariris, but it was a clear indicator that all was not well within the powerful Sunni family of Lebanese politics.
The July 16 decision of Jordan’s top court to officially dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood was a huge blow to the Islamist organization, which had been legally operating in the kingdom for 75 years.
Hezbollah has deployed thousands of medical professionals across Lebanon to help the Ministry of Health fight the spread of the coronavirus. The effort is a shrewd one, helping soften the divisive party’s image among its rivals and position it for increased political control over the country.