Lebanon’s Golf Club

CNN: The Graves and Greens of the Lebanon Golf Club

I came across a recent article on CNN.com which can only be described as a historic achievement for main stream media which tends to ignore news unless it generates the most headlines. Not that the article doesn’t reflect, well, a certain disposition, or moreover lack of research… I was slightly stunned seeing the reference to Hezbollah’s media and television apparatus “Al-Mana.” I don’t even know what that means in Arabic. For the record, it’s “Al-Manar”, which means The Beacon.

British journalist Robert Fisk, who wrote “Pity The Nation” about the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war, has repeatedly claimed the golf course as the burial site of many of the missing bodies.

“There are perhaps 1,000 murdered Palestinian civilians under the golf course near Beirut airport, dumped there by Israel’s Phalangist allies after the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacres,” Fisk wrote in the British newspaper The Independent.

“No one will dig them up. Golfers play without reflecting upon what lies beneath the verdant 18th hole.”

I’d tend to take Robert Fisk at his word given his credibility as a journalist. I’ve actually been meaning to read Pity The Nation for quite some time. But anyway… the pictures in the article are worth looking at to see golf course as it looked during the Civil War to how it looks now.

In all likelihood there are probably corpses buried underneath the course. The Lebanese Civil War was, of course, a 15 year long affair that consumed most of the country, let alone the entire city of Beirut.

I’m particularly fond of the Club President’s choice words…

“It [the mass grave] is not here; it is over there, over that wall,” he said, pointing to the eastern wall during a tour of the course in his golf buggy.

Trust me. Even if you’re Lebanese you must know that Lebanon just isn’t big enough were you can point and be like, “yeah, the mass grave is just over there”. It’s everywhere. That’s what happens during Civil War.

What particularly interests me about the history of Lebanon’s Golf course is how it’s tied to the history of the Civil War. I am eager to take a course at AUB offered by the Center for Arab and Middle East Studies on the history of the Lebanese Civil War. This is actually one of the reasons I’m coming back. I mean, tell me where else I can take this class? What other university would offer it? What I’m interested in, and this is perhaps something I’d target my thesis on for my Master’s degree – is how the different sects of the Lebanese population interpret the history of the Civil War. It’s as if everyone has their own revisionist history of what happened. And I want to investigate this. From what I gather, it’s not really a subject that is often broached even within families. Its as if it’s blocked out. Rewritten in a way. It’s just fascinating to me. And I have to find some way to combine this interest, with my interest in the Islamic ideology of Hezbollah, with an interest in Lebanese media, and finally with an interest in gay-rights activism in Lebanon. Can I fit this all into one thesis? Haha.

This is why I can’t run. There’s to many things to fall in love with. To many things that interest me about Lebanon still. I know I tend to have a bit of an obsessive nature, perhaps, not obsessive compulsive disorder, but just an obsession with studying this country from every perspective I can. I don’t know why its so important. It doesn’t even make sense to me. Perhaps I go through phases to. I mean I haven’t watched The Lord of The Rings in a hell of a long time. But I have a feeling this is different.

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2 thoughts on “Lebanon’s Golf Club

  1. 1) That golf course sounds like the eeriest and uncanniest thing. Not cause of like, ghosts or anything (……although maybe?) but I mean jesus, talk about a tomb. Very interesting stuff though. Of course I, like 99.99% of americans, don’t know anything about the Lebanese civil war.

    2) you can still watch lotr even if you’re not in that particular phase 🙂

  2. Speaking of Lord of the Rings…
    1) “This place is not a mine… it’s a tomb!” Just now instead of Dwarves and Orcs its Palestinians and Lebanese. But that was one of Tolkien’s points with LotR, was it not? The toll that war takes not just on people but on the land itself (insert Fanghorn Forest :-p) haha

    2) I was actually listening to “Theoden Rides Forth” on the way to work this morning, haha.

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