Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Mahmud Sfayr

This man is not known to many but he is very known to a few in Lebanon.  Mahmud Sfayr is the first commander of a resistance front against Israeli occupation troops.  On March 22, 1978, in the wake of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, revolutionary leftists in Lebanon formed the Popular Resistance Front for the Liberation of the South from Occupation and Fascism.  He was its first commander (this was prior to the Resistance Front formed by Lebanese Communist Party and Communist Action Organization and Socialist Arab Action Party-Lebanon in September 1982).  Safayr was unassuming and modest and did not carry himself like a military commander.  I ran into him a few years ago when I gave a talk at Tadamun Club in Tyre.  Someone told me: did you know that this was Mahmud Sfayr? I did not know and went up to him and talked to him.  When the left declined in Lebanon, Mahmud retired and drove a cab.  There are many stories of pure and uncorrupt revolutionaries like Mahmud Sfayr.  He was liked and respected.  My condolences to his family and comrades--those who are alive and those who are martyrs.