Sunday, May 27, 2007

Let me give you a lesson about the Lebanese press. Ash-Shira` magazine was founded by the Libyan government, and now it is a Saudi publication (which contains criticisms of the Libyan regime). Here is a glimpse from its editor in chief (Hasan Sabra (who was an official in the Nasserist militia, Al-Ittihad Al-Ishtiraki Al-`Arabi) now prides himself as a courageous critic of the Syrian regime. Back in 1994, he was partly responsible for my being banned from Lebanon for years in the Hariri-Syrian intelligence years. He printed a "news item" about how I "insulted the personality of Hafidh Al-Asad" in a chapter I wrote for a book that came out in the West, about Syrian foreign policy (Peace for Lebanon? edited by Deirdre Collings). A Lebanese professor told me that copies of that article had to be transmitted in copied forms because the book was banned from Lebanon. The news item was leaked by the Syrian-Lebanese intelligence service. Sabra also added my father's name to make sure that people know who this guilty person is). He writes today:
"We were a large group of Arab intellectual, journalists, and politicians touring with the Prince of Riyadh after the opening of the new Government Palace in old Riyadh...Dazzled..."