Friday, August 27, 2010

Basam Abu Sharif

You know that I dont think highly of Bassam Abu Sharif.  The first time I met him I was barely 15 and the first impression was unfavorable and it only got more unfavorable over the years.  So I had very low expectations about his new book on Beirut.  But I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. It is a really well-written and interesting book and contains good insights about decision making of the PLO during the siege of Beirut (there is a good book on that by Rashid Khalidi titled Under Siege).  You really get a good portrait of Arafat, who was at his best during those days (not politically, but in terms of the management of the crisis under siege).  So yeah, I recommend this book.  Of course, typically, his role is wildly exaggerated and his rise within the PFLP was largely due to his injuries.  His love for and obsession with AUB is really sickening.  This guy once told AUB students that "only Al-Hakim and I understand" within the PFLP leadership bec "we both are AUB graduates.