Hezbollah’s Ashura in Beirut

On October 12th, tens of thousands of people gathered for Ashura in Beirut, the highest holiday in Shia Islam. As usual, the ceremonies take place in the Shia suburbs or Beirut, where the Shia party Hezbollah, has its headquarters and strongholds. Ashura is a memorial day to remember the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, dying alongside his six month old infant son Abdallah and 72 of his followers in the battle of Kerbala on October 10th in 680. Until today, Shia muslims all over the world gather to remember and mourn this day when Sunni and Shia Islam had their final …

The martyr’s cemetery of Hezbollah in Beirut

If you are interested in Lebanon’s main Shia party and you happen to be in Beirut, make sure to check out the main cemetery of martyrs in Beirut. In Arabic it’s called “روضة الشهيدين“, which means “Place of two martyrs” in English. Many of the party’s fighters have died during the 2006 war with Israel, and since secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah decided to send his troops to battle in Syria alongside with Al-Assad’s troops, the number of martyrs quickly increased. The whole cemetery is quite big, yet these photos only show the roofed main hall, where many prominent members …

Mleeta, the touristic landmark of Hezbollah

My first time at this place was in summer 2010, shortly after it was opened by Hezbollah. Situated in the mountains bordering Israel to the east, Mleeta serves as a public relation platform and showcase for the Shia organisation in Lebanon. In contrary to my first visit five years ago, the place looks very much deserted now, but still attracts visitors, domestic and foreign. On the day the pictures were taken, a big tourist group from Sudan visited Mleeta. They also made a few changes to the exhibition, adding a few drones and Israeli spy devices that have been found …