The foreign press has released a plethora of photos from a Hizbullah rally in Lebanon to mark “Quds (Jerusalem) Day.”
One person in particular – an attractive Christian woman with a large cross that would make Mr T proud and holding up a poster of Hassan Nasrallah – is the subject of numerous photographs.
Besides standing out like a sore thumb in a sea of veiled Muslim women, what seems really curious is how disinterested she looks as she holds up the poster of the Hizbullah leader. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say she was getting paid to be there.
Yeah, about that.
In its first issue of 2007, the Lebanese weekly current affairs magazine Ash-Shiraa, in a story on the newly-initiated downtown sit-in that would eventually last for over 18 months, published a statistic showing that that while Hezbollah paid veiled – or muhajjabat –supporters $15 per day for attending the demonstration, those who agreed to go unveiled were paid a little over $33 or 50,000 LL.
Dr. Hilal Khashan, professor of political studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB), suspected that this unique privileging of unveiled women by a party that encourages the wearing of the hijab among its women followers was because it “wanted [them] to look like Christians.” The appearance of unveiled women would have helped make the protest look like a national movement rather than a sectarian one.