BBC Arabic aired a 53 minute documentary of this title on January 21st, on the sectarian clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in Tripoli, Lebanon, and that may be seen with English subtitles here. The communities, which respectively inhabit the adjoining neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, have been fighting and killing one another on and off—and presently on—for the past three decades. And it can only get worse as the situation over the border in Syria worsens (the clashes in Tripoli presently being a pale image of what is happening there). One take away from the documentary is that Lebanon, like Syria, is not a nation, if one needed any reminding. The documentary is not too analytical and gives little background as to the origins of the conflict, but is an important document nonetheless. If one wants a sense of where Lebanon may be headed, this is it.
ADDENDUM: A remark: an outsider can hardly support one side over the other in this conflict—in which both parties have blood on their hands in no doubt equal quantities—but the mere fact that the Alawite women are not veiled—and that Alawites are less given over to religiosity than the Sunnis—provokes, for me at least, a slight bias in their favor. I know I shouldn’t think this way but I can’t help it. It’s visceral.
2nd ADDENDUM: I am reminded of a post on this blog from June 2011, in which I quoted the text of a memorandum sent by six Syrian Alawite notables—one the grandfather of Bashar al-Assad—to French PM Léon Blum in 1936, expressing fear of the prospect of Sunni domination. Absolutely worth (re-)reading.