ATLANTA, Georgia — The events unfolding in Lebanon and the Middle East have been shaped by factors including ancient hatreds, European colonialism, and nations and groups jostling for power in light of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Lebanon was created by the French in 1920 and was made up of several groups who were divided by their religious ties. Some of the larger groups include Maronite Christians, Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Druze. ‘The Lebanese do not have a common sense of identity, and they have never been able to develop a central government that is strong and is able to represent all the people,’ said Sandra Mackey, an expert who has written extensively about the Middle East. A Civil War broke out in 1975 among the different factions. The initial reason for the war was the imbalance of power among some of the groups, but soon became ‘a proxy war for interests of the Syrians, Israel, the United States and Iraq,’ Mackey said. ‘In so many ways, we are reproducing today what we had in the Civil War that began in 1975 and ended in 1990,’ she said. Mackey, the author of several […]

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