Hezbollah’s Women Aren’t Happy

When her 27-year-old son died in Syria, Rima felt more furious than sad. Unfortunately, she could not say out loud what she wanted to say. He was sent to fight in Syria, without her approval, and without receiving proper training. She wanted to blame someone—mainly those who had talked him into joining the fighters in Syria—but she couldn’t. Her community had hailed his death as a sacrifice—a martyrdom.

When Hezbollah officials visited her after she lost her son, she swallowed her words while listening to them going on and on about the role of Sayyeda Zaynab—the granddaughter of Prophet Mohammad and daughter of Imam Ali, one of the few survivors of the Karbala battle during which her brother Hussein was killed. For Shiites, Sayyeda Zaynab symbolizes pure grief, justice, and the fight for good against evil. For Lebanese Shiites, mainly those who support Hezbollah, Sayyeda Zaynab has another role: as a key justification for why Hezbollah is in Syria; the fighters are there to protect her shrine in Damascus.

Rima listened silently to Hezbollah’s officials, but she only wanted them to leave. She didn’t feel the strength and resilience usually associated with Sayyeda Zaynab and the mothers of martyrs. She felt drained and empty. They told her that she had now been elevated to the status of a martyr’s mother, and that Sayyeda Zaynab would be looking after her.

See more: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/215483/hezbollah-women