Hussam Nuwais: In the Service of the Resistance

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Nuwais had little free time, but when he did, he spent it watching or playing football and reading novels. (Photo: Wael ladki)

By: Rameh Hamieh

Published Friday, February 22, 2013

When Hussam Khosh Nuwais was assassinated en route to Beirut from Damascus, many wondered what the head of the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon was doing in Syria.

The fact that he was also a leading member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and his real name was in fact Hassan Shateri also caused much suspicion.

Little was said, however, of Nuwais the person and his commitment to the reconstruction of Lebanon after the devastating July 2006 war.

Just as the war was ending on 14 August 2006, he arrived in Lebanon to begin his work. Nuwais came alone, without his family, assuming his duties immediately upon arrival, repeating to all who asked that “we are here in the service of the Resistance,” according to his friend Hassan Hijazi.

Those who worked closely with Nuwais describe him as tireless, working 18 hours a day with little rest. He was not fond of office work, so would spend his days crisscrossing the country to visit sites where the committee was active.

His colleagues were astonished at his energy despite the fact that he rarely slept, often forcing his assistants to stay up to the early hours of the morning to complete their work.

Only twice did the usually calm and quiet Nuwais step out of character and reveal his emotions.

The first time, according to Hijazi, was when then-prime minister Fouad Siniora refused to allow the committee to clear mines left behind by the Israelis.

The second time was when he expressed his joy to his friends and colleagues when he received news that his son intended to marry a Lebanese.

Despite his busy schedule, he insisted on visiting the families of martyrs at least once a week. He would request a picture of their martyred son and tell them, in Arabic, a phrase he often repeated, “We are proud of you.”

Nuwais had little free time, but when he did, he spent it watching or playing football and reading novels. When it was time to buy clothes, his friends recall that he would closely examine where each item was made, often preferring Iranian-made products.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.


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