Marada Movement

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Marada Movement
تيار المردة
Leader Suleiman Frangieh, Jr.
Founder Suleiman Frangieh
Tony Frangieh
Founded 1967
Headquarters Lebanon Zgharta, Lebanon
Paramilitary wing Zgharta Liberation Army (1967-1991)
Religion Christian
National affiliation March 8 Alliance
Colors          Blue[1] and green[2]
Parliament of Lebanon
3 / 128
Cabinet of Lebanon
1 / 30
Official Site
Politics of Lebanon
Political parties

The Marada Movement (Arabic: تيار المردةTayyār Al-Marada) is a Lebanese political party and a former militia active during the Lebanese civil war named after the legendary Marada (also called Mardaites) warriors of the early Middle Ages that fought on the external edge of the Byzantine Empire. Originally designated the Marada Brigade (Arabic: Liwa al-Marada), the group initially emerged as the personal militia of Suleiman Franjieh, president of Lebanon at the outbreak of the war in 1975. They were also initially known as the Zgharta Liberation Army – ZLA (Arabic: Zgharta Jayish al-Tahrir) or Armée de Liberation de Zgharta (ALZ) in French, after Franjieh's hometown of Zgharta in northern Lebanon.

Marada in Lebanese History[edit]

During the Lebanese civil war, Zgharta was the frontline and Christian stronghold of the north in northern Lebanon. The Zgharta-based Marada Brigade militia successfully repulsed and responded with attacks on armed militias from Tripoli, Danniyeh and Koura districts and PLO militias from neighboring Palestinian refugee camps of Baddawi and Bared.

In March 1976, they supported the hard-pressed Lebanese Army Republican Guard Battalion in defending the Presidential Palace at Baabda from a two-pronged combined LNM-LAA assault, though prior to the attack the President had decamped to the safety of Jounieh.[3]

They were initially allied with the Kataeb but in 1978 the year when Suleiman Frangieh refused the Lebanese Front plan to declare a Christian canton, a Christian enclave separated away from the rest of the country. A new alliance was formed between Suleiman Frangieh and prime minister Rachid Karameh to counter the Lebanese Front plan that calls for the separate enclaves/cantons of Christians, Druze, and Muslim, both leaders represented the Unity of the Lebanon. Lebanese forces retaliated by mounting an attack on Ehden and the Christian villages around it. The area is a stronghold of the Maronite Christians of North Lebanon and the summer residence of Suleiman Frangieh murdering his son Tony Frangieh a member of the parliament and minister of communication. Frangieh became firmly against the coalition of a Federal states that made an alliance with Israel, and promoted an Arab pro-Syrian alliance and stopped attending meetings with the Lebanese Front. The Lebanese Forces led by Bashir Gemayel and Samir Geagea under a pretext of revenge to the killing of a Kataeb member in the district of Zgharta Zawie Jude Al-Bayeh, they decided to react with a murderous attack to quell the Frangieh's influence. On 13 June 1978, at 4am while everyone was sleeping, the Lebanese Forces being a joint forces to include Kataeb, launched a surprise attack on Tony's summer residence in Ehden and surrounding villages. Murdering about 28 innocent men women and child. About 44 highly trained Lebanese Forces militia men and Kataeb were killed in the attack. The Marada's top commander, Suleiman Franjieh's son Tony, his wife Vera and their 3-year-old daughter, were also killed. The incident is known as Ehden massacre.[4] Kataeb member at the time Samir Geagea was the leader of one of the attacking groups. Samir Geagea denies that he took part in the murder since he was injured in his right hand before getting to the castle and was taken to the hospital. Elie Hobeika has always denied taking part in the killing although this also was never proven. Bashir Gemayel denied being responsible for the killing.

There are many current political identities who admitted to the fact that Bashir Germayel was the one who ordered the attack on their allies[citation needed].

After Tony's assassination, Tony's brother Robert took control of the Marada and nowadays Suleiman Frangieh, Jr., Tony's son, controls the Marada. He is a close personal friend of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad[citation needed]. He was serving as Interior Minister, one of the most powerful positions in the Lebanese government, when Rafiq al-Hariri was assassinated on 14 February 2005.

After the 2005 legislative elections, the Marada became a member of the opposition alliance (pro-Syrian) together with Hizbullah.

In June 2006, the Marada Movement was officially launched as a political party during a ceremony attended by supporters and representatives from Hizbullah, Amal Movement, the Free Patriotic Movement, and some pro-Syrian political figures.

List of Marada leaders[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ El Marada Logo.
  2. ^ El Marada Logo.
  3. ^ O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon (1998), pp. 46-47.
  4. ^ "The Ehden Massacre: This is how the MOSSAD chose Samir Geagea". MARADA. May 14, 2009. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 


  • Claire Hoy and Victor Ostrovsky, By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer, St. Martin’s Press, New York 1990. ISBN 0-9717595-0-2
  • Denise Ammoun, Histoire du Liban contemporain : Tome 2 1943-1990, Fayard, Paris 2005. ISBN 978-2-213-61521-9 (in French)
  • Edgar O'Ballance, Civil War in Lebanon, 1975-92, Palgrave Macmillan, 1998 ISBN 0-333-72975-7
  • Rex Brynen, Sanctuary and Survival: the PLO in Lebanon, Boulder: Westview Press, 1990.
  • Robert Fisk, Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War, London: Oxford University Press, (3rd ed. 2001). ISBN 0-19-280130-9
  • Matthew S. Gordon, The Gemayels (World Leaders Past & Present), Chelsea House Publishers, 1988. ISBN 1-55546-834-9

External links[edit]