5 Dec 2013

P is for Party: The Secrets of Hezbollah’s Mysterious Code

Hezbollah, invariably described by western media as the Shiite Lebanese militant group to distinguish it from all the other Hezbollahs out there, has earned itself a well-deserved reputation for its legendary logistical capabilities. The group’s notorious secret code has particularly come to attention as it allows its members to communicate over open lines without fear of interception. Hezbollah’s radio communications in Syria, where it is fighting alongside government troops, have baffled its opponents who could not decipher this secret language made up of obscure cultural references, colloquialisms and logical puns.

The secret language, knows as Da Fneishi Code after the Hezbollah cadre who developed it, is virtually impenetrable to outsiders. We have obtained transcripts of some of the radio exchanges between Hezbollah fighters engaged in battle in Syria which we publish below with some commentary and explanations. The exchanges were recorded by Syrian rebels and represent a fascinating insight into the Party’s operational methods. You can listen to some of those exchange on Youtube.

Exchange 1:

“Naji, Naji, this is Ali”

“Ali receiving”

“I need a drop on the square”

“Which square?”

“Do you remember where your cousin got married?”

“Which cousin, Hammoudi?”

“No, Bassem.”

“The one that immigrated to Australia?”

“No, the other Bassem.”

“The one who works in the post?”

“I’m getting hammered here! No, Bassem the hairdresser.”

“He got married?”

“You’re killing me. Yes, last summer.”

“Wait till my mother hears about this, she will be very angry. We weren’t invited. Where was it?”

“Why do I always get stuck with you? It was at the Afrah complex. Do you see where I am going with this?”

“Got you, so the north side of the square.”

“No, not THAT Afrah! The one in Beirut.”

“You know I don’t know Beirut very well. I prefer the south.”

“What are you talking about? Beirut is a great city.”

“I don’t like the noise from the airport. And the air is polluted.”

“Yes but there are many good things about it.”

“It’s not for me, thank you.”

Exchange 2:

“Imad, Imad, Hulk Hogan calling.”

“Receiving Hogan.”

“I need a tank at post 2 urgently.”


“Do you know the joke about Walid Jumblatt and the devil?”

“haha, yes, “I didn’t mean forever”, what a funny joke.”

“No, not that one. The other one.”

“That’s the only one I know. And it’s the funniest one.”

“How can I work like this? Ok, where is the best argileh in Dahhyeh?” [Argileh is the Lebanese term for shishah or water pipe. Dahheyh is the southern suburb of Beirut.]

“Of course you will say it’s your uncle Aby Mazen’s café. But I hate that place.”

“It’s the best place. You have no taste. I should have known you spend all your time at the Baalbeki’s place.”

“You don’t like Baalbeki? It’s the best stuff out there.” [Baalbeki refers to the city of Baalbek and the local hashish produced around there.]

“We’re working here! We can have this debate later.”

“You reminded me of the strong Baalbeki stuff, nothing like it.”

“Ok forget it, send a tank to the corner of the school and the mosque!”

Exchange 3:

“Hassan, Hassan, Nabil here.”

“This is Hassan.”

“No, not you, the other Hassan.”


“No, Hassan Raad!”

“Why didn’t you say so from the beginning?”

“This is Hassan.”

“We need reinforcements at the next section.”


“Ok, listen carefully, what has one eye but cannot see?”

“Oh not that, you know I’m bad with riddles. I don’t know, a watch?”

“A watch? How the hell does a watch have one eye?”

“Ok, wait, a blind man with one eye?”

“No! You use it for sewing.”

“What are you implying? I don’t know anything about sewing, my wife does the sewing at home.”

“I wasn’t questioning your masculinity, everyone knows you’re a tough man. But concentrate, it’s thin and sharp. Hurry up, it’s urgent.”

“Ouff. I don’t know, a lance?”

“For the love of God! No, who uses a lance for sewing?”

“But I told you I don’t know anything about sewing!”

“We’re running out of time! Ok, it’s something very small.”

“I hate this. Why can’t we do it with the numbers?”

“Come, you can get it, think hard.”

“I don’t know. A small sewing machine?”

“Oh for the sake of the angels! No, it’s smaller than a finger.”

“Ok, wait, give me some time, something small you use for sewing, has one eye…, let me see…”

Incredibly at this stage, Syrian rebels listening in join the conversation out of sheer frustration.

“You idiot, this is the oldest riddle in the world, a child can solve it.”

“You stay out of it, it’s none of your business.”

“You won’t get it, you’re an idiot. It’s a needle!”

“I was going to get it on my own. Why did you have to interfere?”

The conversation then degenerates into name-calling and sectarian taunts, but that is the ugly reality of war.

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1 comment:

  1. This cracked me up. I was in Syria and they really do insult each other over the airwaves. Brought back memories. Check out my wordpress blog


Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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