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Back to Beirut

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My report from an August visit to Beirut is up at Pajamas Media: Two Visits to a Fast-Changing Lebanon

…Hezbollah’s effort to take over Lebanon is often portrayed as a religious quest, but at the [2006] rally, in the tent city and in the crowd, I saw few signs of religious devotion. I saw a lot of evidence that Hezbollah’s “civil disobedience” was politically opportunistic extortion. With their ability to gain allies, with their weapons and their support from Syria and Iran, Hezbollah and friends were demanding that the rest of Lebanon give in to their demands or risk civil war, basically saying, “Nice country you’ve got; wouldn’t want anything to happen to it.”

The first time I visited Beirut, it was as a blogger and a photographer, documenting a city in the midst of an attempted putsch. When I revisited the city this August, it was as a tourist, visiting friends.

Unfortunately, many of the Lebanese bloggers I knew had left Beirut. Most people were leaving for better economic opportunities in the Gulf, Europe, or America. For those who stayed in Lebanon, goodbye parties were frequent, almost weekly social gatherings…

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Written by marypmadigan

September 24th, 2008 at 8:17 pm