Sophia's Peace Work

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Another event of the summer...

In addition to a trip to Kurdistan, I was also able to go to Lebanon in late august right after the ceasefire was started. I had a couple of friends (a journalist named David Enders and his translator) there and I spend a few days with them driving to see the bombing damage and conduct interviews.

David took the above image before I arrived of the coffins of the dead being loaded into a truck in southern Lebanon. He had already traveled extensively in the south of the country reporting on whole villages completely flattened by the conflict.

When I arrived we drove to Balbek in the Bekaa valley (the site of a famous roman city). As a Hezbollah stronghold, the Israelis had attacked the town during the conflict. Driving into town all the gas stations had been hit with pin-point accuracy, but areas on the edge of town appeared to have been struck in a more random fashion. The following are a few images of billboard taken on the way to Balbek ... in fact all throughout the country, these billboards are everywhere announcing the victory of Hezbollah over the Israelis and showcasing the U.S. support for the actions of the Israelis.

In this first image, the far billboard shows a destroyed city block with the words "Made in the USA"

The next image shows that support for Hezbollah certainly hasn't decreased. The yellow lamp post sign is the Hezbollah flag (also visible in the image above of the rocket launcher). All the towns in Lebanon, and the different neighborhoods of Beirut seem to be aflutter with the flags and signs of the various factions that are supported in that area. In the areas of Balbek I visited, these yellow signs were everywhere and to even go see the bombing damage to take photographs or do interviews, permission from Hezbollah was required first.


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