When I first learned I would be spending nine months in the Middle East, I was very keen to spend some time in Lebanon. I had long heard it is a beautiful country, and that its capital, Beirut, is cosmopolitan and pleasant, having rebounded in style after Lebanon’s 15-year civil war. But when war broke out again there last summer, and as a political crisis began in December and continues today, I wondered if I would make it. Last week, I had a chance to visit the country with New York Times reporter Hassan Fattah.
We spent a week in Beirut and covered the current political crisis there, including some labor union rallies and the ongoing sit-in, with its tent city of protestors camped among acres of downtown real estate. We also traveled on two different days to see the status of rebuilding in the southern areas of the country hit hardest during last summer’s Israeli war.
Two of the video segments I put together along with Hassan are viewable on the New York Times website. You can see them via the following links:
Mohammed al-Seyed is among hundreds of residents who lived in the historic warrens of the town of Bint Jbail. And he says he’s ready to rebuild his family’s five homes destroyed in Israeli attacks last summer. But he’s been told it’s forbidden. Hassan M. Fattah explores why rebuilding efforts have stalled in some parts of southern Lebanon.
Hassan Fattah meets with students at a suburban school in Beirut, Lebanon, who say their textbooks don’t give them the full story about the country’s recent history.