Monday, February 11, 2008

Beirut under siege

It's fascinating how things can change slowly without really noticing it. Like the security measures throughout Beirut. Tanks have gradually entered into view and somehow, they didn't register. Until you force yourself to notice them and then they're all around.

It has been mentioned many times before that the Lebanese have a tremendous capacity for self delusion which no doubt help them in their current resilience to the madness around them. Yet, it is equally helpful to stop and realize that, actually, this is not normal, that tanks in the street are not a Good Thing© and that anyone numbing to them is sliding down a slippery road you shouldn't wish for anyone.

To give you an idea of the daily images we see in Beirut, here below are some photographs of an average drive throughout the center and some suburbs. I didn't go to the obvious places with lots of security, like the areas where our beloved leaders live. instead, I tried to present a more or less unbiased picture of Beirut Feb 2008:

Photo 1: A soldier manning a tank, ready to shoot if necessary

Photo 2: A huge tank next to a checkpoint

Photo 3: A tank overlooking a street

Photo 4: Posters of martyrs who fell during the battle with the Lebanese army. Once your own people start fighting the army and become martyrs as a result, all bets are off

Photo 5: Soldiers behind sandbags at a checkpoint

Photo 6: Another checkpoint, this time unmanned

Photo 7: Tanks, tanks tanks...

Photo 8: Soldier on a tank with his finger on the trigger


Super Dude said...

Love photo #7. You know what the writing in Arabic says just left of the tank?

Riemer Brouwer said...

Well, actually I didn't, so I asked a colleague. He informed me that the store is called 'Library of Love'. Nice name!

Apparently, it's a branch of a Christian bookstore with their main store located in Dora. This photo was taken in Clemenceau, which is not really a Christian area.

Thanks for pointing it out.

Harald Doornbos said...

Hey Riemer,

How do you mean: Photo 4 "Posters of martyrs who fell during the battle with the Lebanese army."

These are Hezbollah posters with martyrs from Summer War with Israel...

cheers though from Pakistan...

Riemer Brouwer said...

Normally, I'd agree with you, but the posters were brand new and hardly affected by the downpour rains we've had. This would suggest they have been put up only very recently, say, after Bloody Sunday.

Also, the posters consists of 4 different martyrs being repeated along that street. This would coincide with the number of Hezbollah victims.

Since there's never a shortage of Hezbollah martyrs, the fact they had to repeat the same faces over and over again, might suggest they are the ones who died during the clashes with the army.

I could be wrong, though.

M Bashir said...

photo 4 are of martyrs of july 2006 war with israel...