So I’ve switched accommodations but am still in Beirut. I was staying in a hotel/hostel off of Charles Helou st in Gemmahzey in East Beirut (Christian section during the war) a block from Martyrs square and the former Green Line. Downtown was just across the square, an area that is the nicest and newest in Beirut, mainly because it saw some of the heaviest fighting. Now I am staying in the apartment of my roommate from Amman who just recently moved to Beirut. It’s in a heavily Christian area and the area in which an assassination attempt and the gunning down of a bus started the civil war.
Today I went with a friend to Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps (the ones from Waltz with Bashir if you’ve seen it). They were the locations in which Lebanese Phalangists killed thousands of Palestinians under the eye of the invading Israeli army. It was a dump, off of the main streets which had vendors on each side of mud filled streets, were houses just put together with anything, most of it full of bullet holes. The whole area looked like the abandoned areas around the green line, only with people living in them. There were also large buildings crumbling to pieces left useless by the bombing and shooting.
In Lebanon I still have to see the Beqaa Valley area. As well as Zahle, the town my great-grandfather is from. I would like to head south to Tyre and Sidon but although I’ve talked to tons of people that have gone and loved it (except for the lack of food because of Ramadan.) and because tensions are once again at a tipping point and the whole being an American thing, I think I’m going to have to save them for another trip.