Lebanon 2011 Archives

Formalities

Beirut, Lebanon -- 31 March 2011 | Permalink

The wall of the immigration area is covered with notices that hint at complex tariffs for different kinds of visas, and even more arcane procedures to be followed. I'm pretty sure it's all supposed to be free and automatic, but by the time it's my turn to step up to the desk, I'm in full-blown "what if I've done it wrong" paranoia.

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Beirut night

31 March 2011 | Permalink
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The friendly, rambling flophouse of a hotel where I spend my first night occupies three or four floors of a nondescript apartment building located down a dark sidestreet opening off a utilitarian highway above the port. But if I walk just a little way along the Rue du Port, past a row of half-completed shops, I quickly find myself in a different world.

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Byblos

Byblos, Lebanon -- 09 April 2011 | Permalink
7 pictures
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A small collection of photographs taken in Byblos (Jubayl), Lebanon.

 

Qadisha Valley

Qadisha Valley, Lebanon -- 10 April 2011 | Permalink
8 pictures
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A small collection of photographs taken in the Qadisha Valley, Lebanon.

 

Baalbek

Baalbek, Lebanon -- 11 April 2011 | Permalink
7 pictures
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A small collection of photographs taken in Baalbek, Lebanon.

 

Beiteddine

Beiteddine, Lebanon -- 12 April 2011 | Permalink
6 pictures
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A small collection of photographs from the palace of Emir Bashir at Beiteddine, Lebanon.

 

Deir al-Qamar

Deir al-Qamar, Lebanon -- 12 April 2011 | Permalink
6 pictures
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A small collection of photographs from the village of Deir al-Qamar in the Chouf Mountains, Lebanon.

 

Saida

Saida, Lebanon -- 13 April 2011 | Permalink
6 pictures
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A small collection of photographs from the town of Saida (Sidon) in southern Lebanon.

 

Sour

Sour, Lebanon -- 14 April 2011 | Permalink
6 pictures
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A small collection of photographs from the town of Sour (Tyre) in southern Lebanon.

 

House of War

14 April 2011 | Permalink
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"Vous prenez un taxi et vous descendez à Dammour." the hotel owner told us, "Là, il y a des militaires, et vous pouvez leur demander la route pour Saida." M. made a face. The owner hastened to reassure her. "Non, non, les militaires sont gentils", she insisted.

The soldiers of the Lebanese army may indeed be polite and well-behaved, but they are everywhere. Visiting the country as a tourist, it's hard not to be struck by the sheer extent of the military presence. The soldiers are unthreatening - for the Lebanese, they may even be reassuring - but it sometimes seems as if half the country is wearing camouflage, with a checkpoint at every corner and intersection. I have never visited another country where soldiers were present in quite such quantity.

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