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Published: August 26th 2006
Scars of the war in the city buildings. Maybe the new building is like the old ones now.
We don't know if it’s good or bad to have been there just two weeks before everything started again. From one side we could visit the country, but by the other side we know that what we have seen doesn't exist anymore.
Beirut really impressed us, a modern city with modern buildings just beside old bombed ones (scars of the war). The city is really western looking with a touch of Arabic culture. At the same time you can have a coffee in the Star Bucks Cafe, you can smoke a water pipe in the other side of the street.
Going outside the capital we did what many people would be brave enough to do (even more today). We rented a car and went exploring the south part of the country. In our route was the old Detention Camp, now a Hezbollah base and museum (not anymore I guess), BeauFort Castle, another Hezbollah base, and Fatima's Gate, the border between Israel and Lebanon.
To began our trip we had to get a authorization issue by the army, because this were military areas. The museum was live modern history class. The guides were either Hezbollah militants or ex-prisoners from
Build by the crusaders, use until today in the war between Israel an Lebanon.
that camp (their belongings are still inside the jails). The building itself was build on the top of a mountain, from where we could see the borders between Syria, Israel and Lebanon. More to that, the guides gave us explanations of the hole situation from their point of view.
Be talking about terrorism, bomb men and kidnaps with one of the activists can be really scary at the beginning, but after a while you realize that they are people with dreams and hopes like us.
After the museum, we drove to the Fatima's gate. As close you get to the border, more check points there are. After about four of them, we noticed a change in the scenario. There weren't people in the houses, but sand bags in the doors and black flags hanging all over (meaning war zone). A few kilometers in this area we arrived at the fence, at this point we had a Hezbollah base to our right pointing guns at us, an Israeli base to our left one meter behind the fence also pointing guns to us and in front of us in between the two other bases, a UN base. No pointing guns
One of the jails still with the belongings of the prisoners. On the botton, some of prision rules.
I was really afraid of point my camera to them and be mistaken and fusilladed!
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