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Photo Essay: Return to Beirut’s southern suburbs

Scoop Photo Essay: Returning to Beirut’s southern suburbs seven months on

Photos and column by Yasmine Ryan

Hizbullah’s claims that the 34 day war waged on Lebanon in 2006 was pre-planned appear to have been validated by the Israeli Prime Minister. The Israeli Government has, until now, stuck firmly to the line that the war was not anticipated before the kidnapping of two of its soldiers by Hizbullah. However Israeli daily Haaretz revealed last Thursday that PM Ehud Olmert has admitted otherwise to Israel’s Winograd Commission.

The summer war killed close to 1,200 Lebanonese, mainly civilians, and 157 Israelis, mostly military. Scoop returns to one of the areas hardest hit by Israeli bombs last July-August.

Haret Hreik is a mainly Shia residential area, which also happened to be home to Hizbullah’s headquarters until they were destroyed last year, along with many apartment buildings.

There are no pictures of Rafrik Hariri in these streets. The main street is filled with posters of Hizbullah members killed in the bombing, and of course, Hibullah’s leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. And yes, there is a shop devoted to Hizbullah and Amal paraphernalia.

The following pictures were taking in a guided tour by a Hizbullah member who gave me a pseudo name, ‘Mudjahad’. I was told what I could and could not photograph.

Scoop Image:
There still a lot of work to be done.
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Scoop Image:
This used to be the site of Al-Manar, Hizbullah’s television station. It was one of the first IAF targets in July 2006.
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Al-Nour radio, run by Hizbullah, used to be here.
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This appears to be a former office building.
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Bulldozers and builders are busy at work, under the guidance of Hizbullah’s ‘Jihad Construction’.
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Slowly but surely buildings are being repaired.
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Next to the tents were Hizbullah coordinated the aid effort, a sign reads ”Smart bombs for stupid people”.
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More Hizbullah propaganda.
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Scoop Image:
Political cartoons inside the same tent.
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Yasmine Ryan is a graduate of the University of Auckland, in Political Studies and French language. She is currently interning with a Lebanese newspaper in Beirut, as part of her Masters degree in International Journalism at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Aix-en-Provence.


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