Friday, August 18, 2006

Tense Times in Baalbek

I’m still in Lebanon. Beirutis a cool city. I'm learning how to curse in Arabic... Our driver is insane (Nadim) and he curses rather fluently according to Kristele so I've asked him to teach me.

Today's adventure was being threatened by Hezbollah. We went to Baalbek (home of a gorgeous Roman temple to Jupiter) and when we were interviewing the Hezbollah relief movement, our driver ratted me out as an American. He was trying to be helpful but it made it all kind of scary and tense. I told him if he was annoyed with me, he could tell me - there was no need to have me kidnapped.

It's very insulting there - the men won't touch us because we're women so no hand shaking and they just radiated hostility throughout the entire interview. They made a big show of writing down our 'identificiation' cards. Well my identification card is some mocked up thing that they made me at RI. My "number" is my phone extension. Copy that down, jerks, see if I care.

Oh yeah, and I conducted an interview with the mayor of a town sitting over an un-detonated cluster bomb. They told us after the interview and then took us down to take a picture of it. Ha ha! What fun! The mayor just laughed and laughed and laughed. I was too nervous to go stand in the hole with it to photograph it. However, that's just stupid because I'd be as dead standing 30 feet away on the street as I would have been standing right over it.

Adventures in post-conflict

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