Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

Reporters on the Job

Mountain View of Lebanon's History: Correspondent Nicholas Blanford hadn't been to the village of Shebaa, Lebanon, for a while. It's remote from Beirut, at least by Lebanese standards, he notes: a two-and-a-half hour drive (see story).

It's an area with a strong tradition of Arab nationalism. But it's also a poor area and quite neglected – like much of south Lebanon, Nick notes. But, he adds, "it's stunning countryside, surrounded by snowcapped mountains. Mt. Hermon, Lebanon's second-highest mountain, is on the Lebanese-Syrian border there. Shebaa clings to a very steep valley, almost looking as if it is defying gravity."

About these ads

Nick says that there appear to be efforts to make the area into something of a tourist attraction. "They're putting up signs that read, 'The Old Shebaa Route.' There's not a lot to see, but there are a couple of restored mosques and some old houses," he says.

On this trip, Nick stopped by the UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) position to say hello. "The building was [former Palestine Liberation Organization leader] Yasser Arafat's home in the 1970s. His office was in southern Beirut, but he would come out now and then to check on his fighters," Nick notes. On a previous visit, Nick had lunch there with some Indian UNIFIL officers. "It was interesting to be having a bit of lunch in the room where Arafat used to eat and sleep."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor


Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.