Tags / lebanon
Images relating to the social aftermath of the Beirut port blast
A collection of images taken during the 2020 protests in the Lebanese capitol, Beirut
Protester holding the image of the a little girl killed by Beirut's port blast and demanding those who are responsible to be sent to prison
Chilean rescue team member petting "Flash", a canine that was able to detect life under the rubble of a building destroyed by the Beirut port blast
Protests gather behind a cloud of teargas and beneath a sign that says "Peace From My Heart to Beirut" during clashes that ignited in Beirut to demand the resignation of the government after the horrific explosion in the city's port
Protester sits on a chair, taken from a nearby shop with shattered windows, while watching fellow protesters trying to removes blockades to reach the Lebanese parliament
Old lady taking a nap in her mini-market in Mar Mikhail just a few days after the Beirut's port blast destroyed the windshield of her small shop and got her severely injured
Two Chilean rescue workers looking at a completely destroyed historical building in Beirut after sensing signs of life under the wreckage with life sensors. Building was destroyed after the horrific Beirut port blast.
Stains of blood from a doctor paint the remnants of a ceiling at St. Georges hospital in Mar Mikhail, just a few hundred meters away from the Beirut's port where a horrific blast tore the city apart.
Two protesters holding and lifting their hands during violent clashes that have erupted in Downtown Beirut after the deadly blast that tore the city apart.
A female protesters came all the way from Tripoli to Beirut (90km) to participate in the anti-regime rally that turned into violent clashes right outside the Lebanese parliament. Protesters rained security forces with stones while the latter returned the attack with water canons and teargas grenades.
Protester holding victory sign in front of Lebanese Security Forces whom are firing water via a water canon to ban angry rebels from reaching the Lebanese parliament, on the 118th day of the Lebanese Revolution that erupted on the 17th of October 2019.
Protester holding sign "Hela Ho (based on a chant during the Lebanese Revolution) our bank account is zero" in light of the failed banking system that has seized the accounts of most of its costumers, leaving them to withdraw almost a $100 per month from their bank accounts.
Protester in Beirut protecting other protesters from water coming from a Lebanese Security Forces water canon. Protests erupted on the 118th day of the "Lebanese Revolution" that ignited on the 17th of October 2019.
Female protester holding the Lebanese flag during violent clashes that erupted outside the Lebanese parliament on the 95th day of the Lebanese Revolution. Riot police rained teargas on protesters in order to disperse them away from the parliament's building that had its surrounding streets looking like a war zone.
Protester in Beirut protecting other protesters from water coming from a Lebanese Security Forces water canon. Protests erupted on the 95th day of the "Lebanese Revolution" that ignited on the 17th of October 2019.
Riot Police stand behind teargas canons waiting for the smoke to settle down after bombarding protesters with the rains of these grenades to dismantle a violent protest on the 94th day of the Lebanese Revolution that erupted on the 17th of October.
Riot police trying to defend Al-Helo Police Barrack from angry protesters that threw stones for almost 2 hours straight after violent clashes erupted in demands to free apprehended activists. Several riot police, protesters, and journalists were injured in these violent clashes that took place on the 15th of January 2020.
Traditional Mashrabiya window coverings at the Druze Council in Beirut, home to its clerical authority. Many agree, that the firm belief in reincarnation - which also changed the opinions of sceptics such as Nibal himself - allowed them to fight without the fear of death, and gave closure to families after sudden loss of close ones.
An elderly Druze man sells newspapers in Aley, Mount Lebanon. According to Gerald Russell, who wrote about the Druze, “Going into battle, the Druze would shout: ‘Who wants to sleep in the mother's womb tonight?’”
Bridge on Beirut-Damascus highway. After a death of a Druze, the saying in the community goes - “May the person be reborn to good parents.”
Bridge on Beirut-Damascus railway, shrouded in the passing clouds. Those children who remember violent deaths in previous lives, usually involve sudden accidents, car crashes and most recently, the war.
Bridge connecting Mount Lebanon with the road to Beeka Valley, yet also forming the north-south dividing line between Druze and Christian strongholds, who fought a brief, but bitter civil war in 1860, and again in the late 20th century. Regardless, both areas retain a mix of religions today.
Clouds over Chouf region, on Mount Lebanon, drifting over cedar trees, the symbol of Lebanon. Chouf was the home to Fakhr-Al-Din, the Druze leader in the early 17th century, who managed to carve out a kingdom in the Ottoman empire stretching as far as Palmyra in present-day Syria.
Religion, seen simplistically by many as the underlying cause of the civil war, retains an empowering and omnipresent status among the 18 sects in Lebanon. The statue of Virgin Mary in Dowra, Beirut, sees gifts and occasional prayer from the passing Beirutis, heading into the smoke-clogged, rush-hour streets ahead.
Under pressure from the private sector, mass urban development in the post-war years have almost eliminated public spaces from the urban fabric. Only one public beach remains in Beirut, with a raw sewage pipe running beneath it.
The Druze have continued tracing their multiple lives across Mount Lebanon, which helped the community become fearful fighters against their enemies. “In this life, I am a supporter of the same political party, same as my parents. Throughout my youth, I wanted to fight for the same ideals, and used to think about the joining the war in neighbouring Syria, but with age, this fighting spirit has decreased,” said Nibal.
Valleys in Mount Lebanon carry an air of beauty and mystique, akin to philosophical studies of the Druze faith, centered on monotheism and individual interpretation. Shadi Khalek, Nibal’s friend, recalls asking his Christian teacher at school: “If we were all sons of God, same as Jesus; I do not remember the answer.”
Nibal Khalek stands in the backdrop of the Druze religious house in his village, Majdal Baana. Nibal accepted the influence of the past life in his current decisions, which in a way, guided his choices in the present life. “Maybe that's why my soul wanted to be reborn in this body, to finish what it started,” he said.
More historic heritage was subsequently destroyed in the post-war construction boom, than in the conflict itself - torn down, dumped into the sea, or simply left to stand idly by the motorway.
Children in Lebanon are not taught the contentious history of the 15 year long Lebanese civil war. Mass apathy transformed armed belligerents into suited parliamentarians, with obvious shortcomings left untouched in the non-existent national reconciliation.
People, like the last remaining fishermen, were hit the hardest - their livelihoods destroyed by pollution, overconsumption and encroaching mass wealth.
The post-conflict construction boom, fuelled by corruption and private sector explosion, has led to a psychotic dash for the sky.
The mass influx of Syrians has also led to nation wide construction boom, fuelled by unregistered and expandable labour. Combined with a chronic lack of heritage protection and no enforceable planning laws, much of the construction has ripped apart Beirut’s historic fabric. In the Corniche seafront, a rare exception to the rampant build up is found in the crippled, and idle concrete barriers awaiting the now-defunct construction.
The largely unregulated medicines market in Lebanon, flooded with international pharmaceuticals, has led to overmedication and a suberge by many into antidepressant overuse to tackle the chronic, and mostly unaddressed, PTSD among the war witnesses.
Many argue Lebanon has never left the post-conflict stage, perhaps, even intentionally. Elements of urban securitization maintain the conflict symbolism throughout the city, however, not without genuine security fears in the region.
And those who could not go higher, were confined to a claustrophobic urban existence.
Faint outline of the Druze religious building hugs the outline of the rock face on Mount Lebanon. The religious buildings, the Khalwa, are nondescript, often displaying no more than the five-point star of the Druze faith.
A home in Majdal Baana village. As entire generations live side-by-side, noticing reincarnations in the early years following a child’s birth became a family tradition.
Many children, including Nibal, guided their families to the houses of their previous-life families. Nibal remembered his death in clashes between the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, with whom the Druze allied during the civil war, and Islamists in the Sunni Muslim stronghold in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.