Chérine Yazbeck Cherine Yazbeck

JG 11.8.16 Former Employee -

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
12 May 2016

On April 13th, 1975, tit-for-tat skirmishes in south Beirut escalated into the fifteen and half year Lebanese Civil War that claimed an estimated 250-thousand lives. These photos were shot in August, 1991, less than a year after the end of the conflict in the downtown area and along the ‘Green Line’ which separated east and west Beirut.

Below is the photographer's firsthand account of her experiences:



Beyrouth, destroy… Chérine Yazbeck décembre 2012 En découvrant le centre de ma ville à 20 ans, après des années d’exil, je ne savais pas comment appréhender l’horreur et le vide qui m’attiraient autant qu’ils me repoussaient. Je fus naturellement poussée à vouloir immortaliser cette vision abyssale. Depuis mon adolescence, je n’ai jamais quitté le Canon AE1 offert par mon père. Cet appareil, l’extension de mon corps, exprimait ce que je ressentais ; outil nécessaire pour pénétrer les mystères de ce lieu tant fantasmé. Je pratiquais alors avec une intensité jouissive la photographie automatique, sans arrière-pensée ni réflexion aboutie pour ces photographies qui représentaient pour moi l’An 1 de l’existence de Beyrouth. J’écumais ma ville, à la recherche de ses secrets. Beyrouth, ville ouverte. L’excitation provoquée par la découverte du centre ravagé par les combattants – destruction massive, la honte, l’angoisse, la tristesse et l’incompréhension face à cette vision apocalytico-sexy d’une ville dépecée, violée jusqu’au plus profond de ses entrailles. De Beyrouth, il ne restait rien. Esthétique singulière, une cité dénudée, mise à nu que des chiens aux abois avaient dévorée, pillée, avalée… un squelette, à peine, Mad Max en mode real life, classé X - limite pornographique. Beyrouth s’était affranchie de tous les interdits, elle avait vu, bu, vomi toutes les pensées subversives. Elle s’était offerte à tout le monde, sans distinction, sans discrimination, sans ambages… Dans mes premiers pas dans ce Beyrouth du centre-ville qui m’avait si longtemps été interdite, je croisais des enfants, des femmes et des hommes qui portaient chacun à leur manière les stigmates d’une guerre passée – une gifle en plein visage. J’étais attirée par ce néant, les sacs de sable des snipers, ces tireurs embusqués, qui avaient déserté ce tableau de désolation et de chaos. Au printemps 2012, en effectuant ce travail d’exhumation de négatifs délaissés, je me suis rendue compte que je n’étais pas épargnée par l’amnésie d’après-guerre qui frappe un grand nombre de mes compatriotes. La photographie automatique annihile la pensée par le truchement du déni. Voice ma collection ressuscitée, une boîte de Pandore dans laquelle gisaient une multitude d’images tristes et désolées, de négatifs moribonds. Les verticales et les horizontales se succèdent comme autant de blessures béantes se rappelant à notre souvenir.

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Face Harsh...
Qab Elias
By Cherine Yazbeck
14 Jan 2015

Qab Elias, Lebanon

January 14, 2015

 

Syrian refugees living in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley are struggling amid deplorable winter living conditions. Glacial nights and heavy snowfall are their everyday life. Under the snow, their fragile tents often collapse. 

Four years after the beginning of the Syrian war, the number of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon has surpassed the 1 million mark. Most of them are jobless, homeless and with little hope of returning anytime soon to their homeland as the war rages on.

 

With no official refugee camps in Lebanon, their settlements are hastily set up in vacant lots, abandoned buildings, garages and sheds on farmlands. Syrian refugees in the town of Qab Elias in eastern Lebanon say that in their nomadic tents, they are freezing to death.

 

Dozens of malnourished children run in the snow wearing light clothes. Many of them only have plastic slippers to protect their feet from the icy ground.

 

Refugee residents in Qab Elias are mostly unemployed and complain that the aid they are receiving is not enough to cover their needs.

 

Mohammad al-Rasheed, the spokesperson of the settlement, praises the work of World Vision, as they are the only aid organization that visits them and offers them materials and clothes.

 

“They gave each house a card that differs according to the number of children. Each child is entitled to a box of clothes. There is a group of people here in Qab Elias who received clothes. A box contains, for example, a jacket, several pairs of trousers, gloves and boots,” explains al-Rasheed.

As the war has dragged on, international funds supporting the Syrian refugees have significantly decreased. A huge number of children do not attend school and most of their parents are jobless. The harsh winter weather of the Lebanese mountains has only furthered the misery for people whose lives are now a simple game of survival.

 

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Racy Egyptian Films No Longer Mirror ...
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
06 Feb 2015

Beirut, Lebanon January 29, 2015 After the death of Arab film icons Faten Hamama and Sabah earlier this year, cinema fans revived the memories of what many describe as “la belle époque,” which dated from the 1950s till the mid-1970s. During this golden age, budgets and standards were considerably high and the progressive state ideology promoted the production of films that were successful throughout the Arab world. This wave benefited from cultural interaction between different Arab societies, a seemingly endless cache of amazing talents and the blessing of a dedicated audience. More significantly, movies reflected liberal societies. Aboudi Abu Jaoudeh, the director of Al-Furat publishing house, is a collector of Arab film posters. Through this collection, one can understand the prevailing mentality at that time. He explains that since the mid-1970s, filmmakers have steered away from showing explicit content as a result of pressure from producers from the Arabian Gulf. A recent audiovisual performance titled Gharam wa Intiqam (Love and Revenge), designed by artist Randa Mirza and rapper Wael Kodaih, known as Rayess Beik, revives Arab cinema’s golden era. The show, which is still running in alternative venues, incorporates electronic music into scenes from some of the most iconic Egyptian, Lebanese, and Syrian movies. This video includes an interview with Sadek Sabbah, a famous Lebanese cinema producer and distributor of Egyptian and Lebanese movies whose company, Sabbah Art Production, was a main contributor of cinematic production in the 1960s and 1970s. He analyses how social change in Egypt has affected the movies and discusses the influence of Islamists on public freedom in Egypt. Shotlist and Transcript 1 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboudi Abou Jawdeh, Director of Al-Furat Publishing House 00:00 – 01:17 I am focusing my interest on Lebanese cinema. I want to archive [the relevant material] accurately. I love this poster. It features Sabah. Many posters were inspired by Western ones. This one was shows an influence of the movie Gilda, starred by Rita Hayworth. They have reproduced the exact same poster in Lebanon. When James Bond movies were out, there were spy movies in Lebanon, too. When musical films were produced abroad, musicals were also produced [in Lebanon]. The same trends that appeared in the 1970s… When erotic movies were produced, the same took place in Arab countries and Lebanon between 1970 and 1972 or 1973. The same trends in world or Arab cinema were echoed [in Lebanon]. These trends had a worldwide effect. This includes all aspects [of cinema], from designing poster to producing the movie. This also affected people’s lives. 2 Various of Abboudi Abou Jawdeh examining posters 3 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abboudi Abou Jawdeh, Director of Al-Furat Publishing House 01:31 – 08:18 01:31 This movie… this poster dates from the 1940s. This is how they designed posters. In the 1970s and 1980s – the late 1970s and early 1980s – especially when video and new technology appeared, people were able to take movies to their homes. At that time, funding from Saudi Arabia or the Gulf in general was channeled into production. This funding forced its own requirements on production. It imposed certain limits. There was a large-scale consumption of cinematic work, or movies in general, through new broadcasting media; there were new TV stations as well as video. This financial capital bought a large part of old movies and financed new movies. It laid down new models for work. For example, [investors] require that certain scenes or topics do not appear. There were certain molds that had to contain these movies. Movies that were produced until the 1970s were modified to suit the new display rules. All the kisses were removed from movies, as well as all scenes that were deemed unacceptable. Movies that are being currently shown and that were produced in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s are disfigured. It was a rare for a director to be able to take control of his own movie. Even earlier, in the 1950s and 1960s, there were directors who suffered in their work and their movies were even censored. They used to be paid per movie. They would receive a certain fee, for example 6,000 or 7,000 Egyptian pounds and would not ask about the movie later. Some producers were in need of money. I started collecting… one usually has a favorite actor or actresses. I started collecting their photos and posters. After the show, I used to ask workers in the movie theater if there were any posters [that I could take]. I started collecting posters of Western movies. I continued this collection, and later I was interested in cinema magazines, especially in the 1970s… in the early 1970s. Cinema was the main source of entertainment in Lebanon at that time. People from all social classes used to go at least five or six times a year to the movie theater. When she [Um Kulthum] died, they filmed her funeral and showed part of that footage [in the cinema]. Al-Haram (The Sin) was a movie produced in 1968. It was based on a novel by Youssef Idriss. It is a beautiful story about a female peasant who was a raped by another peasant and did not dare to say anything about it. She did not even tell her husband about this. She died while giving birth. This story is very tragic and can really be described as a story with a social interest. It shows women’s suffering in our Arab societies. The changes… now there are restrictions that actors, directors, or producers apply to avoid being held accountable. It is not the people who would hold them accountable. [A producer would say,] “I have paid one or two million dollars to produce a TV series; I do not want the government to ban it if I did not remove this or that part.” Producers avoid any trouble to be able to make a profit. 06:42 This poster was designed by artist Hilmi al-Touni. I think that it expresses very beautifully what the movie is about. All the black color… the background represents death while she represents life. The movie’s illustration is done beautifully. 07: 13 Look at this poster. Imagine that this poster was printed in 1955. This is one of the first movies starred by Hind Rustom. This kind of magazines was printed in Lebanon in 1960s and even in the 1970s. This magazine was distributed in Arab countries. It is called Cinema and Marvels. It was indeed a marvelous magazine! Interviewer: Do you think it would be possible for such magazines to be printed again in the Arab world? - No, it is not possible. Some of [these models] were Arab. You would be able to find Arab dancers on magazine covers. It was normal. 4 Various of Metro al-Madina theatre hall and cabaret 5 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Randa Mirza, Artist 08:44 “Our show is called Love and Revenge, the title of a movie starred by Asmahan in 1944. The entire show is based on replaying Arabic songs that date from the 1930s till the 1960s. It features Egyptian, Lebanese and Syrian movies from the same period.“ 6. Various of show. NAT Sound: Music. 7 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Rayyes Beik, Musician 09:25 “I wanted to revive these songs with a new spirit so that I and other people rediscover them. In remixing these songs, I incorporated electronic music. I changed the beat and the length of the songs. The song now has a new face, a new spirit.” 8. SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Randa Mirza, Artist 09:55 “When we return to that era, we realize that we had a great cinematographic and musical production, which had simplicity, aesthetics and experience that now have been lost. We want to bring this era back. Then we would perhaps be able to say, “See where we were and where we are now.” 9 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Rayyes Beik, Musician and Rapper 10:20 “There is a political, economic and artic void. There is a big void in the Arab world.” 10 Wide of posters in Metro al-Madina 11 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Aurelien Zouki, Spectator 10:40 It is really important that they worked on Egyptian movies. This shows our situation back then and what we have now reached. This difference is a bit scary. 12 Various of show. Scenes taken from Kaborya, starred by Ahmadn Zaki and Raghda (9:14). Scenes feature dancer Tahiya Karioka. Soundtrack , song by Warda al-Jazairiya (11:08); Dancer Samia Jamal (11:39); scenes from film Abi Fawqa al-Shajara, starred by Abdel Halim Hafez and Samia Jamal; soundtrack, Tindam by Widad; film starred by Sleiman Eid 13 SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Sadeq Sabbah, Owner of Sabbah Art Production 15:11 – 18:36 I think the change is due to the fact that people’s mindset was affected by the Islamic tide. Part of this was negative. This negative part affected people. It affected their social habits and way of life, which has to do with cinema, what they eat or drink, as well as going out. It has to do with everything. It is not specifically related to cinema. If, in Lebanon for example, I wanted to say that cinema is the mirror of society… I feel that cinema currently is not the mirror of society. If you look at 10 women in the street, you will see that nine of them wear the hijab. However, if we looked at women in Egyptian movies, the ratio would be reversed. Maybe one tenth of them wear a hijab. Lebanon embraced Egyptian cinema approximately from 1965 to 1975. They [Egyptian filmmakers] discovered three things in Lebanon. First of all, Lebanon is a large studio where there is great scenery. There is the sea, mountains and a nice climate. Media services in Lebanon were – and still are – very distinguished. Egyptians discovered that film production was easy in Lebanon. In addition to that, there were Lebanese actors and actresses present in Lebanon, which complemented Egyptian cinema. More importantly, distribution originated in Lebanon. The distribution revenues were funneled into Lebanon, which created an economic cycle during these 10 years. This facilitated film production. I feel nostalgic about the movie Nagham fi Hayati (A Life Melody), starred by Farid al-Atrash. First of all, I followed my parents work while they produced this movie. Secondly, there was a horrible incident. Farid al-Atrash died during two days before the end of filming, but they [the crew] were able to come up with solutions. It might also have to do with the fact that this was the last movie made in Lebanon – we were talking about these movies made between 1965 and 1975. After that the war broke out. I always have this movie in mind and I always love to watch it. Also, It featured a large group of Lebanese actors, such as Shoushou. There was a large Lebanese cast in this movie. It also featured classical scenery in Lebanon, such as Baalbek, Byblos, the cable cart, which was very important back then. It also featured Tyre. It was as if there Egyptian cinema was bidding Lebanon farewell.

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Hezbollah War Museum
Mleeta, Lebanon
By Cherine Yazbeck
14 Dec 2014

Where "Earth Speaks to Heaven": A Day at Hezbollah’s War Museum

Text by Cherine Yazbeck

A scenic hill in South Lebanon that Hezbollah fighters once used to launch attacks against Israeli troops is now a museum to commemorate martyrdom and victory.

This is the Mleeta war museum. Built in 2010, it stands as a reminder of Hezbollah’s main source of popular legitimacy – the liberation of southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation. Hezbollah fought against Israeli troops during their occupation between 1982 and 2000. In 2006, Hezbollah also fought a bloody war against Israel that lasted for 33 days.

The museum stretches over more than 65,000 square meters and includes an outdoor exhibition as well as a projection hall and indoor cafés.

On display are military equipment, fatigues and weapons of different calibers abandoned by Israeli troops as well as equipment used by Hezbollah fighters.

This project is still under development. Once completed, it will include a luxury hotel, a paintball arena and a cable car station that offers visitors a scenic view of the area.

While Hezbollah has been discreet about the project’s cost and source of funding, it is estimated that the museum has so far cost several million dollars.
The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism recognized the “Tourist Resistance Landmark”, as Hezbollah names the Mleeta museum it, as an official Lebanese tourist site.

The main gate has a college campus feel. At the entrance there is a café, a souvenir shop and snack bars. After climbing long stairs, the visitor reaches a circular observation area in the middle of which there is a memorial plaque honoring fallen fighters.

One is free to either walk around alone or join a complimentary guided tour in different languages. Guides are former militants who generously share their experience with curious visitors that flock to Mleeta from the Persian Gulf, Hezbollah’s Lebanese supporters, in addition to a few Westerners.

The guide suggests that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group and aims only at defending its country. In its war to defend Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the party has tried to distinguish itself from Sunni militias it is fighting, which it labels as “terrorist”. Hezbollah says the purpose of its involvement in the Syrian quagmire is only meant to deter extremist groups from threatening Lebanon.

A tour of “victory”

The tour starts with a short documentary film extoling the militia’s victories, accompanied by a soundtrack of explosions, military music and religious chants. The film features footage of Hezbollah’s battles against Israel and the group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah giving a speech, claiming that Israel “has fallen.”

The indoor exhibition hall showcases a variety of captured Israeli arms and equipment displayed in glass cases and galleries beneath ground level.

On the wall, a large panel with aerial photos maps out the destruction and casualties which Hezbollah claims were inflicted on the civilian population during the last Israeli incursion into Lebanese territories in 2006. Other giant panels offer a detailed anatomy of Israel's military machine and show satellite pictures and map coordinates of potential Hezbollah targets in the Jewish state.

Across the main square is the “Abyss” – a construction that symbolizes Israel’s defeat and withdrawal from Lebanese territory. It consists of a two 20-metre wide hollows that contain mangled Israeli tanks amidst giant Hebrew letters and scattered ammunition. Inside the round sunken arena lies a model of an Israeli Merkava tank with its gun barrel tied in a knot – this is a mockery of Israeli forces, portrayed as weak and defeated.

Scattered around the outdoor arena, Israeli military hardware and empty vehicles carcasses lie belly-up to underline the victory of the Party of God over “the Zionist enemy”. The labyrinth of walkways allows a 360-degree view of this dramatic “art” installation.

The combination of reality and artistic narrative continues as the path leads into the woods, where networks of waist-high trenches, camouflaged by small oak trees, lead to a tunnel; these are the rugged tracks that battle-hardened fighters used during the occupation to monitor enemy positions and hide from war planes and drones. The reconstitution seems unrealistic at times; however, the life-size models of resistance fighters planted in “daily-life” poses fuel some realism.

The details of the constructed setting are important as they display the nitty-gritty reality of a Hezbollah guerrilla fighter. Resistance against the enemy and martyrdom are the two major themes of this outdoor exhibition.

This former hideout was part of the militia’s trench-line. The pathway links up with the “Cave”, the “Outlook”, and the ‘Tunnels”, all of which formed part of the defensive complex used by the fighters. A field hospital and a camouflaged rocket launching site portrait the experience of “fierce mujahideen” who patiently endured all kind of hardships.

"The Cave" was once used secret as a secret bunker. Hezbollah fighters dug it over the span of several years and had to work in discretion, day and night.

A large part of the network lies underground, dug deep into the rocky hillside. Hezbollah built a legend around its tunnel digging skills. According to the tour guides, it took the fighters over three years to hack out the limestone. Under occupation, this underground complex housed hundreds of fighters and was equipped with a kitchen, a prayer room, a field hospital, a dormitory, a command room and living space for up to 30 fighters.

The passage takes visitors to a lookout point high above villages perched in rolling hills. The spectacular green and peaceful scenery contrasts the exhibition’s military ambiance.

For Hezbollah supporters, Mleeta is revered as a symbol of courage, commitment and sacrifice.
Unlike official war museums in Western countries, in Mleeta, the party has added a religious militancy as well as an emphasis on martyrdom. The exhibition’s cryptic slogan "Earth Speaks to Heaven" sounds like a philosophic statement that summarizes Hezbollah’s reliance on religion as a source of political legitimacy.

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Blood and Rain: Ashura in Southern Le...
Nabatieh
By Cherine Yazbeck
03 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Nabatieh, Lebanon

Followers of the Lebanese Shia political party Amal commemorate Ashura in the southern Lebanese town of Nabatieh. Despite bans from top Shia religious leaders against self flagellation rituals, participants beat themselves with swords and proudly paraded their bloody heads and shirts.

Ashura commemorates the death and martyrdom of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Hezbollah, Lebanon's other major Shia political party also held their own separate Ashura commemoration a few days later, but self flagellation rituals were not permitted.

Hezbollah Defiant in Ashoura Commemor...
Nabatieh
By Cherine Yazbeck
06 Nov 2014

November 7, 2014
Nabatieh, Lebanon

The Lebanese Shia Party Hezbollah staged a defiant Ashoura commemoration in its south Lebanon stronghold of Nabatieh. Despite threats from radical sunni groups like ISIS to attack Ashoura commemorations, Hezbollah members and supporters took to the streets to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein in the battle of Karbala in 680 AD. Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah delivered a speech praising his party's role in the Syrian conflict and declaring Hezbollah's readiness to confront any challenges.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 27
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

A damaged and abandoned house near the 'Green Line'.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 26
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Three young boys play in the rubble of a destroyed building.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 25
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Removing the rubble during the reconstruction of downtown Beirut.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 23
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Damaged buildings on Bechara El-Khoury street in downtown Beirut, one of the city's principal north-south thoroughfares.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 21
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

The Rivoli Building, since demolished, as seen from the vantage point of the 'Martyr's Square' statue.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 22
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Damaged buildings along the "Green Line" separating east and west Beirut in the center of the city.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 20
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

The ruins surrounding Martyr's Square. Various make-shift cafés appeared shortly after the war, hence the plastic tables and chairs.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 18
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Buildings badly damaged in the old souks of downtown Beirut.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 19
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

A street coffee vendor sets up shop in Martyr's Square.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 17
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Two men walking in front of the opera house in downtown Beirut.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 15
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

The statue of Martyr's Square surrounded by damaged buildings.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 16
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

At the bottom of the photo is a sign warning against land-mines along the "Green Line" separating east and west Beirut.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 14
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Damaged buildings in downtown Beirut. In the background is the notorious Murr Building, a favorite spot for snipers during the war. Started in 1974, construction was halted by the war at 40 floors and never completed since.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 13
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Damaged apartment building next to the port of Beirut.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 11
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Children standing on the rubble of a building destroyed in the war.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 12
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Child playing near the Grand Serail, the former Ottoman and French Mandate seat of government and currently the headquarters of the Lebanese Prime Minister.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 10
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Facing west, a view of the reconstruction of downtown Beirut. To the left is the famous Beirut City Center Dome, also known as the "Egg," an iconic movie theatre heavily damaged during the war whose remains have been preserved as a memorial to the war's destruction.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 08
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Reconstruction takes place near the Zawiyat Ibn Iraq Mosque in central Beirut, a 16th century Mamluk shrine, site of today's downtown souks.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 09
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

View of the former opera house in downtown Beirut.

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Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

The reconstruction of Martyrs Square in downtown Beirut begins.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 06
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Martyrs Square: In the background is the Rivoli Building, site of the famous pre-war cinema. It took three attempts to demolish the building with explosives in 1993.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 04
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

A boy collects empty Pepsi cans in one of downtown Beirut's desolate public squares.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 05
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Martyrs Square: In the background is the Rivoli Building, site of the famous pre-war cinema. It took three attempts to demolish the building with explosives in 1993.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 03
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Martyrs Square: In the background is the Rivoli Building, site of the famous pre-war cinema. It took three attempts to demolish the building with explosives in 1993.

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 02
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Damaged buildings on Martyrs Square, downtown Beirut's most important public gathering place prior to the civil war

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Post Civil War Downtown Beirut 01
Beirut
By Cherine Yazbeck
15 Aug 1991

Martyrs Square: In the background is the Rivoli Building, site of the famous pre-war cinema. It took three attempts to demolish the building with explosives in 1993.

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Trailing the Mughals 29
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
27 Feb 2015

Amazing carved columns in the renowned Jain temple at Ranakpur. The temple is a tribute to Tirthankara Adinatha. Local legend has it that Dharma Shah, a local Jain businessperson, started construction of the temple in the 5th century following a divine vision. The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar and founder of the Jain religion. Inspired by a dream of a celestial vehicle, Dhanna Shah, a Porwal, commenced its construction, under the patronage of Rana Kumbha, then ruler of Mewar. The architect who oversaw the project was named Deepaka. There is an inscription on a pillar near the main shrine stating that in 1439 Deepaka, an architect, constructed the temple at the direction of Dharanka, a devoted Jain.
Nowadays, Ranakpur is the one of the most spiritual stops to understand the Jain sect and to understand the philosophy of this religion.

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Trailing the Mughals 28
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
01 Mar 2015

Elephant ride is Classic on the streets of Udaipur. Usually the rider asks for tips in order to feed his elephant. He also proposes paid elephant rides and tourists are usually enthusiastic about elephant riding.

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Trailing the Mughals 27
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
28 Feb 2015

Lake Pichola, situated in Udaipur city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, is an artificial fresh water lake, created in the year 1362 AD, named after the nearby Picholi village. It is one of the several contiguous lakes, and developed over the last few centuries in and around the famous Udaipur city. The lakes around Udaipur were primarily created by building dams to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the city and its neighborhood. Two islands, Jag Niwas and Jag Mandir are located within Pichola Lake, and have been developed with several palaces to provide views of the lake.

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Trailing the Mughals 26
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
01 Mar 2015

A classic scene of washerwomen washing publicly the family clothes in the waters of the Lake Pichola.

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Trailing the Mughals 25
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
28 Feb 2015

This is a fountain in the Sahelion ki Bari, the garden of maidens, that was built by Maharana Sangram Singh in the mid-18th century. There are pools with kiosks, flowerbeds, lawns, pools, fountains, along with an array of trees. There is also a sitting room decorated with paintings and glass mosaics in the garden. The main fountain at the extreme end of the garden is flanked with 4 massive elephants carved in a single piece of Agra marble.

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Trailing the Mughals 24
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
28 Feb 2015

A soup kitchen located in the lower-income neighborhood of Jagdish Temple serves daily meals for underprivileged people.

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Trailing the Mughals 22
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
27 Feb 2015

A classic scene of two men sitting on the pavement of a street of Udaipur.

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Trailing the Mughals 23
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
27 Feb 2015

A man dressed in traditional India man sari with a red 9-meter-turban covering his head.

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Trailing the Mughals 21
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
26 Feb 2015

On Jodphur streets, two hermaphrodites are wandering in the old souk after celebrating the Holi in which colored vegetable powder is spread on devotees. In India, hermaphrodites or hijras are part of one of the most neglected groups of our society.

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Trailing the Mughals 20
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
26 Feb 2015

A classic scene of a man sitting on the pavement in front of a statue celebrating a divinity.

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Trailing the Mughals 19
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
26 Feb 2015

An old woman is sweeping her floor in the old city of Jodhpur. Her house is blue as the city is known as "the blue city". Some say the colour is associated closely with the Brahmins, India's priestly caste, and the blue houses of the old city belong to families of that caste. Consequently, you might well hear the properties referred to as the 'Brahmin Houses'.

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Trailing the Mughals 18
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
26 Feb 2015

Picture taken from the Mehrangarh Fort that overlooks the city of Jodhpur. It is the second largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was formerly the seat of a princely state of the same name, the capital of the kingdom known as Marwar. Jodhpur is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar Desert.
The city is known as the "Sun City" for the bright, sunny weather it enjoys all the year round. It is also referred to as the "Blue City" due to the vivid blue-painted houses at the feet of the Fort. The old city circles the fort and is bounded by a wall with several gates.

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Trailing the Mughals 17
Delhi, India
By Cherine Yazbeck
26 Feb 2015

Details of a sculpture from a silver palanquin taken at the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodphur. The palanquin is a covered litter for one passenger, consisting of a large box carried on two horizontal poles by four or six bearers.