Day 3 – The 2 Faces of Beirut

We saw them yesterday.

Bay Rocks, Beirut
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Car bomb kills 20 in Hezbollah’s Beirut stronghold (Thursday afternoon, an hour before we were very close by)

It’s only a small road which separates the chichi part of Beirut from its pitfalls. Unbelievably fast changes the scenery when you pass by the Corniche – all of a sudden, literally by crossing a street, you are in the middle of the slum-like Hezbollah area. We went through there just an hour before a powerful car bomb struck the area, a stronghold of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group, killing 20 people, wounding 120 and trapping many others inside damaged buildings, witnesses and emergency officials said. The blast generated wide condemnation, as the Daily Star, a Lebanese newspaper says – and Lebanese accused Israel to stand behind the attack. In the news a Sunni Islamist group calling itself the Brigades of Aisha claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion, saying it targeted the militant group to avenge Hezbollah for its intervention in Syria’s war. The Sunnis in Lebanon are anti Assad and support the insurgents.

Update: On Saturday, 2 days after the explosion we heard from witnesses that more than 100 hundred people have died and more than 500 have been injured. Pictures proof this as well.

A much more pleasant event was our meeting with Joey Ayoub, a Lebanese blogger and global voices author. We’ve met in a nice coffee shop in Hamra – where I ate an excellent carrot cake;-) Still taste it! He is co-founder of “Humans of Lebanon” and just recently he started to support a woman group way up in the north of Lebanon at the Syrian border. It’s a secular group doing social work.
He will tell us more about it in his contribution to we_Middle_East.

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