In Lebanon, during a lull in the fighting yesterday (6 June), Beirut residents tried to relax and forget for a while at least, the bitter civil war.
GV cars moving through seaside market
GV people in market (3 shots)
GV people swimming along seafront (4 shots)
GV People fishing.
The original fighting began in April, 1975, between two armed groups - the Palestinian guerrilla commandos who have bases in the Lebanon and the right-wing Lebanese Falangists who object to the Palestinian presence. The Palestinians were supported by the Moslem Left in their struggle with the Falangists who are predominantly Christian. The conflict developed into domestic communal and political strife. Right and Left, Christian against Moslem, and rich against poor. Now with the intervention of the Syrian Army on 1 June tension has increased with clashes reported between pro and anti-Syrian factions. The intervention has had wider repercussions -- Egypt has closed its Damascus Embassy and ordered Syrian diplomats to leave Cairo. The cost of the war to Lebanon is huge and thousands of people have been killed. According to Reuters, reporting from Beirut, the country's major industries of commerce and tourism may never entirely recover.
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Background: In Lebanon, during a lull in the fighting yesterday (6 June), Beirut residents tried to relax and forget for a while at least, the bitter civil war.
SYNOPSIS: Relaxation from the tensions of the conflict, is new regarded as a rare luxury, only allowed when the various warring factions agree another shaky ceasefire.
Once, shopping in the colourful markets and bathing was regarded as part of the city's tourist routine. But the fighting has destroyed the tourist industry and reduced Beirut's reputation as the commercial centre of the Arab world, to a shattered wreck.
Although the waterfront district was quiet on Sunday, gun battles continued elsewhere. According to Reuters, these were mainly between pro-Syrian and anti-Syrian forces who have clashed several times since the Syrian Army intervened in Lebanon last week.
Such incidents seemed far away for those able to reach the relative peace of the waterfront. No sound of gunfire spoiled the atmosphere, recalling happier times for the troubled country. Even so, few people dared risk the dangerous journey though the divided city to the beaches.