In the Lebanon, the arrival of the Arab peace-keeping force has created an uneasy calm throughout the country.
In the Lebanon, the arrival of the Arab peace-keeping force has created an uneasy calm throughout the country. The agreement for a ceasefire and the entry of Arab troops came into effect early on Monday morning (21 June).
The Once busy and bustling, the capital, Beirut, now lies quiet. After early violations of the ceasefire, plus a thunderous eruption of firing in the air by Moslem gunmen to celebrate the arrival of the security forces, Beirut now was unusually clam. The armed street patrols continue, but now, even they are reporting back at the end of the day that not a shot had been fired.
It's going to be a long time before Beirut is restored to even half the city it once was. Everywhere, the scene is the same. Garbage and burnt out vehicles litter the streets of the city that was once the financial centre of the Middle East.
In the Red Cross hospital-situated in a partially completed building-the team of 14 has handled more than five thousand cases in a year, most of them innocent victims of the violence. Although the conditions in the hospital are far from perfect, the doctors say they can now cope as they now have a permanent roof over their heads.
Meanwhile the people of Beirut continue to live without power and in many cases fresh running water. Women have learnt to cope the best way possible when preparing meals. These days they cannot even be certain that the markets will be open the next day.
But despite all the troubles, life does go on. Without electricity, there's no radio or television so the local people make their own entertainment. If it were not for the abundance of firearms, this could be any normal neighbourhood get-together.
For the moment, the people of Beirut are trying to forget the past and live, as much as possible, the way they used to.