Like most towns and cities throughout the Lebanon, the port of Tripoli is slowly returning to normal after 19 months of torturous civil war.
GVS: Tripoli, Lebanon. (2 shots)
MV: Arab League forces at roadblock stopping and inspecting car for weapons PAN TO war-damaged building.
SV PAN AND SVS: damaged buildings. (3 shots)
SV: Arab League troops inspecting car.
SV: cars down road
MVS: Arab League tank through streets followed by other traffic and street scenes. (4 shots)
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Background: Like most towns and cities throughout the Lebanon, the port of Tripoli is slowly returning to normal after 19 months of torturous civil war.
SYNOPSIS: Tripoli is Lebanon's second largest city, and one of its most important ports. Since Syrian peacekeeping troops moved in this week under an Arab League Mandate, residents have been able to move about freely and are starting to rebuild their homes and businesses.
The Syrians are pledged to stamp out any signs of renewed fighting - whether it be from right or left wing troops. And to make sure that everyone knows they are serious in their mission all vehicles in and out of the city are checked to make sure no one is trying to smuggle in or out arms that could bring renewal fighting. But the average Lebanese - whether Moslem or Christian - say they have seen enough fighting to last a lifetime, and only want to return to some normal way of life as soon as possible.
However, it could be years before the city returns to its past prosperity. There has been untold damage to property, and many people have gone out of business because of the fighting. Reports published this week say it will take millions of pounds to rebuild the city - and billions to rebuild the country. The cost in human life has been high as well. In Tripoli alone more than 2,000 civilians died - most from daily bombardments from rightist troops who besieged the leftist-held city before the Syrians took over. There is still bitterness on both sides - but each day of peace takes the country one further step from the war.