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Need help: planning on itinerary for lebanon travel project

 

 
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Need help: planning on itinerary for lebanon travel project
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martin



Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 2

Post Need help: planning on itinerary for lebanon travel project Reply with quote
Hello all !

I'm a french student and i'm currently looking for visit your beautiful country ! But i have to present a project with a french association which offers grants.

I chose the subject : political, cultural and social frontiers in Lebanon.
( with "frontiers" meaning in general these trends which makes people feel themselves different from other ones : not only officials frontiers, but those who remains rooted in the minds and in the everyday life)

That's why i will travel everywhere in the country, visiting places showing ( with people feelings or with particular situations, atmospheres) these different frontiers between lebanese. I will study the relationships between those different identities ( Lebanese and Strangers like with Syria or Israel, Muslims and Maronides or Druzes, poor and richs, etc etc...).

Do you know some places in Lebanon where i can find that kind of situations ( regions with problems between identities, areas of tension in the official frontiers, villages marked by the wars and previous troubles, districts with social strains etc etc) ?

If u can give me the name + the region it would be great !

You can answer me here or directly if you prefer at this adress martinlafonscpo@gmail.com .

If you can help me i would be proud to add your site in my special thanks list in my final report in order to provide you some advertisement!

I wish you the best and long lives Lebanon !

Martin.
Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:17 am View user's profile Send private message
admin
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 504
Location: Jbeil Byblos

Post Lebanon and Lebanese division: Political cultural social Reply with quote
Martin, welcome,

Hope I can help with my reply.

I think your debate for "political, cultural and social frontiers in Lebanon" is in mind before being in places.

For political frontiers: Since 2005 the frontier appeared clearer. It began however since the year 1989/1990 when General Michel Aoun proclaims a war of liberation against the Syrian presence in Lebanon... than after in 2005 the tension was clearer... and before President Sleiman election the tension was in it is maximum between opposition and loyalist.... that political frontiers was seen in Christian communities... Some Christians was with the loyalist and some other was with the opposition. In Muslims communities: Chiite community (the biggest part) was with the opposition and for Sunnite community (the biggest part) was with the loyalist group. After the election of Michel Sleiman and the new government and the status quo of the situation in Lebanon... the division is not so much appearing as before, since in the new government opposition and loyalist are in same government.

Now more political parties division appears... Kataeb, Lebanese Forces parties... still want to plan how to remove Hezbollah weapons because following them we cannot build a country with militia, and the other parties Patriotic movement, Marada, Amal wants to postpone this dilemma and that because Israel is still presenting a big danger to Lebanon and they are mentioning that Hizbollah is a resistance and not a militia group. Progressive Socialist Party (Joumblat) and Future movement are probably still lost between those 2 groups...

I feel political conflict in Lebanon is now attenuated or hidden… But I feel it is still in the mind of people... an example in few days for 14 February 2010: Mr. Geagea so decided and shouting daily to do a manifestation for his "Cedar Revolution".

So for this issue... I suggest you meet especially young Christian and Young Sunnite people in Lebanon who still for some of them feel this division... For places: Check Ain el Remaneh in the Christian part in front of Shiaa and Dahieh (of the Chiite Majority). Discover “El Tariq el Jdideh” (with Sunnite Majority) in front of other Chiite area of Beirut. Explore in Tripoli, the mountain of Allawit (pro-Syrian in politic) in front of the vast area of Sunnite in Tripoli. In those places were and there might be future tension. Same for all villages or cities around Palestinian camps. Finally there is always tension between south border’s villages and Israel.

I have here in one of my sites… Polls for debate http://challengerabbit.com/polls-debates.php check them one after one… and see in some polls there were massive replies and even hating spreading between Lebanese sadly… specially in this poll http://challengerabbit.com/election-7june09.php >read as well comment<

For cultural frontiers: I think this frontier is not so present in Lebanon... there is no real cultural frontier... Lebanese all are proud to be Lebanese and we friendship each other whatever is the difference in culture.

However if you add to culture -religion and believe- yes I think for small part of people fear -to not tell division- is in mind... when you combined culture, religion to politic... more division may appears… but when you remove the religion and politics… you can easily find all Lebanese cultural mentality together... in social live and activities.

For social frontier all alone: I guess there is not such difference in Lebanon.
Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:13 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
martin



Joined: 26 Jan 2010
Posts: 2

Post Reply with quote
Hello William,

First, thanks a lot for these informations, I am sorry for my late answer but i was quite busy these last days ... Sad

- When u say "I think your debate for "political, cultural and social frontiers in Lebanon" is in mind before being in places.", u mean that there is not much "identity markers" in villages and districts ? ( like many religion buildings, graffitis, or posters with political leaders?).

- About political frontiers : it is interesting because at the beginning with "political frontiers" i meant only "national frontiers" (with Israel and relationships with syrians and palestinians inside the country).
But you spoke about politics issue and you are right because it seems to be as much a "frontier" between people as religion is ( like the clash between Hizbullah and Amal). I have read that there are sometimes fights between Future party supporters and "8 mars coalition" ones, especially in Beirut. Is it always true?

Thanks for the places informations, i found them all on the map.

Your link concerning the vote intentions is very interesting : the christian division appears very clear.

But can you say me which christians parties are serious opponents to Michel Aoun? Lebanese Forces ? Lebanese Social Democratic Party ? Or are they too weak ?

- Who is the "middle party" that you wrote in you poll ?

- Why is Michel Aoun associated with syrian allies ( Hizbullah and SSNP), didnt he fight them during the civil war?

- What are the main subjects of divisions between the Loyalists and the opposition?

- I've read an article talking about Aoun and saying he was the leader of confessionalism, and after i read that nowadays he supports secularism. Politics is insanely complicated in your country !

I have some others questions if it doesnt bore you :

- What is the real power of the family link in Lebanon? Are the family very united? In politics i've see the Gemayels or the Hariris, whose the childs take the role of their fathers. It doesn't upset the citizens?

- Is it possible to visit Palestinians camps? I've read that there are often troubles.

- In the maps i found that Saida is a Sunni city surrouded by Chiite population : is it true ?( i dont trust internet maps)
Same question for Zahlé, which seems to be christian among Chiites.

- Can I go without problems in Hizbullah districts ( i dont want to be narrow minded when I ask for them especially, but i dont want make mistakes and hurt people - i can understand that they dont like europeans, considering all the things we did in middle east).

- I heard that Bekaa region ( outside of Baalbeck) was quite unsafe, with "dealers", bandits ..). Can you say me what's the real situation?

- How close can i be from Israelian frontier? Do you think i can visit some of the village which are quite close, and where there have been massacres, like Maroun el-Ras, Hula ?

- You say that there are not much social frontiers. Aren't there economic differences among regions ( the one of Tripoli, the South, which seems to be quite poor, and Mount Liban, or rich districts)? In a more general way, do people from one region feel themselves different from others one? Like a Sunni from south and one in north etc

- Do you know some places interesting in Syrian frontier which illustrates the new relationships with Syria since 2005?

- And last, but not least : my work concerns Lebanese identity issues , so i study what divides the society. But i'm as much interested in what gathers them ( music, history, art and so on). Things like Fairouz or Phenician origins i guess. Can you give me things like that?

I think that it can be interesting, in order to study that Lebanese identity, to visit one of these phenicians or romans ruins. Which of them is the most famous for the Lebanese themselves, the one which symbolize perfectly the Lebaneses proudness for their ancestors?

I hope i don't annoy you with all theses questions, but it is so much fascinating !

By making all theses sites, you are doing a great job for Lebanon for sure !

Best wishes, Martin.
Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:36 pm View user's profile Send private message
admin
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Mar 2007
Posts: 504
Location: Jbeil Byblos

Post Debate Lebanese issues and questions - Politic Social Reply with quote
I will reply briefly for lack of time..... It is much easier for me if you come to Lebanon we can meet and discuss...

- I mean that there is not so much "identity markers" in villages and districts? But that do not mean there is no difference in some places... the one I mentioned up... in the paragraph "So for this issue..." But again... For me I do not care to go in all corners of Lebanon... Dahieh... Tariq el Jadideh... Allawit hills…etc... Except... probably I do not feel happy to go to Palestinians camps... why? Becoz i feel i do not have anything to do there… Simply.

- Yes in the past there were problems between Hizbullah and Amal. And yes you are right about the big fight in 7 May between Future party supporters and "8 mars coalition" (Specially between Amal and Future) and later it continues few times but not that big fight as 7 May. Now all seems quite Ok.

- Which ‘Christian’s parties are serious opponents to Michel Aoun’? It is I think Lebanese Forces. I think Michel Aoun still strong in older generation but with young people Geagea popularity is being now stronger...

- After the Election of Sleiman some politicians like Michel Murr invented the Middle Party and tried to appear as it is 'the Middle Party of the president', even at that period it was all lying... First Sleiman never had a Middle party he is the president of all Lebanon... and to mention Murr... he was blurring... he was with 14 Mars coalition... they invented the middle party to attract people from Aoun.

- With your question "Why is Michel Aoun associated with Syrian allies" I can ask the same "How the one of Sunnite or Joumblat who was sooooo under Syrian control" can pretend now to be the clean parties liberating Lebanon...?" I think Aoun see that Hezbollah is a part of Lebanon... we cannot continue to tell they are Iranian... they are not... they are simply Lebanese... and I think Michel Aoun see that they are probably more clean then other… so why not dealing with them... Why we have to fight them because Israel would love to see Lebanese parties all fighting in Lebanon to reduce Hezbollah power for her benefit...?

- To your question "Main subjects of divisions between the Loyalists and the opposition?" Read my previous paragraph "Now more political parties division appears..."

- To your sentence ""I've read an article talking about Aoun and saying he was the leader of confessionalism, and after I read that nowadays he supports secularism.""" I reply media propaganda the one influenced by Zionism around the world... would love to tell that Michel Aoun is the leader of the Christian confession.. They love to put that in mind of west… Lebanon all Leader's confessions fighting each other... while the true Michel Aoun was and is still trying to play a major role as a Lebanese leader for all Lebanon and with secularism approach.

- Yes sadly in Lebanon... it is always like that from father to son... if you ask me if I am upset.. Yes personally I don’t like that fake democracy.. but I am sure many other who benefit from that situation love to remains with it.

- To your question is it possible to visit Palestinians camps? Yes of course you can, many reporters come to Lebanon and visit the camps.
- I think around the Sunnite city of Saida, it is not only Chiite.. I think it is more even Sunnite majority villages... yes around Zahle you can find high majority of Chiite.

- To your question "Can I go without problems in Hezbollah districts" I assure you... you can go to Dahieh district as much as you want. If the west government did any mistakes they are not hating European Citizen.

- To your question "I heard that Bekaa region was quite unsafe, with "dealers", bandits" Also this is typically exaggeration west propaganda... If there are some drug dealers… I can assure you that Lebanese State are all present in all corners of Beqaa... And recently the State arrested many big drug dealers... and even Hassan Nasrallah in his latest speech... he is begging the Lebanese state to work at his most power to fight any bandits or dealers...

- In some places of the Lebanese frontier with Israel... you can stay some meters near the border. Yes of course you can visit Maroun el Ras, Hula, Bent-Jbeil, Aita el Chaab, Cana... etc.

- Yes I feel there is not a big social frontiers... but that do not means... that there is not region more rich and other more poor… let's say.. Suburb of Tripoli… and the rich “Mahrad area in Tripoli” or in some town in Christian areas... Adma, Rabieh very rich villas and poor place like Nabaa, Karantina...etc... Or ALSO very important… Solidere region very clean and rich and around it some poor areas... but I feel for me... There is not a social frontier... Ghettos... even the poorest can go whatever he/she wants. For economic difference... you can find products less expensive in poor region than same products can be more expensive... I can give you an example several times I went from Byblos to Tripoli to buy fish, legumes fruit... because it is less expensive in Tripoli than in our region.

- To your question "Do you know some places interesting in Syrian frontier which illustrates the new relationships with Syria since 2005" Maybe you can write when you come about the Damascus road from Lebanon to Syria.. Many times when there was some conflict in Beqaa between villages chiite and Sunnite... Lebanese Sunnite tried to close road going to Syria near the area of the last Lebanese security check post named "Al Masnah" before leaving to Syria….

- To your concern interested in what gathers them (music, history, art and so on). Things like Fairuz or Phoenician origins and “Proud to Be Lebanese”… I think that the power of Lebanon... they are very united in culture, art and history... and even cuisine... even in the attack of Israel in 2006... in 1 day Lebanese forget everything and was all united like brothers for 1 Month!!

- To your wish to visit "Phoenicians or Romans ruins. Which of them is the most famous..." I can reply... you have to visit the national museum of Beirut… Baalbeck, and the Citadel of Jbeil-Byblos and as well the Ruins of Tyre... those are the most famous.
Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:59 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
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