Posted by: audreydk | August 2, 2010

A Military Presence

Lebanon is a country presently at peace, but as a tribunal for the political assassination in 2005 of former Prime Minister Rafic Harir is coming up in September, the climate is becoming more tense. For me, this only means I have to avoid taking pictures of political buildings and at worst, I get my camera broken before I depart in a week. For the Lebanese, the threat of tension, violence and even war may be nigh…any outcome depends on who you talk to. Everyone is aware of the potential powder keg, but few people I talk to seem overly concerned.

Here are some “guards” at the castle in Tripoli, which is where I took most of these pics. These “civil soldiers” don camouflage and are a liaison between the police and the military; they pepper the streets of Beirut and oversee checkpoints all over the country. I snapped this pick to show the size of guns that are on many a street corner.  In fact, I don’t really notice them anymore- these commonplace arms are here for protection against potential combatants, not tourists.

Here are the checkpoint stations that I referred to, they are usually surrounded with these sandbags and sometimes camouflage as well. I have never seen anyone get stopped, and we have never actually been stopped, we just nod at the big man and he waves us on. Below, tanks line the main drag outside of the Tripoli Castle.



  1. Fantastic commentary – you should be a international correspondent!!!

    Thanks for these – hope to skype soon

    Love DAD

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