The two sides of Beirut


Now by the end of his first year in Beirut Middle East correspondent Adam Harvey thought he knew his new home town then he stepped out of his comfort zone and into the part of Beirut controlled by the Iranian backed militia Hezbollah Beirut is a tiny city crowded around a couple of small hills waged between the mountains mountains in the Mediterranean. My family's life here is centered on a small part of this compact town bounded by my son's school the apartments of our friends and in a couple of pay as you go places like Yuppie Pack we patted down for prohibited goods like kid cats and Muesli buzz before you permitted into the souls tools and wooden pirate ship a walkin run the same streets here everyday and I think I know it and then in event like a surer reminds me that I'll always ESPN stranger he sure is a Shia Muslim commemoration Russian that marks the death in six eighty ad of Hussein the grandson of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. It's a huge day in Beirut. She had district and this year I went to Dhaka in Beirut's southern suburbs to attend the Hezbollah event. I hear begins just a couple of hundred meters beyond my stomping and ground but crossing the invisible boundary is like entering another country. If not another millennia there are multiple checkpoints and outer ring man by the Lebanese army and an in-network controlled by Hezbollah like everyone else today. I'm dressed in black but I'm obviously not Lebanese so I'm stopped to over and over again by lodge men wearing tight t shirts and thick beds and with handguns waged into their waistbands. Im surged in my press ideas checked and then and I'm waved through after the fourth or fifth search. My bag is X. Rayed am allowed onto a bus. It'll take me even further into here. It's a place I would never normally be able to go narrow. Straits are overlooked by apartment blocks of six or seven stories pockmarked with bullet holes from the fighting here in the seventies and eighties piece is Bella has its office here and it's presumably home to his Balazs leader Hassan Nasrallah in Israel system. Militia stole some of its thousands of missiles here as well as the equipment. It's really worried about specialists. Machinery used to make the rockets more accurate. It would be seriously dumb to pull out a camera recorded here on any other day of the year you'd soon be having very intense conversations with heavily armed people but today's basically Hezbollah Open Day and the rules. Don't apply an off-duty Lebanese army soldier shows me his tattoos of Hussein Muhammed's Muhammed's grandson and tells me that he doesn't think there'll be war with Israel. An older woman tells me it's important that the community comes out in force today as a deterrent to Lebanon in southern neighbour. Some black clad teenagers wave me over and NC state the chicken soup. A young woman practices her Australian accent on me okay. Would you like to roast marshmallows may nor kangaroos hop up the nothing. There's a bit of British chases doc. His reputation is undeserved. Actually there's a very bad stereotype but is actually all filled with terrorists and there's always bombs and and Cetera and that's not true like we've been living I. I'm twenty three going on twenty four. I've been living here my whole life and it's actually really beautiful and I've never felt safer life than being here. There's always meant to protect us. Then reasonably normal more conversation with an articulate young woman takes detour. Her boyfriend is a Hezbollah fighter. He did go to Syria a few times. So what did you would like to go more often. Don't let him because I want him here. I love him too much. What is what was his experience. What did he say about it. I told you he'd like to go way more often but I don't let him. It's me that is not letting him go yeah interest. It's you know what sometimes I tell him like God be with. You and I hope you know you just come back safe but yeah it is dangerous. Yeah it is risky and he knows was it and that's why he wants to go. He's a big strong man. How common is it from this area. People go very very comment because we all have the same concept. If I were able to fight I would go to be honest by a girl. They wouldn't let me the rally itself kicks off and it feels it was like all of Beirut is matching past waving Hezbollah's yellow and green flags there a scout troops wearing Atallah. Cassini's photograph pinned to their shirts. It's is a political science student from a Lebanese American University with the photograph of a dead Hezbollah fighter which into his headband Hezbollah Woah yes. Do you think you will. I think everyone afford case along with certain mission whether on their on the battlefield whether the media rather as a position in the hospital the only way. Do you think you'll be on battlefield or I'm not sure aw the parade over opened my phone to navigate my way out of this labyrinth and I'm floyd to realize I'm just a few hundred meters away from the kids playground Yuppie Yeah Park where I've stood arguing about twenty first century problems like my right to winter replay ground with chocolate bars and kids sandwiches. It seems so far away away from this unfamiliar place of guns and vigilance and religion and young people heading off to war This is Adam Havi in south Beirut for correspondence report. Eh One fascinating city Adam Harvey in Beirut there.

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