Reporting from Lebanon

This blog contains Dan Winter's live reports from Beirut Lebanon. Dan is a long time peace activist from Boulder Colorado.  He has been to Iraq 3 times and Palestine once.  He is  opening a non-profit office in Beirut to provide services for volunteers and the media.  Contact him for assistance.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The taxi driver in Beirut

The Taxi Driver in Beirut

The wisdom of the taxi driver is legendary. This is, of course, exaggerated; however, I have found the Beiruti drivers to be very informed as to what is going on here – and in the world. Taxi rides are inexpensive. You can go quite far for $2-3 and most of them speak at least some English and many speak it quite well (it is easy to find an English speaker in Beirut; however, I have not yet traveled in Southern Beirut yet – or for that matter in South Lebanon)

In the cab I have been welcomed when asked where I am from – much as in the rest of the Middle East. Next I am asked for my opinion on the situation in Lebanon vis-a-vie the war with Israel. After I express my opinion that Lebanon should not have been attacked I am usually given their view. The basic idea is that the US supports Israel no matter what and that the lives of the people, in Lebanon and Palestine, are not important. They also say that this attitude will hurt the US. Many are at a loss of why they have been attacked again.

I am staying, as previously written, near the downtown area. This is a predominantly Christian area. Everyone wears western style clothes – not only to work but in the surrounding residential areas. I have seen no burkes in this Christian area and very few head scarf’s.

It is difficult to make contacts with the volunteer community – a good number have returned to their home countries after the end of the war. I have been looking for an office; however, a one month rental is not an easy thing to find. I have had a bit of a problem with soreness in my hips – I think from traveling with my heavy backpack and 2 carry on bags – it has diminished since I checked in at the hostel.

By for now. Dan

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