The Green Line, Beirut, Lebanon

Before I lived in Beirut, I thought the “Green Line” would be tangible, perhaps even painted on the street. The civil war that raged from 1975 to 1990 devastated whole neighborhoods, dividing Muslim areas from Christian areas principally, but also Druze from Alawite and Sunni from Shia eventually. The “no go” areas between them became very defined, because snipers perched high in buildings to pick off women going out for food and even children going to school. Grass and weeds grew in those sidewalks and streets, even trees, as bullets whizzed overhead. Eventually green lines could be seen from airplanes passing overhead. After years the green lines could be seen by satellites.

These are 2008-9 photos of the chewed-up buildings that remain along those green lines. After the car bombs in Achrafieh (Arabic: الأشرفية ) last week, I hope people will remember the immense and lasting cost that more violence will have.

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One Response to The Green Line, Beirut, Lebanon

  1. Dear sir.

    I am a writer of a book called “War Lyrics Dutch Batt Lebanon 1980” One chapter is about the Green line I was lost in with a friend on the way to Hamra Street during the war. I was not able to make pictures of the destruction in that area the Green Line. Can get you permission to use some photographs because then you understand what looks like for the readers, Greetings sir. Raymond Langereis, Amsterdam, Netherlands, rlangereis@vodafonethuis.nl

    Hi Raymond,

    You want to send me a couple of pix? That would be great! Love it.

    Bill

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