the friend online
01 September 2006

Lebanon ‘at the crossroads’ - preview
The war has stopped and life is slowly returning almost to normal
  • People are coming out of their holes to check on their belongings and each other
  • There is a general feeling of despair and apprehension as to what all that destruction has achieved
  • Monetarily, destruction is in the billions and over 200,000 Lebanese have fled the country – mostly from the Christian community
  • Businesses and industry have sustained huge losses
  • Tourism, the main lifeline of the Lebanese economy, has been brought to a halt
  • Investors' appetite for Lebanon, another major economic lifeline, will need time to reappear
  • The general feeling is that of despair and counting the losses
  • Transferring the dead from mass graves in ditches to private cemeteries provides a series of sad pictures for news programmes
  • Foreign emissaries, world organisations and NGOs as well as Arab officials are arriving here to check on the damages and assess the aid needed
  • The blockade is still in effect and, although the airport is open, all flights in and out have to pass through Amman to check the manifest of passengers – so providing more delays and inconveniences to travellers
  • Power supply is still at fifty per cent and fuel rationing is still in effect
  • Businesses are dismissing employees as they had made no war provisions
  • Inevitably, a considerable social problem could result from all this

  • Tony Manasseh, Beirut

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    This week's .pdf
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    Quakers from 15 countries meet in Scotland
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    News Round-up
    Lebanon ‘at the crossroads’
    Tony Manasseh, Beirut
    Jessica Metheringham & Val Major

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