Pope John Paul the II once said, “We wish to declare before the world the importance of Lebanon, its historical mission, accomplished down the centuries. A country of many religious faiths, Lebanon has shown that these different faiths can live together in peace, brotherhood and cooperation.” Indifference in Lebanon has seemed to become inevitable. Beirut, the capitol, has been destroyed and rebuilt seven times. War and combat has shaken the land for many years due to religious conflict and political strife. Although the city has had a rough history Beirut has never stopped broadcasting their freedom and patriotism to the rest of the Middle East. Their culture, which has influence from many groups such as the Ancient Romans, the Ottoman’s and the French, and their traditions rooted around Islam, Christianity and Judaism, are unlike any other in the world today. Through disparity and war Beirut has evolved into a city that shares religion with patriotism. The people here have gone through so much together, that there is a sense of blessing and brotherhood that will always exist to repel indifference. Short Biography
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire following World War I, Beirut, along with the rest of Lebanon, was placed under the French Mandate. Lebanon achieved their independence on November 22nd 1943 (CIA World Factbook). The city remained a regional intellectual capital, becoming a major tourist destination and a banking haven, especially for the Persian Gulf oil boom, which led to a lot of wealthy Arabs in the Middle East to invest in buildings in Beirut.
Significance of Civil War:
This era of relative prosperity ended in 1975 when the Lebanese Civil War broke out throughout the country. During most of the war, Beirut was divided between the Muslims on the west side and the Christians on the east (Global Security). The downtown area, previously the home of much of the city's commercial and cultural activity, became a no man's land known as the Green Line. Many inhabitants fled to other countries, especially the Jewish community in Beirut, which I will discuss later on in the paper. About 60,000 people died in the first two years of the war (1975–1976), and much of the city was devastated. A particularly destructive period was the 1978 Syrian siege of Achrafiyeh, in the main Christian district of Beirut, and my grandmother actually lived and continues to live there today. Syrian troops who backed the Muslim west side relentlessly bombed the eastern quarter of the city, but Christian militias defeated multiple attempts by Syria's elite forces to capture the strategic area in a three-month campaign later known as the Hundred Days' War. My great uncle Rami recalls this period was a time of “misery and fear.” He said many people thought they were going to die and when people live in constant fear they make “savage” decisions (Rami Saadeh 2012). Beirut had become the epitome of hell. Buildings were destroyed; sewage was left in the streets, and thick polluted fog encompassed the sky. You would assume that religious buildings would have been the first to be bombed, but surprisingly that is false. Why would they leave the mosque, church and synagogue in downtown Beirut untouched? Well, Lebanese respect faith, and people of faith. They understand that it is very disrespectful and “haram” to destroy another faiths most holy place of worship. Since the end of the war in 1990,