Friday, 30 September 2011

A journey to Beirut

Just back from a short trip to the Lebanon city of Beirut. This was not a parliamentary or governement trip, but a personal visit, so partly holiday, partly fact finding.
Had the chance to travel widely in Beirut, which is trying to reestablish itself after the bitter wars that ended only a few years ago.
There is so much one could say but
- the Lebanese could not have been more friendly
- there is unbelievable amounts of construction going on. At every street corner a new building is going up
- the relative harmony between the religions, notably between Muslims and Christians [and all other religions] is good, certainly on the surface
- this is best exemplified by the Mosque and the Church of St George being barely 200 yards apart....although in the middle is an advertising sign that presently showcases the Avon Lady. This could only happen in Lebanon
- there is great concern by all people for what is happening in Syria - both now and what happens in the future when Assad is gone. I met noone who thinks Assad will survive.
I wish I could have stayed longer, but cycled into Westminster this morning before heading to Manchester this Sunday.
I will try and post some more on the people I met and the views of many on the situation in Syria. Not surprisingly the only things everyone talks about are the Arab Spring, the fate of Assad / Syria, and the Palestine application to the UN as well.