Stories: Conflict

  • Evolution of Terror ll: Lebanese watch hoLebanese split over U.S.

    YAMMOUNEH, Lebanon — Here, in this small Shiite town tucked high into the mountains, a farmer's hands are rendered rough and calloused by trade. Sweet golden apples are the main crop.But, while the apples are good for marmalade alongside a beef stew and potato dinner, they are not the cash crop that brought this once struggling village into prosperity...

  • Timeline of events in Lebanese history

    1943: Lebanon gains independence. 1975: Civil war breaks out between Christians and Muslims. 1982: Israel launches full-scale invasion in southern Lebanon; buffer zone created against Hezbollah attacks. 1982: Multinational force, including U.S. Marines, deploys to Beirut. April 18, 1983: A suicide attack at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut leaves 63 dead. Oct. 23, 1983: Headquarters of U.S. and French forces are bombed, killing 298. Jan. 18, 1984: American University...

  • Journal: A city transformed

    BEIRUT — One of my stops in Lebanon was a nondescript intersection in Beirut, typical of the kind you might see at the center of any city. But this intersection was not any ordinary crossroads.It was on the former Green Line in Beirut, and it marked the spot where Christian gunman ambushed a busload of Palestinians, setting the city's 1...

  • Lebanese watch homeland from afar

    Chafik and Louise Chamoun came to the United States in1954. A few years later they opened a grocery store which evolved into the now-thriving Rest Haven Restaurant. CLARKSDALE — Chafik Chamoun can only watch the painful transformation of his country from afar.Five decades ago, Chamoun and his wife, Louise, moved to the United States as teenagers, leaving behind the...

  • Liberia recovers from war: Liberia starving rappers

    MONROVIA, Liberia—Jonathan Koffa, known to his fans as Takun J, wore fake diamond earrings and a rhinestone-studded D&G necklace that was missing most of its bling. One day in March, he and several other Liberian rappers gathered around a plastic table next to a blazing strip of asphalt in downtown Monrovia. Only a flimsy umbrella separated...

  • Liberia recovers from war: Dealing with rape

    GBARNGA, Liberia—Shortly after I arrived in Liberia, I found myself sharing a house with a 6-year-old girl. She was the daughter of a friend's housekeeper, and she was tall for her age, with big feet, a dazzling smile, and an embrace that felt as if she'd never let go. She could sound out the words cat and apple,...

  • Liberia recovers from war: A boy soldier grows up

    Vanessa Gezari reports from Liberia. Photo by Kathleen Flynn of the St. Petersburg Times. MONROVIA, Liberia—Joseph Duo is 30 years old and spent nearly half his life on the battlefield. These days, he lives in a ramshackle concrete building, where someone—he doesn't know who—painted a bit of pious graffiti near the entryway: "A world at...

  • Holding out hope for Liberia

    Thousands of former child soldiers tread an uneasy middle ground in Liberia, a country torn between learning from its past or forgetting it in trying to build a future amid utter ruin. Click here for Gezari's audio slide show (photos by Kathleen Flynn).

  • Evolution of Terror I: Pride, peace pit sides

    Two months ago, I stood facing a towering fence propped up by sturdy poles, covered in what looked like a menacing cluster of cables and barbed wire.It was the kind of fence you'd expect to see outside a high-security prison, or maybe a nuclear testing site.But this fence was neither. It was the boundary between two countries, ones...

  • Disarmed Colombian fighters try to get along

    BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA – The men sat on wobbly chairs in the courtyard, behind a rusty iron fence that delimits their comfort zone. The streets outside hold the lure of city life, but most of the ex-combatants resist temptation rather than risk, unarmed, what could be a fatal encounter with a rival."The truth is, we're all really paranoid here,"...