Friday, August 11, 2006


I can't tell if in times of war everyone around you becomes a "freelance photojournalist" or if flpjs just arrive to take the place of departed residents. I suppose it's a combination of the two, me a borderline example of the former, half of the current residents of Talal's shining examples of the latter.

Two days ago, Israel expanded its bombing campaign in Beirut for the first time into an area that included Christians - the Eastern Europeans, the Spainaird and the New Zealander were all there moments after the strike.

Me (close to midnight, in the hostel): 'How did you get down?'
EE1: 'We took a taxi. We got in and told him where we wanted to go. He said 'I know where is it, I just escaped from there. Really good luck."

Freelance reporters are more savage than most of the staff reporters I've come to know at any of the networks or papers here; they're working to make a name for themselves, they're in it for the risks, for the shock. They are vultures. They sat in the dorm room until well past one loading up their jpegs onto portable Macs, exasperated in joy at the sheer carnage they'd be able to capture. It was like kids picking over their candy after a successful Halloween.

EE1: "How did you get this!?" (It was a picture of a man putting a human head into a plastic bag.)
NZ: "He climbed up there, onto the roof where the bodies that had been inside had to go up."
S: "They were bringing the bodies up there, the ones they couldn't bring down...the whole roof. Where I was, there were all the bodies and the parts. They were putting them in bags because they will have to wrap all the parts."
EE2: "But you need...(poking his leg) need flesh, you need flesh!"
S: "Look here" (pointing to pictures of arms, etc)
EE2: "No no, is an arm - is part - just, you need just flesh - flesh!"


Shaun said...

Freelancers are usually the bravestars though!

Great blog though. Keep us updated!


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Holly said...

Looks like you have a golden opportunity to be a war correspondent on the front lines. Be brave and stay alive. Your blog is great. Did you really start out there as a tourist?!

El Pétalo said...

very nice!!!, very interesting..
El Pétalo

Incommunicado aka Max said...

Sometimes i feel that the bigger picture is neglected in our run for money and fame. Gosh.

Ryan said...

great blog!

mike said...

Putting body parts into garbage bags brings back surreal memories from Afghanistan. One memory in particular.
I was on patrol and a friendly Afghan (most are) kicked an unexploded bomblet from a cluster bomb and basically vaporized.
His friends in the Southern Alliance put his body in a bag and tried to give it to one of the Marines on our patrol.
Everyone had trouble understanding what was going on so I just grabbed the bag and threw it in the back of our vehicle.
When we got back to the Kandahar Airport I got out of the vehicle and forgot about the bag, an unpleasant surprise for the vehicle crew.
(By the way, I was a combat correspondent at the time, now I am a freelance photojournalist/3rd grade teaching assistant in Washington, DC.)

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Rock said...

What a timely blog. You are doing a real service for the world. I will definitely check in with your blog from time to time to get an eyewitness account of what is going on. I wish you the best, stay safe, and keep blogging.

Truth—The No Spin Politically Incorrect Zone

Margaret Powell said...

Excellent posts, especially the last two. Thank you for being there and keep writing, stay safe. It's Americans like you the world needs.

jsk said...

Thank you for taking the time and energy to do this blog. It's very brave of you to stay there. This is the kind of information that's so valuable. May you stay safe.

Lord Ruryl said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, i think what you are doing is very brave. I've posted an article about Lebanon, here: Ruryl's Travel Guide

Good Luck!

Fireflywishes said...

I loved reading your blog, and plan to save it to keep checking in on it. It is nice to be able to get a perspective that is 'in' the situation and talking to 'real' people involved in this crisis. One thing is definitely true: there are no easy answers.

Good luck, be safe, and thanks for providing a window into the lives of some of the 'real' people of Lebanon and what everyone is going through.

happy said...

GOOD !!!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts with the world. You are saying the important things.

Peggy said...

I pray your luck holds out until the ceasefire. I also pray that the ceasefire is permanent.

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Arick said...

This is just an amazing blog... just amazing

Mariesaintmichel said...

Hi T,
Thank you for your effort to register this dark moment in History. I'll be soon talking about the stupidity of human warfare and msitaken strategies of survival in my blog. Hope to see you around :0)

JN said...

Thanks for the vivid descriptions of everyday life and trying to cope with the tragedy you're encountering. We need reminded of that so far from there. Here in the midwest, far from any target, it's hard to see how terrorism or the violence of war could ever reach us, even though people send their loved ones off regularly.