THE WORD ON THE LEBANESE BLOGOSPHERE



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The reactions from Lebanon's English-language blogosphere on the past days fighting and renewed political and sectarian strife were emotional and politically charged. Readers taking a tour around the Lebanese blogs are offered a blend of eye-witness accounts from the battle areas, freelance political analysis and opinion, and fierce debates. Most importantly, the blogs provide a unique and personal insight into current life in Beirut and the rest of Lebanon.

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Beirutspring (http://beirutspring.com/) has uploaded a number of pictures showing masked gunmen waddling through a pool of torn-down posters of Rafik Hariri at the raided al-Mustaqbal offices. Next to them stand newly erected portraits of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. "In case you still believe that this has nothing to do with Syria and Iran,"  Beirutspring on the photos.

Plus 961 (http://www.plus961.com/) talks about living "under siege" in Ras El-Nabeh, an area straddling the former Green Line that was the target on the initial onslaught by Hezbollah and Amal. "I live in Ras El-Nabeh, where clashes have been raging for the last 2 days. I didn't go to work in fear of not being able to come back. Oh and by the way I really feel like going out and shooting with my camera, I'm sure there will be a lot of scenes that are worth keeping for history, but I am afraid someone might beat me", writes Plus 961.

La Lebanessa (http://lebanessa.blogspot.com/) has more of a political agenda and accuses Hezbollah of cracking down on the country's mass media following the raids on Future TV and newspaper offices, while MarxistfromLebanon (http://marxistfromlebanon.blogspot.com/) is in West Beirut having flashbacks from 18 years ago. No one in his neighborhood have been going out.  "The biggest flashback was our neighbors on the top roof running to our apartment. I opened the door yesterday morning and said: "Welcome, you remember the route to my room (because it is the safest from RPGs and Bullets)."

Meanwhile, the writers of the Lebanese Political Journal (http://lebop.blogspot.com/) have been walking around Ras El-Nabeh getting the views on the current situation and those involved in it from neighborhood residents.

Although Beirut is under siege, Torino bar in Gemmazye was still flooded with people until late on Friday night as the rest of Beirut's premier party street Gemmazye laid empty. When two army tanks drove by. Torino patrons raised their glasses, waived, and made the V sign to Beirut's finest. Fink Ployd of blogging beirut (http://www.bloggingbeirut.com/) was there; to him, the atmosphere was a reminder of the July 2006 War. 

The Black Smiths of Lebanon (http://blacksmithsoflebanon.blogspot.com/) have put up a user-friendly map outlining the areas in Beirut currently occupied by the opposition as well as some video clips of the fighting in West Beirut. 

From Beirut to the Beltway (http://www.beirutbeltway.com/beirutbeltway/2008/05/can-hizbullah-w.html) discusses Hezbollah's take over of West Beirut on Thursday.

Those interested in an English translation of Hassan Nasraallah's Wednesday speech can access it at the Tears of Lebanon blog (http://tearsforlebanon.wordpress.com/).