Yellow vests in Beirut

December 2018. Their shouts thundered through the half-deserted streets of Hamra neighborhood. What once seemed to be a mid-sized group of yellow-vested protesters had morphed into isolated mobs of young people, some of whom were bent on destroying public property. A couple of them threw small incendiary devices into a trash dumpster that caught fire. …

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It must have been aliens

December 2018. “If you don’t understand, ask questions,” Ahmed advised us as he parked our hired van outside the ruins of Baalbek in the Beqaa Valley of eastern Lebanon. He introduced the five of us to Hasan, our guide to the temple complex. A wiry, old man in a tweed coat and a flat cap, …

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