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Mar Mansour
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Bombed Beirut Bachoura  Lebanon

Bombed Beirut

I took a walk through downtown Beirut photographing the bombed buildings which still exist in the Beirut skyline. I was in shock of the hundreds of bullet holes scarring the buildings and that’s when I saw him; a security guard of some type motioning at me. I immediately thought – crap I’m busted – I’m not supposed to be wandering around the outsides of these abandoned buildings taking pictures. I started putting away my camera and started my ‘I’m just a tourist’ act and I realized he was coming closer and still motioning towards me. However the more I looked at him, I realized that he wasn’t telling me to go away, he was telling me to ‘come here’.

I started walking towards him and quickly realized communication was going to be difficult as he started talking to me in French. He kept motioning for me to follow him in a harmless way and I decided to keep following. Soon, he was leading me closer towards the bombed out church where there were tarps covering much of the lower levels. He went over to the tarp, and pulled it up motioning for me to look inside; he was giving me the ‘forbidden’ view; and it was worth it. It felt like a whole different world underneath that tarp – trees grew inside the skeleton of the building and holes were in the ceiling. He continued to give me a personal tour providing access to areas I would’ve never seen on my own.