Homer, I've got a fozzie of a bear of a problem. Y' know, Maude and her mother were visiting Tyre and Sidon, the twin cities of the Holy Land. They must've kneeled in the wrong place and prayed to the wring God because, well, they're being held prisoner by militants of some sort.lebanon is small. really small. i went down to tyre (صور) this morning. the city lies in the southern part of the country, near the israeli border. just yesterday i crossed the border from syria at its northern edge. it's crazy. i'm not staying in lebanon that long, but i could easily cross the entire country (the long way) by the morning of my first full day here.
after tyre, i went north to sidon (صيدا). both tyre and sidon were surprisingly tiny. they sit in shia country, hezbollah land. but flanders got it wrong, i visited a beautiful eastern orthodox church in each town. and no one took this heathen hostage. actually, like everywhere else i've been in syria and lebanon, when the call to prayer sounded, i didn't see a single person go off to pray. everyone, even covered women, just ignored it and went about their daily business.
there's something a little sad about the towns of southern lebanon. the area is shia, and the shia tend to be poorer in this country, and, on top of that, south lebanon is where the palestinian refugee camps are. the south suffered the most when the israelis invaded in the early 1980s. throughout south lebanon, particularly in tyre there were billboards showing photos of people who "martyred" themselves during the israeli occupation.