Sunday, March 23, 2003

Here in Beirut the mood remains calm. There have been demonstrations against the war in Iraq, with a small group of some 300 demonstrators clashing yesterday with police near the U.S. embassy in the suburb of Awkar. The day before, according to the press, demonstrators attacked a British embassy building (though I frankly can't remember a British embassy building in that area). Beirut is not really a good example of how the Arab world is reacting, and demonstrations in Cairo, Gaza and Yemen in the past few days were more indicative of the mood in the Arab heartland

Interestingly, the Syrian authorities authorized an anti-American demonstration yesterday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuq near Damascus, and Syria's mufti has condemned the war, but there have been no demonstrations in the streets of Damascus or against the U.S. embassy.

For a revealing perspective on the mood in Lebanon, read Tim Cavanaugh's report on the Reason website.

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