Saturday, 11 September 2010

Remembering the past

On the Damascus Road, on the way to Aley, there’s a rather large concrete memorial that I’ve always wanted to check out. I knew it had something to do with the Civil War, but had never got off the highway to give it the once over. I still haven’t … but my folks have.

A bit of context: My parents are intrepid “off the beaten path” types. They’re the weird foreigners you bump into in the middle of nowhere who end up telling the locals more about the history of the country than they know themselves. Additionally, dad served with the Sultan of Oman’s Army in the 1980’s, so he’s, a., interested in militaria and b., can blag his way past unsuspecting sentries and officers alike in pretty decent military Arabic.

Anyway, here are the shots, taken from inside the base:

I Googled the site and here’s what I’ve found (via Nowlebanon and some obscure British sites):

It’s called Hope for Peace, it was designed by a local artist, known as Arman, in 1995. It sits in the Defence Ministry site at Yarzeh. Originally intended to sit in Downtown Beirut, it was deemed a little too raw and moved up the mountain.

It contains, among other AFVs, the remains of some British Charioteers and various artillery pieces.

My wife attended The London School of Economics in 2006. Upon her acceptance they sent her a copy of the university magazine, the cover:

*The folks are here at the moment, hence the touristy pieces. Normal service will resume shortly.*