A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

All the news you can use: Lebanese geography

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 26, 2007

Last night I fell asleep to the whirring sounds of helicopters on patrol. Tonight I am wondering who could think it appropriate to kill a 12 year old boy. Lebanon isn’t Iraq – I cannot but think, Pollyanna-like, that there is some reason other than politics for this.

There are several strange things about the coverage of the kidnapping & murder of these two. In the United States, the two victims would be described as a “boy” (12 years old), or perhaps an “adolescent”, and a “man” (25 years old).

Here, the two are described collectively as “youths” or “boys”. As a translation from Arabic, it makes sense – every male under the age of 40 is a “youth” (shab). As social commentary, its a bit … distressing.

International media coverage has been equally idiosyncratic, though regarding a different aspect of the story – the place where their bodies were found: Jadra.

BBC describes the location as “in the hills south-east of Beirut”.

The Jerusalem Post and other sources cite an Associated Press report that describes the location as “near a roadside south of Beirut” and Jadra as a city “just north of the southern port city of Sidon”.

Monsters & Critics reprints a Deutsche Presse Agentur article that says the bodies were found in “an area south-east of Beirut” and describes Jadra as being “in the Chouf Mountains”.

Jadra is south-east of Beirut, north of Sidon, and in the Chouf. Its a small country.

What I don’t like about the international media’s constant use of Beirut as a reference is the way it makes it seem that the city takes the brunt of every event.

For me the evening was as usual – and the streets were not deserted, as some reports suggested – at least, they were not deserted in my part of town.

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