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Druze Reincarnation-12
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
31 Jan 2018

Traditional Mashrabiya window coverings at the Druze Council in Beirut, home to its clerical authority. Many agree, that the firm belief in reincarnation - which also changed the opinions of sceptics such as Nibal himself - allowed them to fight without the fear of death, and gave closure to families after sudden loss of close ones.

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Druze Reincarnation-15
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

An elderly Druze man sells newspapers in Aley, Mount Lebanon. According to Gerald Russell, who wrote about the Druze, “Going into battle, the Druze would shout: ‘Who wants to sleep in the mother's womb tonight?’”

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Druze Reincarnation-14
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge on Beirut-Damascus highway. After a death of a Druze, the saying in the community goes - “May the person be reborn to good parents.”

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Druze Reincarnation-8
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge on Beirut-Damascus railway, shrouded in the passing clouds. Those children who remember violent deaths in previous lives, usually involve sudden accidents, car crashes and most recently, the war.

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Druze Reincarnation-5
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Bridge connecting Mount Lebanon with the road to Beeka Valley, yet also forming the north-south dividing line between Druze and Christian strongholds, who fought a brief, but bitter civil war in 1860, and again in the late 20th century. Regardless, both areas retain a mix of religions today.

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Druze Reincarnation-4
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
25 Jan 2018

Clouds over Chouf region, on Mount Lebanon, drifting over cedar trees, the symbol of Lebanon. Chouf was the home to Fakhr-Al-Din, the Druze leader in the early 17th century, who managed to carve out a kingdom in the Ottoman empire stretching as far as Palmyra in present-day Syria.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (12)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
12 Jan 2018

Religion, seen simplistically by many as the underlying cause of the civil war, retains an empowering and omnipresent status among the 18 sects in Lebanon. The statue of Virgin Mary in Dowra, Beirut, sees gifts and occasional prayer from the passing Beirutis, heading into the smoke-clogged, rush-hour streets ahead.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (1)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
21 Nov 2017

Under pressure from the private sector, mass urban development in the post-war years have almost eliminated public spaces from the urban fabric. Only one public beach remains in Beirut, with a raw sewage pipe running beneath it.

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Druze Reincarnation-11
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

The Druze have continued tracing their multiple lives across Mount Lebanon, which helped the community become fearful fighters against their enemies. “In this life, I am a supporter of the same political party, same as my parents. Throughout my youth, I wanted to fight for the same ideals, and used to think about the joining the war in neighbouring Syria, but with age, this fighting spirit has decreased,” said Nibal.

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Druze Reincarnation-13
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

Valleys in Mount Lebanon carry an air of beauty and mystique, akin to philosophical studies of the Druze faith, centered on monotheism and individual interpretation. Shadi Khalek, Nibal’s friend, recalls asking his Christian teacher at school: “If we were all sons of God, same as Jesus; I do not remember the answer.”

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Druze Reincarnation-7
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
04 Nov 2017

Nibal Khalek stands in the backdrop of the Druze religious house in his village, Majdal Baana. Nibal accepted the influence of the past life in his current decisions, which in a way, guided his choices in the present life. “Maybe that's why my soul wanted to be reborn in this body, to finish what it started,” he said.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (11)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
30 Oct 2017

More historic heritage was subsequently destroyed in the post-war construction boom, than in the conflict itself - torn down, dumped into the sea, or simply left to stand idly by the motorway.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (2)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Oct 2017

Children in Lebanon are not taught the contentious history of the 15 year long Lebanese civil war. Mass apathy transformed armed belligerents into suited parliamentarians, with obvious shortcomings left untouched in the non-existent national reconciliation.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (5)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Oct 2017

People, like the last remaining fishermen, were hit the hardest - their livelihoods destroyed by pollution, overconsumption and encroaching mass wealth.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (4)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Oct 2017

The post-conflict construction boom, fuelled by corruption and private sector explosion, has led to a psychotic dash for the sky.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (7)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
29 Oct 2017

The mass influx of Syrians has also led to nation wide construction boom, fuelled by unregistered and expandable labour. Combined with a chronic lack of heritage protection and no enforceable planning laws, much of the construction has ripped apart Beirut’s historic fabric. In the Corniche seafront, a rare exception to the rampant build up is found in the crippled, and idle concrete barriers awaiting the now-defunct construction.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (8)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
26 Oct 2017

The largely unregulated medicines market in Lebanon, flooded with international pharmaceuticals, has led to overmedication and a suberge by many into antidepressant overuse to tackle the chronic, and mostly unaddressed, PTSD among the war witnesses.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (3)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
26 Oct 2017

Many argue Lebanon has never left the post-conflict stage, perhaps, even intentionally. Elements of urban securitization maintain the conflict symbolism throughout the city, however, not without genuine security fears in the region.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (10)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
16 Oct 2017

And those who could not go higher, were confined to a claustrophobic urban existence.

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Druze Reincarnation-6
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

Faint outline of the Druze religious building hugs the outline of the rock face on Mount Lebanon. The religious buildings, the Khalwa, are nondescript, often displaying no more than the five-point star of the Druze faith.

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Druze Reincarnation-10
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

A home in Majdal Baana village. As entire generations live side-by-side, noticing reincarnations in the early years following a child’s birth became a family tradition.

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Druze Reincarnation-3
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
15 Oct 2017

Many children, including Nibal, guided their families to the houses of their previous-life families. Nibal remembered his death in clashes between the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, with whom the Druze allied during the civil war, and Islamists in the Sunni Muslim stronghold in Tripoli, northern Lebanon.

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Druze Reincarnation-1
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

View towards Beirut from Mount Lebanon, the heart of Druze community in Lebanon. The now-defunct Damascus-Beirut railway operated until the civil war broke out in 1975, and opened these mountains to tourists from across the Levant escaping the summer heat. Prior to that, it made an ideal stronghold for its autonomous community, submerged in religious secrecy.

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Druze Reincarnation-2
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

A Druze man plays the flute in their friends hangout, perched on the hill overlooking the valley below. The tight knit community of friends all subscribe to the ideals of Druze faith - or at least, to the little of it that they do know.

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Druze Reincarnation-9
Beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
14 Oct 2017

Young people from Nibal’s village dance Dabke - the traditional regional dance. All in their late 20s and 30s, no one has ever been shown the ways of Druze faith, without having undertaken the lifelong path of becoming a religious cleric, the sheikh.

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Syrian supporters in Beirut's Hezboll...
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
05 Oct 2017

Syrians watch football in area controlled by Hezbollah, near Beirut’s Armenian quarter. Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy entrenched in southern Lebanon, has fought successfully alongside the Assad regime in Syria, despite Lebanon’s official policy of neutrality. The spillover from the war resulted in an ongoing ISIS militancy in north-eastern region and a multi-million Syrian influx.. The subsequent economic difficulties have left many Lebanese pointing fingers at the Syrians, not unlike the Palestinian question preluding the civil war in 1975.

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Beirut Urban Faultlines (9)
beirut
By Benas Gerdziunas
01 Oct 2017

Almost an antidote to the urban psychosis, a private-equity fuelled reach for the sky resulted in deregulated skyscrapers dotting the skyline. Whoever affords it, moves higher, only to be blocked in by the subsequent tower project.

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Beirut Scenic and Street Shots
Beirut, Lebanon
By mchreyteh
05 Feb 2016

Various shots of Beirut streets, people using smart phones and walking in Beirut Souks shopping center.

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Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 5936 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 5938 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 5970 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 5986 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 5999 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 6012 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 6030 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 6045 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 6051 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.

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Mg 6063 copy
Beirut, Lebanon
By TTM Contributor 12
13 Nov 2015

Two explosions ripped through the Bourj al-Barajneh, a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Lebanon's capital, Beirut.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack minutes after the bombing.