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May 20, 2002

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Ready to see more of Lebanon, we reach Tyre by bus in three hours. From Beirut, travelers can easily visit any part of Lebanon in 3 hours or less. Southern Lebanon shows much more Muslim influence, yet this doesn’t change our impression that Lebanon is by far the most Westernized nation we’ve seen in the Middle East. In Tyre we walked through a Palestinian refugee camp on the way to Tyre’s main archaeological site. The camp feels like a haphazard neighborhood. It’s grown without direction, engulfing southern Tyre with low concrete buildings and ambling streets. Black and green signs and dark graffiti show solidarity with Hamas. Armed Lebanese troops keep a watchful eye, but the camp remained quiet. The people smiled at us and gave us cautious, peaceful greetings.
Tyre's hippodrome, a Roman stadium for chariot races, is the largest one left in the world.
Why have pictures of the Iranian Khomeni in Beirut? Iran offers strong support to Palestinian resistance groups and the Khomeni's picture hangs all over Lebanon.
McDonald's enjoys tight security, better than most places in Beirut. Two heavily armed guards stand in front of every McDonald's we've seen in Lebanon. They're keen on protecting those Big Mac's.