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A Dispatch from Beirut

Dartmouth sophomore Harrison Davies is studying overseas this Summer, and just left Beirut, where he had been taking classes. Harrison sends the following message and photograph of Lebanese soldiers stationed just outside his dormitory:

Thursday night was the last night I spent in Beirut. It was clear from the sounds of shelling that we would be leaving the city the next day. My group, comprised predominately of American college and graduate students, was studying at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. I spent early Friday morning looking out my window as I watched missiles being launched from near Beirut’s coast, though it wasn’t clear if they were coming from Israeli gunboats, Hezbollah, or the Lebanese Army.

The next morning, there was a noticeable reduction in the streets of central and northern Beirut. Many shops were closed and in those that were open, small crowds of people were gathered around the TV sets, most tuned on Hezbollah’s Al-Manar news channel. Even the Lebanese soldiers, stationed in posts every at almost every block of Beirut, had their handheld radios tuned to the local news stations.

We arrived at LAU’s Byblos campus on Friday afternoon, about 25 miles north of Beirut. Traffic was very congested on the roads out of Beirut and as we drove past the airport, we could clearly see the smoke rising from the bombed runways.

We are awaiting any news of evacuation from the embassy. News stations are reporting that ports and targets in Jounieh have been bombed. This is a concern to us here in Byblos because it shows the Israelis are moving farther north. At the moment, however, things here are relatively quiet, bar the occasional sound of jets. If we evacuate to Cyprus, or if the situation escalates in this area, I’ll keep you posted.

- Harrison

Be safe, Harrison.


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