Day By Day

Monday, April 25, 2005

Lebanon Update -- Last Syrian Troops Withdraw

The last Syrian troops are leaving Lebanon. Tomorrow the final withdrawal will be formalized.

The celebrations have already begun:

HAYY EL-RAMEL, Lebanon -- As soon as the truckloads of Syrian soldiers had left for home, Mariam Majzoub started dishing out paint to erase the last vestiges of their 29-year presence.
Her children, nephews, nieces and neighbors stuck Lebanese flags on top of the abandoned posts near her home in this tiny Bekaa Valley village, slapped whitewash on the walls and celebrated the departure date in green paint: "Independence 2005, Sunday, April 17."

"We started dancing in the street even before they turned the corner," said Majzoub, her plump face glowing with joy. "We could finally express ourselves, and there was nothing they could do about it."
"Freedom is beautiful," said Salim Rabah, 58, a retired merchant who lives 500 yards from an abandoned Syrian checkpoint.
"Good riddance," said Zakariyya Ghazzawi, 23, a baker.

Read the whole story here.

See also Ya Libnan, here and at Across the Bay, here.


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