On The Ground In Lebanon
Then there's the reference to tourism. This's been bothering me for some time. I'm sure tourism is an important industry in Lebanon as it is in many countries and their's is shot to hell.
But our work together came to an abrupt end when I stepped on a hidden anti-personnel landmine while we were filming an abandoned Iraqi trench dug into a grassy hill. I lost my leg below the knee in the accident. Our cameraman, the Iranian photojournalist Kaveh Golestan, lost his life.
Back in Britain doctors decided by leg was too badly damaged to be saved. Over the months that followed I came to terms with the loss of my limb – and the reality of life with an artificial limb.
My apprehension of working in a war zone diminished when Jim sauntered into the Beirut office grinning broadly. I phoned my wife Aileen – who’s five months pregnant – and told her that Jim and I were working together again.
“Just don’t go wandering into any minefields with him again,” – she scolded – “and make sure you’re back before the birth.”
Over the last week I’ve watched the hopes of a generation of Lebanese people collapse. It’s supposed to be the height of the tourist season here. Hotel owners were looking forward to their best year yet.
Would you like a nice vacation here? I know I would.
Or would you prefer vacationing here?