Posted By: Sarah and Marla B.

We wanted to send you an update on our first day in Lebanon. After landing last night and spending a couple of hours finalizing a grant proposal, we arose bright and early this morning to a day packed full of meetings. As we prepare for our trip to Southern Lebanon – where most of the civilian casualties occurred in the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel – we’re feverishly obtaining information from our contacts here. What’s most clear is the complexity of the situation.

Two of our contacts today described the country as a ‘juxtapose’. With every step forward, there is a step back. As we sat at a lovely outdoor cafe in downtown Lebanon, Gilbert, a witty and articulate founder of a local NGO mused: It is easy to think that this is how all of Lebanon is, but it is simply not true.

So, over the next five days, we set out not to define this country but to better understand its people and what they endured – particularly how those harmed in the 2006 war were helped and if they have been helped at all. We want to know who helped them, why and what they still need. To be sure, it’s a challenge, but one that we’ll tackle as we continue to expand to new regions of conflict – ones that don’t always have the simplest of answers.

Image courtesy of CIVIC
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