Shell-Shocked Survivors

Chaotic Beirut carries on with shopping amid the bombings

Even as the shells of warring factions continue to burst over the city, Sylvester Stallone's Rambo is breaking all box-office records in Beirut. During the ten years of almost nonstop civil war, at least 50,000 residents of Lebanon's capital have died. More than 100,000 have been dislocated. Street battles and car bombings are almost daily occurrences. Nonetheless, Beirutis manage to carry on a semblance of a daily routine: shopping, working and even indulging a taste for the blood and glory of escapist films.

In East Beirut, where a single Christian militia maintains a surprising degree of control, life seems relatively calm....

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