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Lebanon - The Earthquake, May 2005

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Facts & Stats
Lebanon was once known as the Paris of the Middle East.

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Syria's capital, Damascus, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.

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Links & Resources

Follow these links to learn more about upheaval in Lebanon and Syria's influence in the region. read more

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Man holding "Syria Assassin" sign

The Story
Excited crowd waving in the street

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Video Length: 30:19

Following the recent assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri -- and decades of Syrian hegemony over Lebanon -- hundreds of thousands took to the streets of Beirut, suspecting Syrian involvement in Hariri's murder and demanding the withdrawal of Syrian troops. It was an unprecedented display of Lebanese solidarity. FRONTLINE/World reporter Kate Seelye -- the daughter of an American diplomat who has lived in Lebanon and Syria for much of her life -- navigates the forces in play and asks whether democracy or war will be next for Lebanon.
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Road sign with directions pointing towards Baghdad, Palmyra, and Attanf

Dispatches from a small planet
Read our series of reports from the Middle East written in the weeks leading up to the May 17 broadcast.
Women sitting outside a Mosque in Damascus May 10, 2005
Syria: Measuring the Mood in Damascus
Kate Seelye gauges the mood in the Syrian capital with regard to the country's role in Lebanon and fear of reprisals from Washington. read more
Walid Jumblatt May 3, 2005
Sunday at the Castle With Walid
Our reporters interview de facto opposition leader Walid Jumblatt at his ancestral castle in the Chouf Mountains, southeast of Beirut. read more
Military camp on the border April 26, 2005
Border Town: Stopping the Insurgents
Kate Seelye reports on tensions at the Syria-Iraq border and finds out what the Syrian government is doing to clamp down on insurgents. read more
The U.S. flag is burned at a demonstration April 22, 2005
Part 1: At Home in the Garden of Eden
Watch scenes from Kate Seelye's personal documentary about growing up in and working in the Middle East. read more

Part 2: The Warning
Series editor Stephen Talbot reports from Beirut, where he talks with a survivor of a car bombing about Lebanon's chances for independence. read more

Trucks lining up to leave Lebanon April 12, 2005
Notes From the Road to Damascus
Our reporters leave Beirut and head across the mountains to the Syrian border to watch a Syrian army in retreat. read more