INTRODUCTION: Moslems and Christians walked through the pouring rain together in Beirut on Thursday (19 November).
BEIRUT, LEBANON (VISNEWS - ELIE AZZI)
SV Children's groups and boy scouts marching behind Lebanese flag
CU Mother holding baby and flag
SV Youths march past
SCU ZOOM IN AND PAN TO LV Cross and crescent placard with bullet holes. Youth contingent marching past
SV Youth groups marching past
LV ZOOM IN Girl guides parading past heavily damaged children's hospital
LV PAN Sandbags around columns of damaged museum
SV PULL BACK TO LV Children wearing angel costume and carrying doves march past hospital (2 shots)
Background: INTRODUCTION: Moslems and Christians walked through the pouring rain together in Beirut on Thursday (19 November). The occasion was the annual procession to mark Lebanon's "Flag Day". The procession, which was several hundred strong, marched through the "green line" area of central Beirut which divides the Moslem and Christian areas of the city.
SYNOPSIS: For once it was a peaceful story from Beirut, Local boy scouts, mothers and babies joined in the procession through one of the heaviest shelled parts of one of the most strife-torn capitals of the world.
It was a rare moment of unity. Every building in the area has been damaged by repeated shelling.
This cross and crescent placard sums up the dilemma. A symbol of peace between the warring Moslem and Christian sides it is riddled with bullet holes. The march precedes Lebanon's Independence Day on Sunday (22 November).
There have been many peace plans in the past but all have ended in failure. The green-line area has been particularly heavily hit. Hardly any buildings have escaped damage. There have been more than 100 recorded ceasefires between the warring factions in Beirut over the past five years but all have ended in failure. These Girl Guides are parading past the heavily damaged children's hospital. There are also sandbags around the museum. Despite the rain students and civil defence workers joined the youth groups in the procession. These small girls wearing appropriate costumes and carrying doves -- the symbol of peace -- brought a little relief to the violent world of power politics.
Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved