Lebanon History: Experience It
The Lebanon War of 1982 was called the Operation Peace of the Galille by Israel. It eventually became known as the First Lebanon War. The Lebanon War began on June 6, 1982 when Israel invaded southern Lebanon. This invasion was ordered after an assassination attempts on Shlomo Argov, the Israeli Ambassador to England by the Abu Nidal Organization. During an after this Lebanon War attack, Israel occupied the southern area of Lebanon. After heavy bombing of West Beirut, the Lebanese armies utilized the aid of international peacekeepers to negotiate passage out of Lebanon.
The Lebanon War continued for several more years until Israel finally withdrew from Lebanon in the middle of 1985. Israel left a manned security zone in southern Lebanon, however, that is still in place today as a buffer between the two countries. This area is approximately three miles wide and the length of the southern border of Lebanon. Many soldiers on both sides of this conflict lost their lives, and this buffer zone is still an area of unrest today.
During the Lebanon War, Lebanon appealed to UNESCO for protection of Lebanese cultural sites at Tyre from the relentless bombardment from Isreal. UNESCO attempted to help the Lebanese government protected these ancient historical sites. UNESCO intervened between Lebanon and Israel, as the two countries refused to have any communication between them, even in times of peace. UNESCO was able to lessen the bombardments to this area during the Lebanon War and several historical sites still remain.
Today, Tyre, Lebanon still offers many excavated ruins to visitors that span three different archaeological areas. There is a Roman necropolis, a Roman triumphal arch, aqueduct, and bathhouse. There is also a mosaic floor from a very ancient church. The Tyre hippodrome, used for chariot racing, has a good deal of stone still standing. These sites were all in danger of being destroyed during the Lebanon War.
Beirut also had many historical sites damaged during the war. Several have been restored, including the Solidére Clock Tower. Beirut has rebuilt a lot of the areas that were damaged. The National Museum of Beirut has many historical and archaeological exhibits, portraying the difficulties endured through the years for this small country. If you are visiting Beirut, also consider getting outside of the city. The country is small enough that most other tourist activities are within a two hours drive of the city. Tyre is one of the major tourist attractions in Lebanon, especially since it was spared in the Lebanon War.
Lebanon has had a very tumultuous history and there was actually more than one Lebanon War in its history. It has struggled mightily for its independence and will continue to do so. The country offers so much to the Middle East and to tourists that go to see the many monuments and historical sites available. Lebanon is a country rich in history, culture, and ancient civilizations. It is worth a trip to experience all this country has to offer.