WELCOME BACK SYRIA WELCOME BACK SYRIA
The Syrian crisis has extended to Lebanon, and Tripoli is the new trench of the armed uprising to overthrow Assad. The front line is Syria Street. It separates Jabal Mohsen, an Alawite enclave loyal to Assad, perched on a hill in the East of Tripoli, and Bab al-Tabbaneh, a stronghold of supporters of the Syrian opposition.
La crisi siriana ha incendiato anche il Libano e Tripoli è la nuova trincea della rivolta armata per rovesciare Assad.
La linea del fronte è Syria Street che separa Jabal Mohsen, enclave alawita fedele ad Assad inerpicata su una collina dell’est di Tripoli da Bab al-Tabbaneh, roccaforte dei sostenitori dell’opposizione siriana.
Addormentarsi con la paura di essere colpiti da un proiettile, correre tra un palazzo e l’altro per evitare il fuoco dei cecchini, rischiare la vita giocando sulla linea del fronte e dotarsi di un piccolo arsenale nel retrobottega del proprio negozio fa parte della surreale quotidianità di Jabal Moshen e Bab al-Tabbaneh.
Per racimolare la somma necessaria a comprare un’arma per “difendere i propri cari” c’è chi vende i gioielli di famiglia o l’automobile.
Al termine del mese di Ramadan tra i due quartieri rivali si è ricominciato a sparare.
Negli scontri hanno perso la vita 15 persone e 95 sono rimaste ferite, e l’antico conflitto, ora alimentato dalla crisi siriana, rischia di destabilizzare tutto il Libano.
Progetto in collaborazione con Alberto Tetta.
Images in this gallery:
- 001. Bab al-Tabbaneh is controlled by armed groups linked to the Sunni field parties. The local residents prefer relying on local militias rather than on the army because they do not consider the army really capable of guaranteeing their safety. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 002. Noor, 17, was stabbed because he is alawite while going to school in Ebbe, a Sunni-majority district. His family rushed to save him and were attacked by people who begun throwing stones. The crash then is degenerated in a armed conflict at the end of July. Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 003. Nana used to sleep in the same room as her sister Juju, but after their bedroom became a target for rounds of kalashnikov during the night, she started to share the bed with her parents. \"If the snipers shoot us, at least we will die together\" says Souad, her mother. Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 004. The frontline, Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 005. There are the many political groups active in Bab al-Tabbaneh; with their militias, they control the different areas of the neighborhood. If the most important group are the Salafis, other formations of the Sunni field, such as Future Movement of Saad Hariri, are also present in the area. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 006. \"It\'s not easy to raise the money needed to buy weapons, but the safety of our people comes before everything\" - Nabil, a fighter of Bab al-Tabbaneh. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 007. While in Syria the propaganda posters have been torn and burnt in the cities controlled by the opposition, in Jabal Moshen the cult for the leader remains intact. \"May the honor of Abu Hafez remain forever\" Tripoli, Lebanon
- 008. Jabal Mohsen is surrounded by hostile quarters on all sides. Snipers make no difference between civilians and fighters. It is rare to find buildings of the neighborhood not bored by gunfire. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 009. Rawa\'a lives in her mother\'s house with her three children in the Sahet Nejme. She won’t go back home in Bab al-Tabbaneh until she will be sure that the fightings are over. She’s close to the Salafi movement and does not hate the neighbors of Jabal Mohsen, but she thinks that the Alawites can never be trusted. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 010. Getting food is also risky in Bab al-Tabbaneh. To make the few external passages more safer, the inhabitants of the neighborhood tighten plastic tarps between the buildings. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 011. While the adults fight, young people start learning how to use weapons. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 012. Syria Street, front line between the two district in conflict. During the clashes, life in Bab al-Tabbaneh stops. Women and children find shelter in areas not affected by the conflict, and the streets become empty. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 013. The Lebanese army guards the sensitive areas of the city. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 014. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 015. A fighter is looking for his munitions. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 016. Sheikh Bilal Masri is one of the leader of the militia of Bab al-Tabbaneh. All the members of his family have been killed by the Syrian Army with the support of the Arab Democratic Party in the \'80s. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 017. The flag of the Baathist Arabic democratic party stands next to the Syrian one, hoisted on the frontline. “Oh Assad, you have given peace to us and the peace will be with you always\" Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 018. The son of Abu Shafik, the leader of America Street, manages the store of the father during his absences. Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 019. In Bab al-Tabbaneh, walking down the street is dangerous during the conflict, because of the fire of snipers. Therefore, a network of tunnels between the buildings was created, breaking down the walls: both fighters and fleeing families use it. To make the few external passages safer, the inhabitants of the neighborhood tighten plastic tarps between the buildings. Tripoli, Lebanon.
- 020. The Lebanese Red Cross rescues the wounded both of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen, operating with the support of 60 volunteers. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 021. Side street between Syria Street, the front-line and the center of the district during August clashes. Bab al-Tabbaneh, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 022. Jabal Mohsen is an alawite stronghold, and the people of the district express their stance by exposing everywhere posters of the Syrian president and its family. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 023. The conflict between the two neighborhoods is also a war of symbols. One of many poster of the Syrian regime is exposed in one of the most visible places from the Bab al-Tabbaneh quarter, which just lower. Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 024. Completely accustomed to the violence of the conflict, men of Bab al-Tabbaneh smoking find it completely normal to smoke a narghile with a rifle on their shoulder, 50 metres far from Syria Street, the front line. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 025. In Bab al-Tabbaneh during the conflict to walk down the street is made dangerous by sniper fire. So it was created a network of tunnels between buildings breaking down the walls which fighters and fleeing families use. To make the few external passages more safe, the inhabitants of the neighborhood tend plastic tarps between the buildings. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 026. Syria Street. Bab al-Tabbaneh is one of the poorest districts in the whole Lebanon, and there’s often blackouts. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 027. Passers-by loot one of thirty alawite shops burned in retaliation of the murder of Salafi cleric Khaled al-Baradei, killed by a sniper on August 21, 2012 Alawite people are often victim of looting and aggressions when they venture outside Jabal Mohsen. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 028. The people of Tripoli want to go back to normal life. In a brief pause during the clashes, a magnificent Muslim wedding is celebrated in the streets of Sahet Nejme, a few hundred meters far away from the clashes. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 029. The everyday life is soaked in violence: plastic guns and real guns mingle through the streets of Jabal Mohsen. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 030. Ali Fidar is the vice-secretary of the Arab democratic party, a baathist movement close to the Syrian regime. The movement capillarily controls the life of the district and plans the fighting actions. He poses next to a picture of his brother, shot dead in front of the family store, and a picture of President Bashar el Assad. His father was also hurt at the beginning of August. Jabal Mohsen, Tripoli, Lebanon
- 031. Hassan has a clothes store, its back-shop is a small arsenal. In times of conflict he fights along with other men to defend Jabal Mohsen. Tripoli, Lebanon
- 032. Souad is an housewife and Ershad is employed at the port of Tripoli. They are among the few Sunnis still living in Jabal Mohsen. During the civil war they used to live in Bab al-Tabbaneh until their building collapsed. 30 years ago they moved to Jabal Mohsen, in a house owned by a friend. They don\'t want to move to a safer place because they feel at home and they have also lived happy moments in the neighborhood. Tripoli, Lebanon