Fist and his wife are the only foreign journalists still living in Beirut. He has been covering Lebanon for the past fourteen years, and has a new book about his reporting, called Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War.
Lebanese TV anchor May Chidiac lost an arm and a leg as the result of a car bomb explosion last year. Chidiac works for the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. She just won a Courage in Journalism Award, presented by the International Women's Media Foundation.
Palestinian author, journalist and literary critic Samir El-Youssef was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon. He now lives in London, and has collaborated with his friend, Israeli writer Etgar Keret, on a book, Gaza Blues. El-Youssef provides his views on recent events in the Middle East.
Writer and director Ziad Doueiri ("ZEE-odd Doe-AIR-ee") is making his feature film debut with, "West Beirut." It's set in 1975 during the Lebanese civil war and is largely autobiographical. The film received accolades from the Cannes Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. Doueiri and his family left Lebanon for California in 1983. Before making this film, Doueiri, was cameraman for all of Quentin Tarantino's films.
One of the most respected war surgeons, Dr. Chris Giannou. He was director of surgical operations in Somalia with the International Committee for the Red Cross from February '92 until January '93. He helped set up field hospitals, and taught and performed war surgery. Before that, Giannou spent over two years in a Palestinian Refugee Camp, which was under constant siege. Giannou wrote a book about it, called "Besieged: A Doctor's Story of Life and Death in Beirut."
Former hostage David Jacobsen. In 1985 he was abducted in Beirut where he was director of the American University of Beirut's Medical Center and was held for 17 months. He was held captive along with Terry Anderson, Tom Sutherland, Ben Weir, and Martin Jenco. He's written about it in, "Hostage: My Nightmare in Beirut." (Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc.) (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
The New York Times correspondent's new book is called From Beirut to Jerusalem, about Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East. He joins Fresh Air to discuss how cultivating a network of contacts, coming to terms with the frequent violence he witnessed in Lebanon, and how those experience affected his reporting in Israel.
Writer Fouad Ajami joins Fresh Air to talk about Beirut, and how it attracted Lebanese who lived in the countryside. The civil war in Lebanon, Ajami says, has led to a collapse of the country's cultural and religious pluralism, which is born out in several internecine conflicts.