My wife and I recently visited Lebanon. We were there to see our first Grandchild. Our daughter, Susan, an American is married to a very caring and wonderful Lebanese husband.Nabil Issa. And I might add he is now a very proud father of a beautiful baby daughter Jessica. We were not the only proud and happy grandparents.
Nabils Mother and Father, Jumiana and Joseph Yammine were experiencing and enjoying their first Grandchild also. While there I read your Dailystar newspaper every morning and compliment you on your paper very informative and well written. I am writing this letter as I sit here and think back to the many times Over the years we have seen many CNN news reports of Lebanon. Always the same thing, war destruction, buildings in terrible condition etc. refuge camps etc. Never a positive report on Beirut. CNN does not report the fact that The Commander of the Fire Brigade of Beirut, Col Balaa who I had the pleasure to meet, and is a very fine gentleman, has now established a One number system for all of Beirut ( # 175 ) for phone dialing in fire emergencies much the same as our 911 system in America ( This is something you may care to provide to the residents of Beirut. A full page free announcement informing the residents that the # 175 is the way to get help in fire emergencies for all of Beirut. That would be wonderful Public Service announcement. CNN does not show the rebuilding efforts, the new highways, the new hotels new buildings, the fact that many American businesses have returned to Beirut, TGIF Fridays. Hard Rock Cafe, Hardees, Pizza Hut, KFC and many others and now McDonalds is being built.The many cultural events, conventions, the New Stadium, so many positive beautiful things, The new Airport Construction, the new traffic tunnels, the Mountains, the views from the top of the Mountains where every way you turn its like a beautiful postcard. My wife tells me that I sound like the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce when I talk about the beauty of The Country. I can clearly see that the massive re- construction that is underway will once again make Beirut the "Pearl Of the East". Beirut is on the way back. The beautiful City of Beirut will once again be the hub of the Middle east. CNN does not show the faces of the people, the smiles, CNN does not show the warm welcome wherever we went. The Ballet with the fine dancers, the food, the countless things that made us fall in love with Beirut and the nice things are never reported on CNN. Only the bad side. They never report the fact that the crime rate is almost non existent. They always report on incidents in South Lebanon at the border. That situation I truly feel will someday soon end and peace will return to the region. I am not smart enough to offer a solution to that problem. I wish that I were. I only know that the Lebanon I see is a beautiful Lebanon. Lebanon has a history of war, and now its future is its rebuilding. Not what CNN reports it to be. The real Beirut is not being exposed to the world. If one chose to believe what CNN put in the reports on Lebanon, Beirut in particular, we would be concerned about our Daughter being in Beirut. But we are not. She has been accepted in the warm embrace of a friendly citizenry. She has in a short period of time learned to speak the language, cook Lebanese, learned the culture, and most important learned to drive a car like a Lebanese. Something that I never thought she would be able to do. We miss her being here with us in America but we feel confident that she is safe and Our Grand-daughter is safe and accepted as the wonderful caring person she is. Our Daughter is probably the best ambassador of good will from America that Lebanon has ever seen . She has never met a person she did not like and treat as equal to herself. I do not think anyone that ever met Susan has gone away without feeling she was a friend. It was our second visit to Lebanon in less then a year. We happened to be there for the Popes visit last spring and the tremendous outpouring of respect and admiration and reception he received from all the residents of the City were outstanding. He was welcomed by all and treated with great respect as a man of Peace. During his visit he called for all nations to respect Lebanonï¿½s borders, a declaration I wholeheartedly support. Lebanon is Back, Its Beautiful. It will continue to prosper. It will take time but the People of Lebanon will make it happen and the bad image that CNN presents on Beirut will never affect the fact that it once again is going to be "The Pearl of the East". To the residents and People of Beirut, I salute you and say "Lebanon Forever" and Thanks for being Nice.
492 Cornell Avenue
Port St Lucie Florida 34983