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Metamorphosis: Images from the Arab World

Michael Robinson Chavez | Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq

During the 2006 war in Lebanon Israeli forces pounded the Hezbollah stronghold of Bent Jbeil. Hezbollah fighters fought back, killing 8 Israeli troops. Many civilians were unable or unwilling to flee the scene and are now leaving the scene after the Israelis called a temporary stop to airstrikes.
Traumatized, Namad Baidoun screams as she walks out of the shattered ruins of Bent Jbeil. She and her sister survived through 20 days of constant bombing and warfare by moving from house to house.

The Arab world is in a major state of flux: a new generation of youth are taking to the streets and cyberspace changing regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and threatening other autocratic leaders in Yemen and Syria. Israel, warily watching these changes, is feeling increased pressure from the Obama administration to restart the peace process with the Palestinians.

These photographs are a small window into four countries that have experienced tumultous change since the September 11 attacks: Iraq, Israel/Palestinian Territories, Lebanon and Egypt. Iraq, like Afghanistan, felt the wrath of American vengence most acutely. Eight years on US troops are still present in the country. Lebanon and Israel continue with internal turmoil and a war fought between the two in 2006. The fall of the Mubarak regime is the most recent and powerful reminder that a youth movement and thirst for democracy is in full bloom during the current "Arab Spring."

 

All photos are copyrighted: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times

After September 11 the news world's focus landed squarely on the Islamic world, most notably Iraq and Afghanistan. I was sent on many assignments to cover Iraq, the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel, the Israeli incursions into Gaza and the West Bank and most recently the Egyptian revolution.

A common thread through all of these assignments, in the post 9/11 world was of course the attitude towards America, American focus and behavior in the region and the occupation of an Islamic nation. At the same time it was fascinating to see the autocratic regimes, supported by the United States and following a long discredited and corrupt Arab nationalistic model fall in Tunisia, Egypt and currently in Yemen.

It was a fascinating 9 years covering the region, and the next decade promises to be equally enlightening and challenging.

http://www.nonprofitexpert.com/countries/egypt.htm

www.egyptianrevolution.com

Michael Robinson Chavez, Los Angeles Times

michael.robinsonchavez@latimes.com

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