The Digital Journalist
Reza / Webistan
Lebanon. 1982: In April 1982 Newsweek sent me to Lebanon for my first great assignment after I left Iran and after my hand was wounded during the Iran-Iraq War. Lebanon was fascinating to me because of the different communities, the Palestinian refugees, the Druze, the Christians, the Sunnites, the Shiites of the South, and the Israelis. So many different histories interact there. The Beirut Hippodrome was famous all over the Middle East. Hundreds of purebred horses were kept there. In late April I was at the Hippodrome to take pictures of a horse race. At the time I did not realize it would be the last race for years and also the last day for many of these magnificent horses. On June 4, 1982, the Israeli Air Force, led by then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon, launched a large-scale attack, "Peace in Galilee." Shells were exploding everywhere and the Beirut Hippodrome was bombed. Some of the best horses were taken to a safe place. But the assault was intense and the damage to the city severe. Because of the shelling, I could not get close enough to take pictures but I returned a few days later. "Peace in Galilee" killed 15,000 civilians as well as these horses.