Last night in downtown Beirut we parked on the old Green Line, the frontline in the 1975-90 War. Posters of more recently murdered politicians - e.g. Rafiq Hariri, murdered in 2005 - hang from buildings. Now in a more peaceful time - here in the Middle East at least - despite armed soldiers and check points the Lebanese enjoy sitting outside smoking their water & tobacco narguileh pipes or eating together. Western style dress mixes with Muslim hijabs on the streets & an Arab in a full shadour walks past on his mobile & then soldiers with guns at hand walk by. Cultures and religions mix in Beirut once again, but it is not 'the Western playground' of the 1960s. Beirutis always went out to eat even when the bombs came down...now there is some peace and they always hope.