Postcard from... Beirut
It is an unfortunate truth that it is possible to tell the religious make-up of most areas in Lebanon by the imposing posters of the political leaders that adorn the roadside.
Martyrs, militia leaders and party bosses – dead and alive – stare out over their constituents in a constant reminder of the physical divisions that still exist in the country.
But a new face has appeared by the side of the road in recent weeks. Posters of Pope Benedict XVI have been hoisted in areas of Beirut where Christian leaders are rarely seen.
On the road that runs from the airport to downtown, through the poor southern suburbs that are a stronghold of the Shia militants and the political party Hezbollah, the Pope now smiles down upon drivers.
Alongside him were banners put up by the group itself that read: "Welcome to the land of the resistance."
It is fair to say that the vast majority of Lebanese saw the Pope's visit to their country – at a time of great instability in the region – in a positive light.
It did not matter that while the Pope praised Lebanon's religious coexistence, a few hundred protesters in the northern city of Tripoli, who were angry at a film that insulted the Muslim ProphetMohamed, shouted chants against his trip. They were the minority.
While much has been made of the things that divide Lebanon, the Pope's visit served as a timely reminder that there still exists a strong desire for unity among the Lebanese.
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 The future of sex: The first female condoms were derided, mistrusted and shunned - but will their modern counterparts catch on?
- 2 South African rhino finally put down after roaming Kruger park for days with horn hacked off and bullet in brain
- 3 Italian pensioner hires an escort who turns out to be his son's girlfriend
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...