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.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 5 Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Caitlyn Jenner's mother Ester thought her daughter, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, had transitioned for money
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Charles Kennedy dead: A guy once asked the Lib Dem leader who his favourite Muppet was and his letter response was wonderful
Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company are a world leadin...