Bahia, Brazil

You know that a looks like Beirut comment is imminent when the title of your post includes the phrase: Bahia in Brazil Is a War Zone.

Ilhéus, in the South of Bahia state, Brazil is a ghost city. It never was that busy at night, but now nobody is in the streets. The hot weather and the dust are the only things around. Itabuna is the same. Bars, restaurants, everything is empty. Feira de Santana, same thing.

And then Salvador, the capital, it seems like a city at war. The military who came from everywhere in Brazil, walk around with their fingers on their machine gun triggers. The atmosphere is very tense.

It seems more like Beirut during the old war days.

I have to give a little credit to the journalist Max Bono for referring to Beirut ‘during the old war days’ but it is still a poor comparison and brings about ignorant comments such as this one from Neil:

Max, we know here that the situation is not great in Salvadar, but a war zone? Looks like Libanon? That’s a lie and you know that, but perhaps you’re trying hard to get a job at cnn international or fox news.

Translation: Salavadar, Brazil may not be the greatest place on the planet but you cannot compare it to the most dangerous place on earth: Lebanon.

Comments like these remind me that the ‘looks like Beirut’ phrase use I record on this blog is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changing people’s perception. Oh well, got to start somewhere.

another surreptitious picture of lebanese soldiers in downtown beirut.

By upyernoz via flickr