Writer Fouad Ajami joins Fresh Air to talk about Beirut, and how it attracted Lebanese who lived in the countryside. The civil war in Lebanon, Ajami says, has led to a collapse of the country's cultural and religious pluralism, which is born out in several internecine conflicts.
Journalist and network news correspondent Charles Glass. His new book is "Tribes With Flags: A Dangerous Passage Through the Chaos of the Middle East." (The Atlantic Monthly Press). Glass was kidnapped and held hostage by pro-Iranian terrorists in 1987. He escaped from his captors 62 days later.
Former hostage David Jacobsen. In 1985 he was abducted in Beirut where he was director of the American University of Beirut's Medical Center and was held for 17 months. He was held captive along with Terry Anderson, Tom Sutherland, Ben Weir, and Martin Jenco. He's written about it in, "Hostage: My Nightmare in Beirut." (Published by Donald I. Fine, Inc.) (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane)
Israeli writer A. B. Yehoshua. He's one of Israel's most acclaimed authors. His work, written in Hebrew, includes essays, short stories and novels and spans 30 years. His writing has often been compared to William Faulkner. His books include the novel, "Five Seasons," the collected stories, "The Continuing Silence of a Poet," and his latest novel, "Mr. Mani," is about six generations of a Jewish family. (published by Doubleday).
Fist and his wife are the only foreign journalists still living in Beirut. He has been covering Lebanon for the past fourteen years, and has a new book about his reporting, called Pity the Nation: Lebanon at War.