Lebanon Supporters Encircle the White House

August 13, 2006

Source: The Washington Post


On August 13, 2006 The Washington Post reported, "Thousands of people circled the White House yesterday in a passionate demonstration supporting Lebanon, the country at the center of the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah. Hundreds of red, white, and green Lebanese flags bearing the country's emblematic cedar tree waved beneath Lafayette Square's canopy of elms as demonstrators demanded a cease-fire, many of them mourning their war-ravaged homeland. 'There are a lot of kids, a lot of women dying, and the amazing thing is no one is doing anything about it,' said Hassan Alaouie, 42, who traveled with his wife and two children from Dearborn, Mich., to attend the rally. 'This is the least we can do.' Alaouie, who works for a medical billing company, came to the United States from a border village in Lebanon 20 years ago, but much of his family is still there. His brother lost his home in Beirut to an Israeli missile, and his parents had to flee to a safe house in the north. Organizers estimated there were 'tens of thousands' of participants, but law enforcement officials, who no longer make official crowd counts, estimated the crowd at less than 10,000. In San Francisco, about 2,000 people marched at a rally in support of Lebanese and Palestinians and against the Israel military action... Most of the people at the White House yesterday were Muslim families and students, who took breaks in the shade to feed children or bow toward Mecca for noon prayers. 'We came with seven buses from Ohio. We drove all night,' said Julia Shearson, director of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in Cleveland. Shearson, a convert to Islam, said she brought her 5-year-old daughter, Dalal Alaai, because she fears for her future. 'We're very frightened of the escalation in this conflict.'"