Skip to main content

tv   War Hotels Beirut - Commodore Hotel  Al Jazeera  August 18, 2022 6:30am-7:01am AST

6:30 am
steve, gathering out here today had said that they demand a transparent in rapid investigation. and these really attacks over the civilians in over the killing of their children, especially after these really military confess that it kill 5 children in the w. a new job cemetery on the 7th of august, ah, type a quick check of the headlines here on the al jazeera israel and turkey are restoring full diplomatic ties after years of strained relations. both countries will be reappointing ambassadors, but turkey's farmer said it would not abandon its support for the palestinian kiddish dead in the appointment of ambassadors is also important for the development of bilateral relations. on the other hand, as we have always said, we will continue to defend the rights of palestine at jerusalem and garza. and it's
6:31 am
important that our messages are conveyed directly at the ambassadorial level in tell of eve. 3 major u. s. pharmacy chains have an order to pay $650000000.00 to, to counties in the state of ohio to address the damage inflicted by the opioid epidemic. a court found pharmacies run by c vs walmart, and walgreens. help create a public nuisance by over supplying addictive painkillers. rosen jordan as more from washington d. c. the 3 retailers were, were sued by the counties of a lake. and trumbull, that's east of a call of cleveland, the largest city in ohio, and a jury back in november almost 9 months ago, found the 3 retailers guilty of basically dumping opioid medicines in those 2 counties. a came out during the trial that between 20122016, some 1400000000 pills were sold through those 3 retailers. that's $400.00 pills
6:32 am
per person. thousands of people in argentina demonstrating against the rising cost of living. trade unions are demanding higher wages, as well as unemployment and poverty benefits. argentina has one of the world's highest inflation rates. while in the u. k, the inflation rate has jumped to its highest level in 40 years, reaching 10 point one percent in july, businesses in the household. but we're already feeling the pinch on the even more pressure. intensifying fears of energy and economic crisis. energy and transport costs are also driving the increase and ukrainian officials ins, apparition of joint nuclear disaster response drills. exercises are taking place after several incidents of shelling at europe's biggest nuclear power plant, both keys and moscow them each other for attacks on the russian controlled facility . so those were the headlines that he's continues here on al jazeera after war, hotels stretching thanks for watching. bye for now. talk to al jazeera. we ask for
6:33 am
the rebound you speak of is clearly coming at a high cost for airlines and the industry. what's going wrong? we listen, you were part of the, i'm struggling in the 19 seventy's if you have any regrets. no, we meet with global news makers, i'm talk about the stories that matter on al jazeera. ready ah, the commodore hotel was safe and then you went out into a very grave civil war. another commodore. there's a marvellous javier, a . if a comment hadn't been there, the israel invasion would not have been so well. i it was
6:34 am
a great use and overall, was this godfather of the journalist is of no sound ah, the next room i was in was underground in a tiny, filthy, dirty prison cell, basically as a hostage. ah to ah, she
6:35 am
welcome to 19 sixty's bay route for several decades. this cosmopolitan city attracted international jets such as who could get from the ski slopes to the beach in no time. the hotel district was at the hall to bit to luxury tourism economy. and in its heyday, hotels like the st. george the funny, sure on the holiday inn were full of wealthy tourists, business men, journalists, diplomats, and the occasional spy. travelers on a tight budget stayed at hotels like the commodore. and in the mid 19 seventy's, it became host to the world's media when the lebanese civil war erupted. in 1970, a young arab millionaire, yusef nozzle took the commodore hotel on a 20 year lease from the kuwaiti. royal family nozzle was
6:36 am
a leading investor in the hotel industry in the region and responsible for attracting thousands of tourists to lebanon. mohammed she borrow, worked with ms. allen, ticketing, and still runs at travel agency near the commodore with the same name. but that by le fay, joseph missouri, refundable commodore la montebello surveying ballot. kennedy. my bake alysia, a moth thought of a saint. joseph missouri lester, a thunder cml capital funder atlantic bad. nicola o'con number for the shadow of another fall for happens but the luxury bay ru lifestyle obscured a gap between rich and poor, that was white and all the time. the international press used a route as a barometer of what was happening in the middle east. and one of the foreign correspondents who predicted the violence in lebanon was i t, v. 's, jonathan denby. i 1st went to lebanon in
6:37 am
1972, as a young reporter. and i wanted to see whether something was happening there or not. i stayed in what was then relatively modest hotel called the commodore hotel. the overall impression was of some, some, some a society which was held together by a rather loose series of ropes. i didn't take much for that to chatham. ah, the 13th of april, 1975, mount to the official start of the civil war. it was a proxy conflict full during the cold war. on one side, lebanese christian right wing parties backed by the u. s. wanted to end the armed palestinian presence in lebanon on the other one muslim left wing parties allied
6:38 am
with the palo and backed by the soviet union. they sold the right wing christians, a simply an extension of israeli and american influence in the country. when the war broke out, an army of foreign journalists headed to bay route, including the former bbc, middle east correspondent, tim lewellen. all of whom wanted a safe place to stay. in november 1975, i was taking what turned out to be one of the last m. e. a flights into bay route from london, which was virtually empty except for a few journalists and use of nas owl, who i didn't know. but of course, wisdom, it was to turn out that he was the manager of the commodore her toe. so he drew me, he took out a piece of paper and a pen. and he drew for me various sections of beirut who controlled what
6:39 am
were you could go safely. i said the use of what we needed was a bass the next time i went to be rude. years of had created this fantastic hotel in the space of a few weeks. the commodore had become that journalistic center. ah, 1975 and 76, with the fiercest, 2 years of the civil war. with sectarian killings, massive destruction, and the division of bay root into the christian east. and muslim west the former times correspondent robert fisk, decided to base himself permanently in bay routine, 1976. so when i came to bed, i already knew the city, but i knew it before. when i went downtown here, i could not believe they the extraordinary destruction. i mean it takes it, you can destroy a city very quickly. it's like an awful long time to rebuild it. mm.
6:40 am
i occasionally went to the commodore with a piece draft just to have lunch, sometimes of me, other journalists, but i didn't stay there. i didn't like it very much when i, i thought it was another city hotel with extraordinary high prices. the commodore hotel was safe. and so you could be there. and it was quite bizarre, really. you could be in a civil safe enclave. and then you went out into a very grave civil war ah, under uselessness, als management. the bay root commodore became a global center for news and information. what is happening as i was a young man then? and he seemed to have an extraordinary uncanny ability to know what journalist wanted. and he realized quickly and brilliantly,
6:41 am
that the journalist would need 1st of all, above all, good communications, what the commodore had and what no or else had was communications. and you know, if a journalist has a story and he can't send it, he might as well go home. and you had 3 working to alex machines and they could get to court alumni uses bizarre, started by using lines and telex machines from his private business in bay routes, london, a man and cyprus. but as reported the mom's group, he had to get hold of extra line at any cost as to solid kenneth by the way, ville valid saint joseph. now though i'm out of the salon, the law. moderate albert read all a manual to bobby area, but my cellphone, russellville corner, is alec and a half again. you of all the fuss had a, a mother or a say, ron law sharika. i it as the will spread the
6:42 am
militias to control of different neighborhoods. the challenge for the commodore was to keep the hotel safe for its media guests. i was there on one occasion when we were down in the bah. and suddenly there was a fantastic noise of gunfire from inside the hotel, everyone ducked. don, i'm going to get your everyone was on the floor, and the burr like that stopped silence. the only sound was of the parrot, which had a peculiar position on the edge of the box. and the parrot. i talked quite freely while everyone else sang which made you half in when you're in when you're frightened, if you wanted to laugh anyway, this funny squawking parrot was going on talking the african pirates name was cocoa and his party tricks became legendary. this pirate used to do various things. it
6:43 am
could do the opening notes of beethoven's 5th symphony and various other things. but it's a, it's pierced, the resistance was to imitate an incoming show. ah, on the 6th of june, 1982, israel invaded lebanon. israel claimed they wanted to take out the payload rocket launcher positions, but there was more than that to the israeli action. these railey siege of bay root was one of the bloodiest episodes of the whole, sorry conflict. the destruction was enormous, and 20000 lebanese and palestinians were killed and nearly 50000 doing did. amid the may him, the commodore hotel became the de facto ministry of information. lebanese
6:44 am
photo journalist ramsey, hyder was that the commodore during the israeli invasion going on with the lead to man. but. busy but this pass on about on the, on the bus barn, but they're getting this vision i didn't with, well, i should. allah. but what about sailor illema? get there, but we should. we will have india early days to be israeli invasion of lebanon uselessness. our stop power, large amounts of fuel, food and cash. millions of dollars, he said enough for the hotel residents and stuff for the month to come out. also lent journalists money. can visual, allowing me my casual, my, of the, you know,
6:45 am
what are you from the, in the muscle for chassis you're part of the federal system as it humble. my thought. if one we are feeling cash money. no problem enjoy flows up live life for the commodore base journalists during the invasion was tough. west bay root was under siege with constant israeli air raids and reportedly indiscriminate. shelly, but they told the real story i think the barret cj, as i said, was a big eye opener for many correspondence to only eaten the israeli story. but until then. and they were able, at 1st hand, when they went out to see the suffering of lebanese and palestinians. and they really went off to the story very, very hot, very hard and harshly. and well, i think at that stage though, if, if a commodore hadn't been there,
6:46 am
the israeli invasion would not have been so well reported. and you can thank the commodore and away for this and the people in it under use of net. so i think the are these readies had at that stage in the early eighty's, the worst press they've ever had before or since the 70 day is really c, jervey root was lifted on the 21st of august, 1982 and the p. a lo pulled out of lebanon. there were immediate presidential elections, and the leader of the right wing christian felon jests. but she had yamil, who had supported the israeli incursion, became the president elect of lebanese. but jamal never took office. he was assassinated 23 days later for the following 3 days, the 16th 17th and 18th of september,
6:47 am
1982 christian malicious supported by israel, took part in a massacre that the palestinian refugee camps of sabra and shatila when news of the massacre reached the commodore hotel on the 18th, dozens of local and foreign journalists had it straight to the southern bay route suburb. robert fisk was one of the 1st to enter the palestinian camps. i've never before had to walk and carpets of dead bodies in my life. and the smell was calling, and we went on the sunday morning when the could types of fungus was still there, and murderous was still still in the camp. with zachary, in the near amana a messenger who must have published a few them, did come a boat. well, what do you thought i can be? never come of dorian, who i'd have a modern bedroom, is that what that one i kind of thought i saw it as long gamino
6:48 am
lap dog, a snake was the sub rush athena, the mountain. we will marcus da jamal athene again to set up that. busy the national hubbub, ah, the sabra unsure till a massacres. so the 2000 palestinian and lebanese civilians killed. i started writing and writing writing, and unfortunately the times didn't come out on sunday. so i had to wait for the next day's paper. but i got all the story, i've got it. all news of the 18th of september massacres shocked the world and the international coverage angered the israelis and destroyed like those organizations the same day. they arrested usa from the zone and took into their bass at the saint george hotel. the journalist became extremely angry. the french timidly french organized a petition,
6:49 am
a signed petition and took it down to these ready commander, demanding that those of missouri will be released. yes, i was so surprised he was arrested because they realized this was a communication center and they didn't want it to operate. i think the purpose of arresting yoseph wells to close down the commonwealth h years into the fighting. on the night of the 30th of august, 1983. the commodore took a direct hit, chattering its eastern side. it must have been a month shut e, either the battle men nominal us a fennel refundable commodore at thy water tale with a load of his athena suff out a thing of the sum i have for huffy and judah or thought, raymond, i, you wrote of 2 neil and inexperienced reporters were sometimes unable to handle the route and use if nozzles office sometimes doubled as a psychiatric unit. as the israeli withdrawal continued into
6:50 am
1983 lebanese militias immediately filled that vacuum and vied for control region by region. the commodore had continued as an international news hub. phillipe below worked as a cameraman for c, b c, and took these photos of life inside the hotel at that time. but in 1980, for a new development in the conflict, upset that life even mo kidnapping. the commodore and so i think was beginning to lose its attraction as a journalistic enterprise. around the time of the mid 19 eighties. around the time and the kid mapping. i think the fear of kidnapping started around $84.00.
6:51 am
i lose my attempt to kidnapping on me in madame fury street. a very close to the comedy i certainly remember that was the 1st time i started getting really frightened. and then of course, not long afterwards, terry anderson was kidnapped, longest held hostage was 7 years. and then we all realize we were in trouble me. terry edison was the senior associated press correspondent on the 16th of january, 1985. he was kidnapped on his way to the commodore hotel. 3 years into his detention. his kidnappers released this photo of him wearing a commodore hotel t shirt designed by yusef and his owl for his journalist guests. anderson was the 1st journalist to be kidnapped in beirut. would be the last to be released in 1991 . several different groups carried out the hostage taking but the most prominent was islamic jihad. so i wouldn't advise any foreigners to stay here the moment
6:52 am
while the situation is so dangerous. in november, $985.00, such as the special envoy to the british archbishop of canterbury, terry wade arrived in lebanon, tennessee. go see a hostage releases. he stayed at the riviera hotel, but often went to the commodore to meet journalists. on the 21st of november, fighting known as the battle of the flag between different left wing allied lebanese militias controlling west bay root reach. the commodore hotel cherry weight was trapped inside with dozens of local and foreign journalists, including ramsey. hi duff can. will you wait on them for half an hour caught off the molasses? omeka? consider a hood o wood, a lot of lava. will i shed something
6:53 am
clever? i lemme concluded. ah, that's why we've got our youth. said it. but what did mclaren be sierra meta dealt with their vehicle? it was hot. was in need of the gen names when you saw the project on polar ballasa, leon ramsey, hide of photograph these images of journalists pulling the man's body out of sniper range. then moving it into the back of a call. that image encapsulates the horror of events outside the commodore hotel that night. terry wait, stayed at the commodore and these rare pictures show him making fun. colds in the hotel lobby, negotiations for the release of hostages had so far failed,
6:54 am
and the kidnapping continued. on the 16th of march 1986, like the british journalist john mccarthy arrived in beirut as w t. n bureau chief. it was his 1st assignment to a war zone. he checked in to the commodore opposite w t. n's offices, excited to be staying at the now legendary hotel. i think i had a rather romantic view of what the commodore would be like. um. i had heard from other colleagues who'd been there and stayed there was very aware that it was a famous hotel where all the great journalists stayed. and so when i got there, i was surprised because it was nearly empty. the street fighting and fear of kidnap drove many foreigners out of west bay route to the christian east side or out of
6:55 am
lebanon to neighboring cyprus. so i was told you must be careful if you know that you'll be a target possibly for one of these kidnapped groups. so stay close to the office or in the hammer district and stay close to the hotel. the commodore by april 1986, 30 foreign nationals had been kidnapped in lebanon. it didn't occur to john mccarthy that he might be next. it seemed like a nearer for this hotel for lebanon, for the foreign journalists working there where it was coming to an end. it was closing in around, around me or, but also it felt as if the hotel was sort of closing down to mccarthy was then ordered by his w t. n boss is in london to leave a route immediately. on the 17th of april, 1986. he checked out the commodore and headed for the airport,
6:56 am
but within minutes armed men intercepted his com, grabbed him and took him away. john mccarthy would be the last foreign journalists to stay at the commodore. so it's extraordinary. i started off what that morning in april election, 86 leaving this grow the ground. if dilapidated street at the commodore hotel and the next room i was in, was underground in a tiny, filthy, dirty prison cell, basically, a as a hostage. and i was to remain a hostage for the next 5 and a quarter years. 9 months after mccarthy's abduction, on the 17th of january, 1987 hostage negotiator terri weight was also kidnapped. he was last seen on the bay rude cornish surrounded by gum, and from the drew's progressive socialist party, who were acting as his body guards in my last year captivity,
6:57 am
i was held with the 2 americans, terry anson, and tom sutherland, and also with the english one terri, wait, who'd gone out to lebanon to try and negotiate our release a few years earlier, but himself been kidnapped? and so it's very strange that there we were in a cell with the guy who tried to rescue us and he ended up being a hostage to within hours of terry waits. abduction. a fierce battle ensued in west may route 200 people died in the 5 days fighting. and the commodore was almost completely destroyed by fire. and there was another kidnap the victim. this time coco, the parrot. hotel manager ark made she borrow, checked on the staff and damage the next day. he contacted the owner, yusef nozzle, who was abroad to reassure in the star for okay, but that the hotel was so damaged,
6:58 am
it was now uninhabitable. a let out some then he all that up does that i little did. i literally had a warm day when daughter did la la la ida bellow did mobile up with of live bob, how ali, sunny allan of berlin in 2002, a new investor, both the commodore it was completely refurbished and revived as a 5 star luxury hotel in the haunt of bay roots american journalists, nicholas tetra, perhaps best summed it up when he wrote during the israeli siege of bay root in a city of survivors, the commodore hotel has proven itself to be a survivor. with a touch of class, there is no contract which is simple goodies versus baddies. it's always more
6:59 am
complicated than that. and i'd add one more thing. find a good safe hotel, oop . when the shuts came from the holiday inn refers cracks. we heard some noise. this was noon, a sniper alley was on in the most dangerous intersections and sought able he didn't come in through the front entrance. that was what happens. the people who were shot they came in through the wrong entrance. the nightly pyrotechnics are funny to turn to the camera man said, let's get the hell out of here. sorry, a voe holiday and we'll hotels on al jazeera. this is the right here to report on the people often ignored, but who must be hurt. how many other channels can you say will take the time and
7:00 am
put extensive thought into reporting from under reported areas? of course we cover major global offense, but our passion lies in making sure that you're hearing the stories from people in places like palestine, libya, yemen, the sal region, and so many other we go to them, we make the effort, we care, we state ah, turkey in israel resume diplomatic relations after years of tensions, but anchor insists it won't abandon the palestinians. ah, hello, i'm down. jordan, this is al jazeera la you from dough are also coming up. 3 major u. s. pharmacy change the order to pay millions of dollars as damages for their role when an opioid crisis in the state of ohio.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on