Reporters on the Job

My Office is My Home: The Lebanese prime minister, Fouad Siniora, and some of his cabinet colleagues have spent weeks holed up in the government offices overlooking downtown Beirut, where Hizbullah's supporters and their opposition allies are encamped. "They moved there after the assassination last month of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel," says correspondent Nicholas Blanford. "The building – a former Ottoman-era barracks known as the Grand Serail – is ringed by troops, coiled razor wire, and armored vehicles."

This week, Nick visited the Grand Serail to interview Ahmad Fatfat, the former interior minister. "One of the more outspoken government critics of the opposition, Mr. Fatfat said that he and five other ministers are living and working full time in the building because of security," Nick says. "He told me that 'We will stay as long as necessary.' "

The protesters are in full view from the Serail. But, says Nick, "it seems that rather than being fueled by political anger, the demonstrators are enjoying the experience of camping out in the city center."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.