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tv   War Hotels Beirut - Commodore Hotel  Al Jazeera  March 3, 2022 6:30am-7:01am AST

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prosecutors in spain have dropped to investigations in bolden, former king one carlos. they were looking into offshore accounts and possible illegal payments linked to a high speed rail project in saudi arabia. prosecutor say they couldn't find any evidence. juan carlos was protected by unity up until his abdication 8 years. ah. so let's get a quick check on the headlines here on out 0. the you and refugee agency says more than a 1000000 refugees of fled ukraine since russia's invasion began. just a week ago says it's the fastest exodus of people this century. most have headed west into poland and hungary. russia's military says it's taken control of the southern ukrainian city. of course, on the mer, says russian troops are on the streets. ukrainian officials earlier denied the city had fallen. it's a strategically important port city on the black sea,
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the mayor of another port city, mary paul, is reporting mass casualty his after what he described. there's 15 hours of continuous bombardment by russian forces. there are similar reports, some khaki in the northeast. on the large explosion has shaken central keys. and what the president's office says was a missile strike near the capital cities. southern railway station, ukrainian railer service said that thousands of women and children were being evacuated from the station. at the time of the strike. was speaking exclusively to al jazeera, russia's foreign minister assisted the military operation is justified. sergey lab rebels are said the sanctions imposed on his country amount to theft and will hurt ordinary people. but blue looks your slave blues because today and you the such very do not give a damn about all their principles, which they implemented in the international arena, including when they began to seize the assets of both the central bank of russia and our private companies. it's just tat,
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they have abandoned all those rules that have been implemented into international life or more than 70 years. they have now simply crossed out those rules and returned to the gangster wild capitalism of the times of the gold rush. the un general assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution demanding that russia withdrew its troops. the non binding resolution deplored invasion, doesn't condemn it. london chelsea football club has been put up for sale by its russian owner, romana brockovich, who says field an 8th proceeds to help wolf victims. billionaire has been under pressure to denounce russia's invasion. have also been called for the british government to add a branch to its sanctions list. his own chelsea since 2003 front of it says the move to sell is in the best interests from the club. well, those are the headlines. the news continues here on al jazeera after the war, hotels stage, and thanks for watching laughter and talk to al jazeera, we are. do you believe that the threat of an invasion of ukraine is currently the
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biggest threat international peace and security? we listen, we are focusing so much on the humanitarian crisis that we forget the long term development. we meet with global news makers and talk about the stories that matter on al jazeera ah. ready the commodore hotel was safe and then you went out into a very grave civil war. another commodore. there's a marvellous. javier pulls up huge debate hole. if a commodore hadn't been there, li israeli invasion would not have been so well result. ah, it was a great new center and overall, was this godfather of
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a journalist is of no source. the next room i was in was underground in a tiny, filthy, dirty prison cell, basically as a hostage. ah ah . she welcome to 1960 s bay route. for several decades
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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 be to look cheery tourism economy and in its heyday, hotels like the st. george. the funny sure. on the holiday inn, full of wealthy tourists, businessman journalists, diplomats, and the occasional spy travelers on a tight budget stayed at hotels like the commodore. and in the mid 19 seventies, it became host to the world's media. when the lebanese civil war erupted in 1970, a young arab millionaire use of nozzle took the commodore hotel on a 20 year lease from the kuwaiti. royal family nozzle was a leading investor in the hotel industry in the region and responsible for attracting thousands of tourists to lebanon. mohammed she borrow,
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worked with ms. allen, ticketing, and still runs a travel agency near the commodore with the same name. but that by las vegas of missouri refundable, commodore lamb. what are those aven developed? can it my bacon lithia? the methodical saint. joseph missouri lay, stature, a thunder mel, capital funding atlantic badly calla o'con, now referred to charlotte on either for, for happens but the luxury bay ru lifestyle, of skilled and 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 dimple. b. i 1st went to lebanon in 1972, as a young reporter,
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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 some, some, some 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 with the palo and backed by the soviet union. they
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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 from me various sections of beirut who controlled what were you could go safely. i said the use of what we needed was
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a bass the next time i went to be rude. is if it 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. i occasionally went to the commodore with a piece draft just to have lunch,
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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, on the use of nozzles 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, that the journalist would need 1st of all, above all, good communications,
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what the commodore had and what no one 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 t alex machines and they could get you a call to london. uses bizarre, started by using lines and telex machines from his private business in bay routes, london, a man and cyprus. but his report to demands grew. he had to get hold of extra lines at any cost of the salary. and that, by the way below said joseph, now though, i'm out of the salon, lamar, moderate. i'll buddy all a minute or 2, bobby a, they're bad. my stuff was a russellville motto is alec and a half again. you of all the stuff, had they a mother or a 3rd on law sharika, i had them as the war spread and malicious to control of different neighborhoods. the challenge for the commodore was to keep the hotel safe for its media guests. i
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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. every one ducked, darma get. everyone was on the floor and the bir like that stopped silence. the only sound was of the parrot, which had a peculiar position on the edge of the bar. and the parrot, her 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 it awake, 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 could do the opening notes of beethoven's 5th symphony and various other
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things, but it's a, it's p s. the resistance was to imitate an incoming show. ah, on the 6th of june, 1980 to israel invaded lebanon. israel claimed it wants to take out the pillows, 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 mayhem, the commodore hotel became the de facto ministry of information. lebanese photojournalist ramsey haida was at the commodore during the israeli invasion. take
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a one foot on go on without us next. yeah. so he that a rule. but believe the man but ha or. busy going should him but up with a miss on to pass on about on the boss on sooner, but bother to declare killing this. alicia thought it was very well as it stood ala bus, the mo, caballo cilla, dilemma, cristobelle mosher didn't have any india early days of the israeli invasion of lebanon. yousif nozzles don't pond large amounts of fuel food and cash . millions of dollars. he said enough for the hotel residence and stuff for the month to come. nozzle also lent journalists money. can sofie in louisiana visa, monica, me, m i n m, and a little casual. my elderly k. um no, i thought it. oh wow. thought for la la sala, ian. oh, muscle for the chassis. if you thought of failures,
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if not then it hamel hill my thought if one we all feel on cash money. marble annoy helpful to floss. back so what appleton life for the commodore base journalists during the invasion was tough. west bay route was under siege with constant israeli air raids and reportedly indiscriminate shelley. but they told the real story, i think the barret cj, as i said, was a big eye opener for many correspondents who only eaten the israeli story. but until them. 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 a story very, very hot, very hard and harshly. and well, i think at that stage though, if, if a commodore hadn't been there, 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 0. i think the
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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 israeli siege of a root was lifted on the 21st of august 1982 and the p alo pulled out of lebanon, there were immediate presidential elections, and the leader of the right wing christian for lungess, but she had yamil, who had supported the israeli incursion, became the president elect of lebanese. ah, but jamal never took office. he was assassinated 23 days later. ah, for the following 3 days, the 16th 17th and 18th of september, 1982 christian malicious supported by israel, took part in
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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 headed 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 appalling. and we went on the sunday morning when the co types of fungus was still there. a murderous will still will still in the cap, was accosted near amana messner, who must have published a few them, did come a boat. well, would you thought i can remember gl mandolin who i'd have a more who'd had them as than what that one i kind of thought i saw it as long like those. a snap was the sub rush, athena mid mountain. we will marcus the gym on a soft
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e account. you said i thought that the machine hubbub ah, the sabra. unsure to la messages, sorrow, the 2000 palestinian and lebanese civilians killed. i started writing and writing writing. i. 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 got it. all news of the 18th of september massacres shocked the world and the international coverage angered the israelis and destroy. let those organizations the same day, they arrested usa from the zone and took into their base at the saint george hotel . the journalist became extremely angry. the french timidly, french organized a petition and a signed petition and took it down to the israeli commander, demanding that news of miss. i'll be released. yes, i was
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a surprise. 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 while to close down the comment of 8 years into the fighting. on the night of the 30th of august, 1983. the commodore took a direct hit, chattering its eastern side. cafe us up with a month shot, a either the battle men dominant us a fan on refundable or at that water film with a lot of his a feels about a thing of the some i have the huffy and gera or but i am. and 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 1983 lebanese militias immediately felt that vacuum invite the control
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region by region. ah, the commodore had continued as an international news. hum. phillipe below worked as a camera man for c, b c and took these photos of life inside the hotel at that time. but in 1984, a new development in the conflict upset that life even mo kidnapping . ah. 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. i was an attempt to get nothing on me in madame curious st. very close to accommodate i still remember that was the 1st time i started getting really
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frightened. and then of course, not long afterwards, terry anderson was kidnapped, longest held hostage with 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 bay route. that 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 while the situation is so dangerous. in november, 1985,
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such as the special envoy to the british archbishop of canterbury, terry wait arrived in lebanon, and it goes ca 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 militia controlling west bay root reach. the commodore hotel terry weight was trapped inside with dozens of local and foreign journalists, including ramsey hyde, can get away. for half an hour caught off the bellas. omeka consider a her who would a lot of lava will usher up in oklahoma. i lemme company go ah,
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that's why we've got or you can set it up who did regarding the sierra meta gilbert, vehicle it was hot, was in the urgent names when you saw the reserves and polar ballasa, leon ramsey, hyde 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 phone calls in the hotel lobby. negotiations for the release of hostages had so far failed, and the kidnapping continued
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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 hands offices, excited to be staying at the now legendary hotel. i think that had a rather romantic view of what the commodore would be like m. i had heard from other colleagues who'd been there and stayed there and was very aware that it was a famous hotel or 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 lebanon to neighboring cyprus. so i was told you must be careful if you know that
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you will 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. a didn't occur to john mccarthy that he might be next. it seemed like an era for this hotel, for lebanon, for the forum journalist working there where it was coming to an end. it was closing in around, around me. ah, but also it felt as if the hotel was sort of closing down to mccarthy was then ordered by his w t. n. bosses in london to leave a routine mediately. on the 17th of april, 1986, he checked out of the commodore and headed for the airport. but within minutes armed men intercepted his car,
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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, in april election, 86 leaving this grow the grand if dilapidated street up at the commodore hotel and the next room i was in was underground in a tiny, filthy, dirty prison cell. basically, i 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 gunman from the drews, progressive socialist party, who were acting as his body guards in my last year captivity. i was held with the 2 americans, terry anson, and tom sutherland, and also with the english one terri wait,
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who'd gone out to lebanon to try and negotiate our release a few years earlier, but himself been kidnapped. 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 bay route. 200 people died in the 5 days fighting and the commodore was almost completely destroyed by fire. and there was another kidnapped the victim . this time coco, the parrot hotel manager arc met. she borrow, checked on the staff and damage the next day. he contacted the owner, yusef nozzle, who was abroad to reassure in the staff for okay, but that the hotel was so damaged. it was now uninhabitable. i let out some penny. all that up does that i looked in. i'm literally
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a warm day when dotted la la la ivan beverly did mobile up with of life. bob, how early sunny allan, the button in 2002, a new investor, both the commodore it was completely refurbished and revived is a 5 star luxury hotel in the heart of bay roots, ah, american journalists, nicholas tightrope, 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 complicated than that. and i'd add one more thing. find
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a good safe hotel. ah, the important thing if you are walking around in beirut was not to be in the line of fire from the holiday. paula, we heard gunshots. i was the 1st one to flee the hotter. the battle lasted 3 days and 3 nights and there were no prisoners at the control holiday in and you controller the region around. and that's why i was such a bloody battle. an icon of conflict at the heart of the lebanese civil war, bay route holiday in war. how towels on al jazeera, on march 9th south koreans will choose a new president. foreign policy is the key issue for the 2 front running candidates from opposing parties that will this presidential race be determined by younger
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voters. more concerned with inequality that home south korea votes, special coverage on al jazeera. ah . ready are you in refugee agency, says a 1000000 people have fled ukraine since russia's invasion, the fastest exodus the century. ah, hello, i'm darned, jordan, this is our direct line from doha also coming up here and almost united front against russia. the un as is one that is the tell 0, the conflict is just you know, for the mission is.


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