Andy Carvin http://wrti.org en Syrian Activist: 'It's Snowing And We're Shaking Here' http://wrti.org/post/syrian-activist-its-snowing-and-were-shaking-here According to activists inside and outside Syria, the government's 27-day siege against the opposition stronghold of Baba Amr <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/01/147714382/anti-assad-fighters-said-to-be-retreating-from-beseiged-syrian-district">has now succeeded</a>. Initial reports suggest that forces are entering this neighborhood in the city of Homs, but details are sketchy at best because most of the reporters and citizen journalists covering the story have either fled or died.<p>One man, though, continues to bear witness. Thu, 01 Mar 2012 17:19:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 990 at http://wrti.org On The Syrian Border, Getting Too Close Could Get You Shot http://wrti.org/post/syrian-border-getting-too-close-could-get-you-shot Our car pulled over along a deserted traffic circle in a small Jordanian village. An old man freshly covered in thick, wet sleet climbed into the back seat, his cold breath reeking of cigarettes.<p>"This is Khaled," my Syrian contact said. "He will show us to the border."<p>It took the better part of today to get from Amman, Jordan, to the Syrian border. A freak rain storm followed by a sudden blizzard had turned what should have been a two-hour drive into something much worse, as Jordanians seem to drive in snow as poorly as my fellow Washingtonians do. Wed, 29 Feb 2012 21:00:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 959 at http://wrti.org Gadhafi's Compound, Slowly Being Erased From History http://wrti.org/post/gadhafis-compound-slowly-being-erased-history "I don't know why the traffic is like this," he said. "It's Friday just before prayers; where are all these people going?"<p>My friend Emad and I had been driving around the perimeter of Bab al-Azizia, Gadhafi's notorious compound just outside downtown Tripoli. It was here that NATO concentrated many of its bombing runs, as did President Reagan in the 1980s. Now the outer walls are a crumbling mess, covered with anti-Gadhafi graffiti.<p>It probably would have been faster for us to walk than drive at this point, but there was still nowhere to park. Fri, 24 Feb 2012 23:46:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 789 at http://wrti.org Gadhafi's Compound, Slowly Being Erased From History From War Correspondents In Libya, A Toast To Fallen Comrades In Syria http://wrti.org/post/war-correspondents-libya-toast-fallen-comrades-syria We arrived nearly an hour late, our taxi drivers lost in the potholed, half-flooded streets of Tripoli. Our Libyan host, who would never have fathomed an on-time start anyway, invited us upstairs, where he had managed to arrange an impressive array of hors d'oeuvres and beverages on such short notice.<p>People arrived in groups of three or four at a time. Everyone knew almost everyone else. Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:30:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 721 at http://wrti.org From War Correspondents In Libya, A Toast To Fallen Comrades In Syria A Year Later, One Libyan Fighter Says 'Nothing Has Changed' http://wrti.org/post/year-later-one-libyan-fighter-says-nothing-has-changed A lanky Libyan man leans hard against the railing, looking out at the waves of the Mediterranean crashing below us on the seafront in Benghazi. He's lost in thought for a moment, then shakes his head and takes a long drag from his cigarette.<p>"They were dropping like flies," he says. "I knew I was going to die next."<p>But somehow, he didn't. He goes by the street name Danny Vampire, a name that he picked up as a teenager nearly a decade ago. Tue, 21 Feb 2012 16:45:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 623 at http://wrti.org A Year Later, One Libyan Fighter Says 'Nothing Has Changed' Paying Respects To A Fallen Journalist In Libya http://wrti.org/post/paying-respects-fallen-journalist-libya A light mist of cold rain started falling on us from the moment we reached the cemetery. If I hadn't felt it on my face, I probably wouldn't have even noticed it, as the hardscrabble stretching throughout the grave yard appeared just as parched as one might expect in a desert country.<p>I had driven to the southern outskirts of Benghazi to visit the grave of a friend -– a virtual friend who I had never met in person, and quite honestly, had only interacted with on a limited basis. Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:57:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 576 at http://wrti.org Paying Respects To A Fallen Journalist In Libya Independence Day Parade, Benghazi-Style http://wrti.org/post/independence-day-parade-benghazi-style Stepping out of my hotel on Friday evening, I could see cars backed up for miles, stretching all the way around the Benghazi's biggest lake, not far from the shores of the Mediterranean.<p>Horns blared in every direction, but not just car horns: bull horns, oo-gahhorns, vuvuzelas, aerosol-powered horns, even a bagpipe or two. The air smelled of exhaust, gasoline and the occasional whiff of hash. Sat, 18 Feb 2012 12:14:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 560 at http://wrti.org Independence Day Parade, Benghazi-Style Celebration As Improv: In Libya 'We Don't Know How To Celebrate' http://wrti.org/post/celebration-improv-libya-we-dont-know-how-celebrate I've spent the day in the company of Malik L, a Benghazi-based hip hop artist who seems to get stopped every 100 feet by either a friend or a fan. In between these conversations, I asked Malik about what celebrations were scheduled for tonight.<p>"I have no idea," he replied. "No one does. Libya has never done this before. We don't know how to celebrate an anniversary."<p>It's an extraordinary thought. Though Libyans came out by the hundreds of thousands to celebrate the fall of Moammar Gadhafi, today is the first time they've reached an anniversary related to the revolution. Fri, 17 Feb 2012 20:58:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 541 at http://wrti.org Celebration As Improv: In Libya 'We Don't Know How To Celebrate' #Feb17: A First Visit To Revolution Central: The Benghazi Courthouse http://wrti.org/post/feb17-first-visit-revolution-central-benghazi-courthouse While pretty much any corner of Benghazi is a fine place to celebrate this week, the heart of the celebrations are taking place at the courthouse and its public square, where some of the revolution's first protests took place.<p>As a brutally chilly rain peppered us from the Mediterranean, I wandered down there for a few hours, where at least one thousand men had begun their own celebrations. The crowd was awash in Libyan independence flags as young men in the middle pounded drums to punctuate each revolutionary chant. Fri, 17 Feb 2012 17:29:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 530 at http://wrti.org The Libyan Art Of Honking http://wrti.org/post/libyan-art-honking The streets of Benghazi have turned into the world's most joyous parking lot.<p>Every single vehicle, moving slower than a toddler walking, is honking its horn in a variety of patterns to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution.<p>While Libyans often use certain honking patterns in everyday driving – two honks for "Hey there" and three honks to show your displeasure – the honking Thursday night can only be described as poetic. The most common horn pattern is two sets of five beeps: <em>beep beep beep beep BEEP, beep beep beep beep BEEP</em>. Fri, 17 Feb 2012 16:06:00 +0000 Andy Carvin 523 at http://wrti.org The Libyan Art Of Honking