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CONNECT THE WORLD

Interview with Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam; African Start- up: JARDS Products; Israel Rejects Hamas Cease-Fire Offer; Destruction in Gaza; Violence Keeps Investigators From MH17 Crash Site; Iran Weighs In; Journalists Detained in Iran; Parting Shots: Artist Paints Different Picture of Middle East

Aired July 27, 2014 - 11:09   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST: All right. And thank you very much indeed for that, Wolf.

Welcome back. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson live from Beirut this evening.

A moment of apparent promise then, and now we're back to square one. Earlier this afternoon Hamas asked for what it called a humanitarian pause

in the conflict with Israel. Israel's prime minister says Hamas didn't back up its words with action.

Well, away from the rocket fire, no third party may have a greater concern than neighboring Lebanon. The militant arm of Hezbollah here has long been

an ally of Hamas. And its leaders have vowed to support Hamas in any way possible. They have strongly condemned Israeli actions. And in that

respect have found rare common ground with the Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam who sat down with me this weekend. I'll bring you that

exclusive interview in full when Connect the World continues.

Taking a very short break. Back after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Well, you're watching CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson live from Beirut. Welcome back.

The shot you see is the Grand Serail. And that is where the prime minister here has his office.

Well, the conflict between Israel and Hamas may be unfolding some 300 kilometers sound of where I stand now, but politically speaking the crisis

right on the doorstep as the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to do everything in his power to suppress Hamas. Hezbollah militants in

Lebanon have vowed to do everything in their power to support their allies in Gaza.

Well, back into the Palestinian people extends right to the top of the political system here in Beirut. I spoke exclusively to Prime Minister

Tammam Salam about the regional ramifications of the Israel-Hamas standoff and the pursuit of peace.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TAMMAM SALAM, LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER: If we can put an end to Israeli hegemony and to Israeli aggressiveness in this region we will put an end to

many violence in this region. And if we cannot do that, violence will prevail. And you cannot build a country, you cannot build a future for any

people under the banner of violence, under military might, that cannot go on.

It can be exercised from time to time, but we have seen a right example in Lebanon in 2006 with all the military might of Israel they will not -- they

have not been able to subdue or occupy Lebanon.

So why to keep on going trying to do this now with the Palestinians.

ANDERSON: What is the likelihood, though, of a Hezbollah getting involved in this and dragging Lebanon into this conflict?

SALAM: Well, for the moment I don't see Hezbollah getting Lebanon involved in this conflict unless the Israeli want to decide to direct their military

machine towards Lebanon.

ANDERSON: And there have been rockets from here to there.

SALAM: Those were responsible individual benign rockets by a person here or there, but based on sentiments more than anything else.

ANDERSON: Lebanon has been a proxy for regional powers. It continues to be so, although at present it seems that those regional powers are, to a

certain extent, safeguarding Lebanon's sort of daily existence. What keeps you awake at night?

SALAM: What keeps me awake at night is the security situation. That is a time bomb in the midst of extremism and of violence that's prevailing in

the region.

Of course that can upset at any moment the stability of the country. And that's why we are supporting as best as we can our security forces, our

Lebanese army and the internal security forces and the general security forces, all the security forces have to be supported.

And there again we require a lot of external support. As much as those forces are prevalent and as much as they are active as much as we can

prevent extremism, we can prevent violence from coming into Lebanon.

ANDERSON: What sort of support do you have? And what sort of support do you need? And how much of an influence are or is Syria within this country

today?

SALAM: Well, I believe Syria has its own concerns. They have their own worries so they don't have time. And luckily we enjoy now in Lebanon some

freedom of action and we lately a few months back received a substantial unprecedented support from Saudi Arabia for the Lebanese army with $3

billion for a small country like Lebanon. And that certainly made big impact on imposing those security forces on everybody who does not want the

stability of this country.

ANDERSON: There is a political vacuum here, which you are incredibly mindful of. There is no president who is the head of state. I mean,

something like nine or 10 attempts so far to elect a president by lawmakers. Just how big a problem is this? And what will the challenges

be going forward if you continue to fail to elect a president?

SALAM: Well, it certainly is a problem. And it's a major political problem. Any state without a head is not a full state. And yes we have a

safety net in the form of a coalition government trying to carry on matters. Unfortunately we have the negative effect of this vacuum, which

immediately almost paralyzed the legislative branch. Our parliament has not been able neither to legislate nor to elect a new president.

And as long as the political factions, all the political factions, do not get to a point where they should gather and decide on electing a president,

we will be suffering.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: The Lebanese prime minister speaking exclusively to me.

And of course our website has extensive coverage of the crisis in the Middle East. You'll read the perspective from all sides of the conflict,

plus what are Israel's and Hamas's end games in all of this? And what is a look at the ripple effect of the Israel-Hamas conflict around the world?

All that and more CNN.com/international.

We are live in Beirut this hour, a city that's been hosting an official from a key country in this region -- Iran. So what have they been

discussing? And exactly where does Iran stand on this Israel-Gaza crisis? We're live in Tehran this hour to find out.

And a highly sensitive security situation. Investigators are standing by to get to the crash site of flight 17. So what is stopping them?

Before all of that, though, we'll take a detour to Malawi this evening where bamboo is proving to be big business in this week's African Start-up.

See you in a few.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ROSEBILL SATHA-SAMBO, FOUNDER, JARDS: My name is Rosebill Satha-Sambo.. I am 30. And I am the founder and manager of JARDS Products.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Malawi is known as the warm heart of Africa for its stunning scenery and friendly people. In its capital, Lilongwe, one

business is succeeding despite the city's high unemployment.

SATHA-SAMBO: JARDS is a business with a social concept behind it. Basically we make bamboo products. We weave furniture, we weave baskets,

that's the main thing. But it's expanding a little. We've got people who come in who want to train on how to make earrings. We do that. There are

people who come in who want to learn how to carve. But mainly we focus on ecofriendly bamboo product.

Well, JARDS is an acronym for my family, Joanna, Amanda, Rosebill -- myself -- Dalita (ph) who is my husband and Sambo, which is our surname. JARDS is

all about family and community and friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Although other weaving companies do exist in Malawi, Rosebill approached her business uniquely, looking to empower not just

herself, but the community as well.

SATHA-SAMBO: I think what sets JARDS apart is first of all we care. My mom used to teach women in the rural areas how to weave. And it always

stuck to me how she was imparting a skill onto women who instead of just sitting around and chatting the whole day they're actually working and

making money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: However, Rosebill's work is not without its challenges.

SATHA-SAMBO: I work full-time, so to basically manage running JARDS and working is one challenge in itself, but also I have a family. So to

manage, to balance between my husband and my kids and JARDS, there's so many challenges but we're working through them.

This is my time, you know. I think of it like this is my primetime. If I don't do this now, when will I do it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having partnered with a nonprofit organization, Microenterprise Training and Assistance out of Boise, Idaho, JARDS is now

thriving and Rosebill has major plans for its future.

SATHA-SAMBO: I actually want to set up a skills development center, because I think entrepreneurship is the way for Africa to go. These skills

just need to be passed. And that's all it is paying it forward, because the jobs need to be created. And how do you create a job if you don't

actually have the papers and you don't have the skills? So that's where we're headed.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Welcome back to Beirut. And the Mohammed Al Amin (ph) mosque behind me located in Martyr's Square in downtown Beirut in Lebanon. It was

built between 2002 and 2007 by the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri who was buried beside it, inaugurated by his son, Saad, in 2008.

This is Connect the World with me, Becky Anderson live from Beirut.

The top stories for you this hour.

The Reuters news agency reporting Boko Haram militants stormed the home of Cameroon's vice prime minister and kidnapped his wife. It happened in the

northern town of Kolofata, and it sits just across the border from northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram operates.

A team of Dutch police officers and forensic experts have arrived in Donetsk to examine debris from the Malaysia Airlines flight 17, but they'll

stay in place for now, at least, they've scrapped plans to travel to the crash site due to reports of violence nearby.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship has reached a port in the Italian city of Genoa. The vessel is slowly being eased into a dry dock, where it will be

dismantled. It ran aground, you'll remember, two and a half years ago.

And hopes of a new humanitarian cease-fire are fading quickly in Gaza. Israel's prime minister says he won't accept Hamas's offer of a 24-hour

truce because the militants continue to launch attacks into Israel. The IDF says this video shows a rocket being launched from a school in northern

Gaza. Hamas says it's resumed its attacks on Sunday afternoon, blaming a, quote, "lack of commitment" from Israel.

Let's go live to the conflict zone, now, to see what is happening on the ground this hour. Martin Savidge joining us from Jerusalem. Martin, it

seems very confusing. Give us a sense of what you can tell is going on on the ground. We hear there is a cease-fire agreed to by both sides, and

then we hear there are continued assaults by both sides. Can you clear this up?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I wish I could, Becky, but unfortunately, no. Usually the closer you are to a story, the

greater the clarity, but that is not the case when it comes to trying to understand the prospects for -- not necessarily a cease-fire, but a

humanitarian pause, as it's been described and as the United Nations has been working.

Twenty-four hours ago, we thought we might be getting somewhere. We were in the midst of a 12-hour pause, and there were hopes that that could be

extended another 24 hours. Last night, Israel agreed to do just that, extend it for 24 hours, but unfortunately, as that hour arrived, Hamas said

no, they weren't in agreement with that and began launching mortars and rockets.

Then, fast-forward about 12 hours later, Hamas said now it was ready to accept a 24-hour humanitarian cease-fire, but it appears by that point,

Israel had run out of patience. Now, both sides are saying they won't stop fighting because the other side is still fighting.

Israel says that less than an hour ago, the Iron Dome intercepted four rockets over that country. So, the back-and-forth has not stopped, and the

fighting goes on.

ANDERSON: And Martin, more than a thousand dead in Gaza, thousands injured, houses, homes, schools, hospitals destroyed. And on the Israeli

side, of course, continued injuries and deaths on the part of the IDF. Any sense at this point as just how long this will continue?

SAVIDGE: No. What's interesting, troubling, depending on your point of view, there's new opinion polls that have been taken inside of Israel, and

it shows that despite the high death toll of civilians on the Palestinian side, despite the high death toll of Israeli soldiers, it is said that over

80 percent of the Israelis still back the continuation of the fighting in Gaza.

ANDERSON: Stay with me, Martin, because I've got a part of an interview that I conducted just over the weekend with the Qatar foreign minister. I

want you to just have a listen to this.

We've talked a lot about the manner in which the Israel-Hamas conflict has exposed regional allegiances and divisions, and where Hamas is concerned,

the Gulf state of Qatar has a big role to play in the diplomatic process.

In fact, within the past few hours, Qatari foreign minister, Khaled al- Attiya, discussed the way forward with his British counterpart, Philip Hammond, I am told. Now, al-Attiya says he will keep working to end the

blockade of Gaza, despite Benjamin Netanyahu refusal to accept a proposed humanitarian pause.

Earlier, he spoke to me exclusively about why he feels the world must act on Israel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KHALED AL-ATTIYA, QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: I believe everything -- anything can happen with the ignorance and the way that the Israeli is

dealing with the people of Palestine, whether it's in West Bank or in Gaza.

You cannot use this massive, high-tech machine against children. Nobody can bear to see kids and children killed by bombs from F-16s, artillery.

And then you think that they will stand still and watching you killing them.

So, everything is possible. If the world does not raise the red flag to Israel and start to bring Israel back from what it's doing, I think

anything is possible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: And that full interview with the Qatar foreign minister tomorrow at this time, when he challenges the accusations that the Gulf state is

directly supporting terror through the funding of Hamas, exclusively at this time.

Let me back Martin Savidge back in. You heard the foreign minister, there, Martin, talking about, effectively, as more die in Gaza, the more people

will be prepared going forward to fight.

I sensed when I was in Israel just last week a hardening on both sides, as more people lose their lives on both sides of this conflict, a sense that

things will never go back to the status quo, even if people wanted them to. And I guess my point is at this point, there is no status quo to go back

to, is there?

SAVIDGE: No. And that's exactly the point. That's a very good observation. It's that so much now is invested, and we're talking about

lives lost on both sides, that there is the sense that stopping the shooting just to stop the shooting wouldn't work, can't work anymore.

So, the idea of going back to where they were for either side is totally impossible to be considered now. Going forward, and seeing wherever it

leads, is the strongest thing they're committed to, and that goes for whether it's Israelis or Hamas.

ANDERSON: Martin Savidge reporting from Jerusalem for you. Martin, thank you for that. Well, the earlier lull in the fighting has laid bare the

ruins of Gaza, especially the town Beit Hanoun, reduced in parts to a landscape of rubble with the pungent smell of death. Here's Karl Penhaul.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KARL PENHAUL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Exodus from the front line. Almost nothing left to lose.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where I live now? Where I go now?

PENHAUL: Bits and pieces bundled on their heads. His mother's photo under his arm, he says he lost her in the 2009 war. Now, he's just lost his

home. "There's nothing left, nothing left, it's a massacre," he says. In the embers, these men find what they say is the family's safe. A life

savings up in smoke. Amid the destruction, some creation. Lambs born minutes before the truce began.

PENHAUL (on camera): We're only about 700 meters from the border between Gaza and Israel here, and quite clearly, there's been close-quarters combat

here. These are the cartridge cases from a light machine gun.

(EMERGENCY VEHICLE SIRENS)

PENHAUL (voice-over): Close by, a race to drag the dying back from the brink, as the masked militant gunman saunters off to a new position, ready

for when the battle begins again.

Four hours before the cease-fire, a massive bomb dropped here. Mid- morning, rescuers struggled to burrow in. Residents unhappy with this filming as they pull out a survivor.

(MEN SHOUTING)

PENHAUL: "We pulled out seven bodies, one of them still alive, another still under the rubble," he says. Next-door, the al-Zanines (ph) tiptoe

through the debris. Mohammed has rescued the family patriarch. "My granddad would say we're in God's hands. We've lost our money, but the

most important thing is you're still alive," he says.

He salvaged birth certificates, school diplomas, too. People with no state, desperate for every scrap of paper to prove they still exist.

(WOMAN SHOUTING)

In the hallway, a female relative begs us to feel her pain. Back in the rubble, a man gestures, why? His neighbor believes the answer is simple.

PENHAUL (on camera): Do you think there can be peace between Israel and the Palestinian people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Two countries. Palestine and Israel.

PENHAUL (voice-over): But for now, all they can do is believe they can rise from their ruins.

Karl Penhaul, CNN, Beit Hanoun, Gaza.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: Well, it seems the very violence that may have led to the downing of Flight 17 has picked up again. Fighting has broken out a short

distance from the crash side in Ukraine, and in the past hour or so, we've heard of fighting around the eastern city of Horlivka.

The Donetsk regional authority says at least 13 people have been killed, including two children. Ukraine's counter-terrorist operations blame

separatists using Grad rockets against residential areas.

Meanwhile, despite an agreement between Malaysia and pro-Russian separatists to allow access to the site of MH17, internal monitors say it

is still too dangerous. A team of Dutch police officers will remain in Donetsk more than a week after the crash.

Let's get the very latest. Nick Paton Walsh is in Donetsk, and he joins us now. It seems almost inconceivable that those who are trying to

investigate what happened can't get access to this site. Just describe the scene, if you will, Nick.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in Donetsk, at a hotel not far from where I'm standing, are 30 to 40 Dutch

police officers.

They came here -- it's a difficult journey down from Kharkiv -- but they've come down here under an agreement between the OSCE monitors who are

monitoring the conflict here, but also helping trying to secure access to the crash site, an agreement brokered by them with separatist militants.

Now, they have today been told, they say at a press conference, that the separatist militants have advised them it's not safe to travel down the

road towards the crash site.

Now, that does tally with what we're hearing, reports suggesting that in an area around the crash site, kilometers away, there is shelling, that there

are potentially Ukrainian military moving in a northern direction towards the crash site.

All far away, but part of a growing pattern of violence here. Clearly, in the past few days, the Ukrainian military has gone on the offensive to the

north of where I'm standing, particularly near Horlivka. We talked of there earlier on.

Pictures of heavy shelling of that particular town that's key for the separatists. It's in many ways symbolic for them, a key town they took

over quite early on. And maybe, some say, a chance for the army to try and suck the militants out of Donetsk City itself, where very difficult urban

fighting would occur, and trying to take them on away from this city of nearly a million people, Becky.

ANDERSON: Nick, separatists, militants, terrorists, depending on which side you are on. Who are these men? Describe them to me.

WALSH: I have to say, they've changed quite a lot in character since I first came here. When we first came here, there were a lot of locals in

the rank, a lot of local sympathy. And then one day, there was a large attack on Donetsk Airport, and most of the casualties were Russian

citizens.

And then the narrative changed quite a lot, and we've see an awful lot more Russian citizens here, openly saying, "I am Russian," in parts of the

separatist militant movement. That's not to say there aren't locals fighting amongst them, too, but it is an interesting evolution we've seen.

And I think the key thing now is there seem to be slightly less of them here. There's certainly many less people living in Donetsk. It's not a

ghost town, but it used to be a thriving city. This city on a Sunday afternoon behind me is kind of empty, frankly. It's a sense of a city

vacating itself.

A sense of a separatist militant movement, too, which, I think it's fair to say, its leadership is fracturing. There seem to be many changing figures.

A lot of the people I would normally talk to aren't around so much anymore.

So, it's going to be interesting to quite see how much political endurance there is the separatist movement, how much local support there continues

here, particularly now we've seen Ukrainian military on the advance consistently for the past couple of weeks. And increased, it seems, death

toll on both sides. Becky?

ANDERSON: And Nick, very briefly. So much pressure from the international community on Russia to help organize some sort of access to this crash site

and to talk to these separatists and get them to sort of back off. What are we hearing now from Moscow?

WALSH: Well, Moscow today suggested they would help set up an investigation committee to assist investigating here. They are, according

to US officials, still assisting the separatist movement here, claims even they're firing into Ukraine, from US officials, too.

They're not, though, as rabidly vocal as we saw them earlier on, I think. The international pressure around the crash has, perhaps, sapped some of

what they wanted to feel was credibility behind the separatist movement here.

But you've got to bear in mind, Becky, access to that site now is a deeply political issue in many ways. The Ukrainian government, I think it's fair

to say, would like to use their offensive to regain control of the area and have investigators get access under its sovereignty. The investigators

just want to get there. And the separatists themselves, I think they want to be the ones negotiating access, too.

So, it's a very messy situation, and it's all compounded by the heavy violence around this town. Becky?

ANDERSON: Nick Paton Walsh on the ground for you. Live from Beirut, I'm Becky Anderson, you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, concerns growing for a number of foreign journalists detained in Iran. The big question is why are they being held? We're live in Tehran

to try and get you some answers.

And we hit the streets of Beirut with a young graffiti artists whose idea of a political statement is to airbrush out the politicians.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: You're back with CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, live from Beirut. And at the cityscape this evening at a quarter

to 7:00 as the sun goes down here.

Well, earlier, you heard Lebanon's prime minister tell me there was simply no choice but to push for peace in the Middle East. This as a senior

Iranian official has come to Beirut to voice support for Gaza.

Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab affairs, Hussein Amir Abdullahian, has met officials here to discuss a number of regional issues. Ranking

high among those is providing humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Now, Iran says it is waiting for permission to transport aid in from Cairo.

Let's get to Tehran and get the Iranian perspective on all of this. Reza Sayah is standing by. Iranians been in Beirut today, a delegation, as I

say, a convoy, one assumes is sitting waiting for the Rafa border to open in Cairo. Does the authorities' voice on this reflect the will of the

people?

REZA SAYAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think so, in many ways, Becky. Obviously, Tehran watching the events in Gaza very closely,

their position is clear, they're firmly in the corner of the Palestinians in Gaza.

And perhaps no government in the Middle East, in the region, has condemned the actions of Israel in Gaza stronger and louder than the Iranian

government. On several occasions, high-ranking Iranian leaders, the president Hassan Rouhani, the supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, denouncing

and rebuking the incursion into Gaza by Israeli forces.

Iranian state media also aggressively covering the events on Gaza and explicitly presenting the Israelis as the aggressors and the Gazans as the

victims.

However, beyond the rhetoric, it's difficult to say what other kind of material support Iran is providing Hamas during this war, and that has a

lot to do with the dynamics between Hamas and Tehran, which shifted over the past several years.

You'll recall a couple of years ago, Hamas and Iran actually broke ties over the war in Syria after Hamas backed the Sunni opposition, the Sunni

rebels, and Iran, obviously, backing the Shia leadership of Bashar al- Assad.

However, last year, the two sides restored ties. Iranian leaders have repeatedly said the ties are stronger than ever, that they support Hamas.

It's widely believed in previous wars that Iran provided material support, that Hamas has rocket technology provided by Iran.

However, it's not clear with this particular war, Becky, if Iran is still actively making an effort to provide military support and military funding.

However, the rhetoric is there. They're strongly condemning what's happening in Gaza.

ANDERSON: All right. Meantime, disturbing news about the detention of a number of foreign journalists. What do we know?

SAYAH: Yes. They were arrested five days ago. Initially, a lot of people who know these journalists were hoping that this was a random arrest,

nothing serious, that this was a mistake. However, as this detention lengthens, you get the sense from a lot of people that fear is growing that

this may be something serious, that this was part of an investigation into these journalists.

However, it's impossible to figure out what's happening because we're just not getting any information from authorities. We do know that, according

to "The Washington Post" and one Iranian official, who spoke to CNN, that they were arrested last Tuesday night, four individuals, three of them

journalists, three of them dual nationals, Iranian-Americans.

One of them, Jason Rezaian, the bureau chief for "The Washington Post," a man with an outstanding reputation as a professional journalist. His wife

also arrested. But beyond that, authorities are not saying anything.

The State Department out of Washington acknowledged that this has happened and they're looking into it. One government officials says that they are

in detention and more details will be revealed once an investigation has been completed.

Of course, the relationship between international journalists and the authorities here in Iran has been tumultuous. It hasn't been unusual over

the past 35 years for authorities here to pressure, sometimes arrest journalists, or kick them out.

Over the past year, things have improved somewhat under the leadership of Hassan Rouhani, but still, Becky, a lot of question remains about the

detention of these four individuals, their whereabouts and their conditions, and a lot of people looking for answers.

ANDERSON: Reza Sayah is in Tehran for you this evening. Reza, thank you.

Coming up after this short break on CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson, a new vision of the Middle East through the eyes of a street

artist in Beirut.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ANDERSON: Live for you from Beirut in Lebanon, you're watching CNN, this is CONNECT THE WORLD with me, Becky Anderson.

Tonight's Parting Shots, and a graffiti artist here in Beirut is trying to paint a different picture of the Middle East. His works can be seen all

over the city, and they stand out for his creative style and most interesting choice of subjects. Have a look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

YAZAN HALWANI, BEIRUT STREET ARTIST: My name is Yazan Halwani. I'm 21 years old, and I'm a graffiti artist from Beirut. The type of graffiti

that I do is a mixture of portraiture and calligraphy. I do my graffiti around the streets of Beirut.

The reason I do Arab icons and Lebanese icons is the fact that in Lebanon, the urban landscape around us is, if you want, conquered by our Lebanese

politicians who are not really good at their jobs. So, what I try to do is try to remove them from our urban landscape and put more positive and

influential people. Some, they call me and they tell me, "Come paint me."

(LAUGHTER)

HALWANI: I sometimes have a sketch that fits this particular scenery of the city, because what I like to do is my sketch has to be integrated with

the city around it.

Graffiti in Lebanon, although it might not be legal, you can get away with it pretty easily. I hope you can see my graffiti and see a different side

of the Middle East and Lebanon, a side where you have this creative aspect to it, which might not be clear in the most news channels.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ANDERSON: And you'll see it here on CNN. That was your Parting Shots. And I'm Becky Anderson. That was CONNECT THE WORLD for you this evening.

Thank you for watching. Your headlines follow this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

END