Former hostage returns to Beirut

Former British hostage John McCarthy has returned to Lebanon where he met Shia leaders to film a documentary on the Muslim community blamed for his 1986-1991 abduction.

    John McCarthy (L) meets Fadl Allah in a Beirut suburb

    The longest-held British captive, who arrived in Beirut on Tuesday for a two-week working visit, met Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah, said Giles Trendle, a producer working for British network ITV.

    Fadl Allah is the most prominent spiritual guide of Lebanon's Shia community. During Lebanon's 1975-1990 civil war, political factions rose from among the Shia community, some of whom were blamed for a wave of anti-Western kidnappings.

    McCarthy was on assignment in Beirut for Worldwide Television News (WTN) when he was taken hostage on 17 April 1986. He was finally released by his captors on 8 August 1991.

    "John was quite relaxed, and the meeting went very well. It was very friendly," said Trendle.
     
    "But there was no mention of his captivity, as this is not part of the documentary. We are not looking back," he said.

    Trendle said the one-hour documentary was about the Shia community in Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, "especially after the events in Iraq. It is meant to explain who they are to the Western world.

    "We learned a lot from Sayyid Fadal Allah about the Shia," he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.