DAY 197 - OCTOBER 4, 2011


A pro-Assad hacktivist group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army has broken into Harvard University's website and defaced its homepage causing concern over cybersecurity for the international community. While conducting cyber investigations, US reporters have discovered that the Syrian army is using "deep packet sniffing" software to hunt down anti-government protesters. Meanwhile, the Turkish government has completely severed its ties with Bashar Al Assad while Russia and China successfully veto a UN movement to increase sanctions in Syria. After the fall of Tripoli, the Libyan Civil War seems to be drawing to a close as rebel forces move to capture the last remaining regime city, Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte. 

You and Jeremy drive north from Beirut to Tripoli--Lebanon's second city--where you meet Nazir Mafam, head of Bekaa Valley's Chateau Kasyeh. Nazir, a Sunni Muslim of French heritage, runs one of the most widely distributed Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the Middle East. He tells you that he is willing to provide transport across Lebanon and assures you that if you don't stray far from his fields, it will be a painless journey. He tells you he owes Michael a favor and is happy to help. Nazir is a rarity in the Shiite-dominated Bekaa, and perhaps that is why he is helping you. In the city of Tripoli, clashes often erupt between Sunnis in Babal Tabaneh and Shiites in Jabal Mohsen. He isn't here to support sectarian violence, but he also is not going to deny his roots. Maybe that's why he insists on keeping a house in a second-tier Sunni neighborhood in Lebanon's second city.