Ciné Institute Director David Belle
reports from Port-au-Prince:
"I have been told that much US media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox
ready to explode. I'm told that lead stories in major media are of looting,
violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.
"I have traveled the entire city
daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering.
At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another;
homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every
mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell
is overwhelming. On every street are people -- survivors -- who have
lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.
"NOT ONCEhave we witnessed a single
act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors
helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We've seen
neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors.
We've seen traditional healers treating the injured; we've seen dignified
ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling
sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city
of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water. Most haven't received
"Haiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in
the face of this tragedy is itself staggering."
David Belle, January 17th, 2010
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