>> Praia, once a mixed Lebanese village, populated for centuries by Christians and Druze, adherence of an offshoot of Islam. But the civil war that broke out in 1975 changed all that. The Christians were forced to flee. It wasn't until 2014 that a government settlement paved the way for their return.
this funeral, both Christians and Druze carry the coffin, an old tradition only recently revived. The village was a frontline in the civil war and its reconciliation talks were particularly tough, as Reuters Beirut chief Tom Perry reports.>> The reconciliation agreement required difficult steps from both sides.
One of the major stumbling blocks was the fate of a community center built by Druze on land owned by Christians. And it was only after years of dispute and a high level political intervention, that the center was finally pulled down, making agreement possible.>> The story of Praia shows how long it can to take to stitch a society back together.
Like Syria and Iraq today, Lebanon was shattered by sectarian war. Areas where Christians, Muslims and Druze lived side by side split into sectarian enclaves. Praia's torturous process mirrors Lebanon's national approach to peace. After the war, a general amnesty was agreed and militia leaders joined the government in attempt to turn the page, an approach that was widely criticized.
>> The political deal that ended the Lebanese civil war has not brought this country lasting peace or security. Sectarianism continues to pervade its political life, igniting an armed conflict among Lebanese as recently as 2008.>> Praia holds a stark lesson for Syria and Iraq. Even when peace comes, divisions can linger for decades.