Before Twitter and the Arab Spring There Was Dovster and BEYFlyer

The recent re-outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas reminded me of this now historic thread on FlyerTalk.

Before Twitter, before social media helped bring about the Arab Spring, two FlyerTalkers – one in living in Israel and the other living in Lebanon – provided up-to-the-minute status updates from very near the front lines of the battle between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.

But even more important than the on-the-ground information they provided were the feelings they shared. Their fears for themselves and their families. Their animosity towards the governments and groups behind the artillery. Their good humor in spite of it all.

And most of all, their expressions of goodwill and support to one another.

Neither Dovster nor BEYFlyer were soldiers. Neither were directly involved in the conflict – other than being located very near the action. Both were simply fellow travelers who happened to be caught in the middle, and who showed us all that while nations will continue to wage wars, people will continue to form close-knit bonds.

And that the ability to communicate online, in real time with others from around the world, might one day severely limit nations’ ability to wage wars at all.

Or at least so we can hope.

This is a very long thread, but it is riveting from the first post. If you want to read a synopsis (in addition to the thread) check out what had to say about it. Or just type “BEYFlyer and Dovster” into Google to find any number of reports and online discussions about this thread. If you don’t have time to read the entire thread in one sitting I highly recommend bookmarking it for later.

Here’s hoping that, as great and revolutionary (in terms of social media influence) as this thread is, no one will be reminded of it again any time soon.

Read the thread in its entirety: FlyerTalk scoops the world with news report!

Image courtesy of Brian Cohen, author of The Gate.


  1. Mikel, your blog continues with it’s greatness. I remember that conflict well and it was quite memorable. I remember donating $1,000 to the children’s funds on each side on behalf of FlyerTalk because we were all so concerned with the terrible realities of the conflict on the youth of both sides. Reach out to Dov and ask him if her embers what he did with his flag that was flying during the conflict. Both FlyerTalk members achieved memorable status during that time.

    Again, great stuff and I love the way you weave it together.

  2. I shot the first photograph of Dovster and BEYFlyer meeting, Mikel — and you have my permission to use it. Just please let me know…

  3. This tribute to FlyerTalk member cordelli — who sadly passed away in August of last year — which I wrote uses a photograph from the night that Dovster and BEYFlyer met for the first time:

    “I first met Mike in South Florida at what is considered by some to be a historic event on FlyerTalk when FlyerTalk members Dovster and BEYFlyer met in person for the first time, as they were unable to meet in their respective countries of Israel and Lebanon, both of which are technically at war with each other. The meeting was a result of the accounts posted by Dovster pertaining to being awakened by explosions of rockets launched from Lebanon greater than seven years ago. As was characteristic of Mike, he generously offered to host space for photographs of the event and also quipped about the photographs that “they are great to have next year so I don’t wear the same shirt” — and he was proud to be one of the people who witnessed Dovster and BEYFlyer accomplish what no government officials seem to be able to do: reach a mutual agreement for lasting peace between Israel and Lebanon in fewer than eight minutes.”

  4. One of the all time legendary Flyer Talk threads and two of the nicest guys around. Too bad I never met them in person. Reading their posts back in those days was riveting!

  5. That is indeed one of several photographs of them meeting for the first time at an Embassy Suites in South Florida. I will send the original files to you.

  6. @Brian – Thanks, I’ll keep my eyes open for those photos.

    @Randy – You are generous with your donations, and far too generous with your praise. I’m glad you’re liking ThreadTripping.

    @TravelBloggerBuzz – Couldn’t agree more about the thread and the guys. PS – I have added your blog to the “Blogs I Hate Myself for Loving” list 😉

  7. I sent 15 photographs to you, Mikel, through three separate e-mail messages.

    Please let me know whether or not you received them…

  8. Thank you Brian. Received and post image updated – and all now seems right with the world again.

  9. You are more than welcome, Mikel — and thank you for the attribution. I appreciate it.

    For clarification purposes, the image you chose was the first-ever photograph of BEYFlyer — who is on the left — meeting Dovster at the very second when they met for the first time.

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