Judy Woodruff: But first, Syria's grinding civil war has led to destruction on an astonishing scale. Great swathes of the country lie in ruins. But now plans for rebuilding are beginning to take shape.
As special correspondent Jane Ferguson reports from neighboring Lebanon, it's a task that will be haunted by the divisions that tore Syria apart.
Jane Ferguson: The devastation of nearly seven punishing years of war in Syria is massive, second only to the terrible human suffering, the loss of homes, infrastructure, entire towns and cities.
The United Nations predicts it will cost at least $250 billion to rebuild and repair the battered country. But across the border in Lebanon, some see opportunity. People in the coastal city of Tripoli are hoping reconstruction projects pass through here. In a country still trying to recover from its own civil war which ended in 1990, a generation ago, investment and jobs are desperately needed here.
Dr. Ahmad Tamer: From the history, Tripoli is a very important city for the commercial and trade of Syria and Iraq.
Jane Ferguson: Dr. Ahmad Tamer is the manager of Tripoli's commercial port. An expansion project has already begun here, with the port's ability to process four million tons of goods expected to reach six million within the next two years. That, he says, will help it act as an import hub for goods and construction materials on their way into Syrian cities.
Dr. Ahmad Tamer: It's very close to the Syria border, so we can present all kinds of services for the trader, for everything from Syria.
Jane Ferguson: Tripoli is a half-hour drive from the Syrian border, and it acted as a crucial import hub for Syrian cities such as nearby Homs for generations.
Fawaz Hamidi: Historically, we live from trade, and we are very flexible to deal with any situation.
Jane Ferguson: Fawaz Hamidi runs the special projects department in Tripoli's Chamber of Commerce. The city's businesses, he says, are poised to enjoy a boom from Syria's reconstruction.
Fawaz Hamidi: We have a long history of trade in Tripoli. Effectively, Tripolitans are traders. And our historical role used to service Syria, Iraq and even the Gulf through the Mediterranean. We are also — in the region, we are different in the way that we can create a link between east and west.
Jane Ferguson: Small businesses in Tripoli are also hoping to benefit. In the ancient old quarter of the city, Khaled Halepi runs a curtains and fabric store. He is a proud third-generation shop owner, and is confident traders like him will be in high demand once reconstruction starts.
Khaled Halepi: Now all the factories in Syria are gone. So they will take their products from Tripoli. We are the gate here.
Jane Ferguson: You feel like for yourself here?
Khaled Halepi: Yes, even for myself.
Jane Ferguson: Curtains?
Khaled Halepi: Yes, curtains, textiles, carpets, everything.
Jane Ferguson: You could see markets opening up for you in Homs, Aleppo?
Khaled Halepi: Homs, especially Homs. They are the nearest to Tripoli, that Homs. Homs needs everything. All the factories have gone there. They need everything.
Jane Ferguson: It might not be that simple, however. After six years of sectarian war, commerce is now political.
Assad and his family are allied with Shia forces. The opposition in Syria is predominantly Sunni, as are the people in Tripoli.
The business community here has had strong ties to Syria for generations. But many in this largely Sunni city backed the opposition when the war broke out in Syria. That could mean they risk being shut out of reconstruction efforts by the surviving Syrian government.
Jane Ferguson: Old relations between Sunni Lebanese traders and Syrians might well be outdated now, says economist Sami Nader.
Sami Nader: What we have seen in place, it's a total transformation of the demography in Syria. There is no more Sunni in Homs, for instance. And, usually, the economic access or that economic trade route was Tripoli, Homs being the two big Sunni cities.
In Homs, for instance, there is a total transformation of the demographics. The social fabrics have changed. Are the Sunnis today of Tripoli the ideal partners to deal with a pro-Assad regime businessman? I'm not sure of that.
Jane Ferguson: Instead, lucrative contracts are likely to go to those who backed the Assad regime. Iran and Russia helped save Bashar al-Assad's rule, sending their militaries and proxies, like Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah militia, to fight for his government.
As a literal form of payback, business deals are now being signed. Last year, $1 billion worth of deals in construction, oil, gas and mining went to Russia. Companies linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards signed deals this year in telecommunications, and they are already rebuilding Syria's power grid.
The U.S. has said it won't contribute funds until there is a political process to replace Assad. That looks increasingly unlikely, leaving Western countries and others opposed to his rule facing a dilemma: how to fund reconstruction in Syria without helping Assad and his loyalists.
In the meantime, the system will remain a corrupt one, based on who you know. And businesses from places like Tripoli, where they opposed Assad, could struggle.
Sami Nader: If we don't have in Syria a governance system that will ensure a fair trade relationship, someone that will abide by the rule of law not, by the rule of some and by the rule of mafia, I don't see Tripoli taking great advantage of this effort of reconstruction.
Jane Ferguson: Business leaders here say they aren't discouraged.
Fawaz Hamidi: Whoever is there and whatever is going to happen, we have no enemies in the region, not on the east and not in the west and not in Iran and not in the Arab world. We are friends with everybody, and we are open to do business with everybody.
Jane Ferguson: It's still not known who will fund the reconstruction effort in Syria, much less oversee such an enormous task.
Separating business from politics after such a bitter war may very well be all but impossible.
For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Jane Ferguson in Tripoli, Lebanon.
He claimed his punishing work schedule had made him resort to taking the drug...
2.grinding civil war 无尽无休的内战
Their grandfather had left his village in order to escape the grinding poverty.
3.a half-hour drive 半小时车程
I thought we might go for a drive on Sunday
4.allied with 结盟
Britain was allied with the United States many times in history.
珍妮·费格逊：将近七年的战争让整个叙利亚遭受重创，国家心力交瘁，疲惫不堪，其苦难程度仅次于城池攻陷、痛失家园 。如今的叙利亚满目疮痍，联合国预测，整个重建费用将至少高达2500亿美元 。但在黎巴嫩边境，有人却看到了商机 。沿海城市黎波里的人们希望他们可以承接重建项目 。1990年，黎巴嫩内战结束，一代人的时间过去了，现在他们急需投资就业，期望黎巴嫩能从战争中恢复 。
珍妮·费格逊：阿曼德·塔纳博士是的黎波里商港的负责人 。目前商港货物的日处理量达四百万吨，预计未来两年内将达到六百万吨，这里的业务规模正在拓展 。他说，它可为叙利亚城市输送各种商品及建材，成为进口商贸枢纽 。
珍妮·费格逊：法瓦兹·哈米迪负责运营黎波里商会特别项目部 。他说，这座城市已经蓄势待发，随着叙利亚重建项目的推进，黎波里也会迎来自己的繁荣 。
法瓦兹·哈米迪：黎波里商贸历史悠久 。实际上，黎波里人就是商人 。历史上，我们的业务也一直是服务叙利亚、伊拉克，乃至经由地中海服务海湾地区 。在本地区，我们与众不同之处在于，我们可以作连接东西方的桥梁 。
珍妮·费格逊：黎波里的小企业也希望能从中分一杯羹 。在这座城市的老区里，哈立德·哈里皮经营着一家窗帘布纺小店 。小店历经三代，作为老板，他颇感自豪，他相信一旦叙利亚开始重建，像他这样的商人将很有市场 。
哈立德·哈里皮：如今叙利亚工厂皆已破坏殆尽 。所以他们将从的黎波里进口（工业）产品 。而我们商港恰是黎波里的门户 。
哈立德·哈里皮：胡姆斯，尤其是胡姆斯会的 。他们离黎波里最近 。胡姆斯需要这里的一切 。他们的工厂全没了 。他们需要一切 。
珍妮·费格逊：但事情可能并不那么简单 。经过六年的教派战争，如今经济就是政治 。阿萨德家族与什叶派势力结盟 。叙利亚的反对派主要是逊尼派，而黎波里人民正是此派 。
数代人以来，黎波里的工商业与叙利亚联系密切 。但在叙利亚战争爆发后，这个逊尼派城市中的许多人选择了支持反对派 。这意味着他们有可能被现任叙利亚政府拒之门外 。
例如，在胡姆斯，人口结构发生了彻底改变 。社会结构也发生了变化 。今天的黎波里逊尼派还是对付亲阿萨德政权商人的理想伙伴吗？我看未必 。
珍妮·费格逊：相反，而和那些支持过阿萨德政权的人合作，很可能更有利可图 。伊朗和俄罗斯曾经对巴沙尔·阿萨德的统治给予过帮助，派遣军队和代理人，如黎巴嫩强大的真主党民兵，为阿萨德政府挺身而战 。
作为回报，可与他们签订商业协议 。去年，阿萨德政府将价值10亿美元的建筑、石油、天然气和矿业订单给了俄罗斯 。今年又与伊朗革命卫队签署了电信协议，叙利亚电网重建已经开始 。
美国方面则表示，除非政治上取代阿萨德，否则美国不会给予叙利亚任何经济援助 。所以这看起来越发没有可能了，也让西方国家和其他反对阿萨德统治的国家陷入了两难境地：如何在资金上援助叙利亚重建，而又不帮助阿萨德及其支持者 。
同时，叙利亚国家体系仍很腐败，你知道的 。而来自黎波里的商人反对阿萨德，他们可以为之一搏 。
法瓦兹·哈米迪：无论谁当政，无论发生什么，在做生意上我们没有敌人，东方没有，西方没有，伊朗没有，阿拉伯世界亦没有 。人人皆朋友，我们愿意与所有人做生意 。
这里是PBS NewsHour，我是珍妮·费格逊，从黎巴嫩，黎波里发回报道 。