Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Dearest Uncle! [my reply]

my reply:

Dearest Uncle_

“The world is changed; I can feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth; I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live to remember it”excerpt from the Lord of the Rings.

Beautiful words and souvenirs...
As your favorite nephew (I am the only nephew you have, as you keep on reminding me), I think I've heard these stories at least 50 times, and never gotten bored or tired of hearing them again and again. I can assure you that I will never forget those memories and many many more like them. Not only because you can tell a story so well, but because they were and still are images and scenes of dreams and fairy tales we wished we lived, or even had a taste of.

Our generation did not live these years. We were born during the war. We are children of war. The generation of my parents (your generation) did so well in passing on those memories to their children, because it was pretty much everything "good" and "positive" they could pass on during those years of atrocities, wars and killings.

We embraced your memories and your souvenirs, as our own. They used to be our own stories to our friends at school. Our original own stories, were… not so nice, to say the least.

It is funny. I feel so stupid now. It is a little bit embarrassing that a little while ago, I chose the topic of my Master of Urban Design Thesis to be dealing with “the memory of the Lebanese war”.
I even stood proudly in front of an esteemed “Ivy league” panel of professors and smart students, and delivered a heartfelt presentation about the memory of the war my country had to endure, and what my idiotic solutions to it were. They were impressed. They clapped and cheered. I was looking for a way to publish it even.
What a moron! I was duped. They must think I am a hypocrite.

The war is not a memory anymore. The war is now a harsh reality; facing us yet again. A reality that is bitter, disgusting, and heartbreaking.

After all dreams and the high hopes we laid and planned for our country, the reality of this unexpected war becomes really hard to swallow.

A few days ago we were angry and sad, talking and discussing how Zidane, the French captain, lost it and “buttheaded” the Italian player. What a pity. It was the talk of the town. We were all sad!
Then KABOOM! An invasion!

Is it the destiny of a Lebanese to be constantly in a state of war? A war which most of the time, she/he has nothing to do with? Nobody wants a war. Nobody deserves a war. But the Lebanese never had a saying in this. Was there an eighth day we weren’t aware of, when “God” just woke and up and said: “Let there be war in Lebanon, for ever and ever”.
This big spaceship called earth needs a war somewhere to keep the action going on.

Hey I have an idea! Let’s make of Lebanon our battlefield playground! (said the rest of the world)

Are my children going to be war children too? I don’t want them to be.
What souvenirs I am going to pass on to them? What happy thoughts am I going to blow into their souls and minds? I have none. Even my own memories of war are being erased now; since as I said the war is a memory no more.
They are wiping out my memory, and the memory of my people.

But that is not true either… I have your memories; yours and my parents’. And I also have those of a beautiful childhood I had, despite everything.
I’ll use them, and they will be passed on to generations next, this I promise you.

Don’t worry khal! Those memories will never fall into oblivion. They will be carried on. A country that had no real chance of glowing, prospering and being beautiful, in the real world, will surely be a poem in our memories, and the memories of our children after us.

And the story lives on…



At 7:48 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...


At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

z_ hope your loved ones are in good health back home. Our Beirut bleeds, and we bleed with it, but we will prevail. Not today, not tomorrow, but we will. Sad, Sad, Sad. Sad am not there to hold my mother, my sister, the love of my life. I feel stupid being in an air conditioned office, while they are there trying to survive it as it comes. God Bless Libnan...

At 9:53 PM, Blogger _z. said...

dear anonymous,
thank you for your note of encouragement... I hope your family and your better half are doing well.
really thank you... i liked you message a lot, and I think it cought me in a moment where I am very weak morally.. merci.


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