Friday, July 14, 2006

The World is Mad. [Beirut is Burning]

Thursday July 13. 06

I am late for work. I don’t feel like going… I want to sit in front of my television with my laptop, and try not to miss a single newsbreak. It’s crazy; unreal.

I shower; I go to the corner of the street to wait for my bus. Fuck! I forgot my bus pass. Whatever I’ll pay, I don’t even feel like going back home which is 30 seconds away.

I get to work; turn on my computer. I browse fellow blogs, newspapers… international media displayed on my two screens.

“Israelis move into Lebanon” – said the Globe and Mail.

I read… I get nauseous.

I rotate my chair towards my drawing table.
I have in front of me a map of a neighbourhood in Shanghai. I have to design an urban plaza in front of a shopping complex where people can relax and unwind.

Relax and unwind.

“Israel Intensifies Attacks on Lebanon, Imposes Blockade” – naharnet posts.

I call Beirut:
- People are going nuts… running around buying fuel and bread. You can only buy one bag of bread and fuel for only 20.000L.L (about 15-20$).
- Oh my god, I remember those days… I remember them clearly. They were awful.
- Don’t worry we’ll be ok.
- What? Don’t worry? Can you hear them?
- Yes we can hear them loud and clear, but it’s ok… don’t worry; it is not the first time. We’ll make it through.
- Watch yourselves… I love you.
- I love you too
- Bye.

Ok! A place where people and shoppers can relax and unwind…
Relax and unwind…
A water basin here with some musical fountains… rocks and benches…

“News services reported that Israeli planes dropped leaflets today over the southern suburbs of Beirut, where Hezbollah is strong, warning residents to evacuate the area. Hezbollah said it would retaliate for any bombing there by firing rockets at the largest city in northern Israel, Haifa” – the ny times wrote

1982 Again?

(It is funny when you type Hezbollah using word it doesn’t recognize it, the auto correction you get is “Ebola”, but anyway this is highly incesitive of me at this point. erase).

Okay, where was I… yes… a place where people can relax and unwind.

Maybe I can put some steps here… people love to sit on steps. Or so says William White. I believe him, he is a smart man. So there you go people… here are some steps and some trees to provide you with a little bit of Shadow…

Lunch Break.
I got to the Lebanese fast food restaurant just around the corner to get something to eat. On average, it takes me 10mns to get my sandwich and leave. At the restaurant they had a TV and they had the dial on CNN. In the span of only 10 to 15 minutes, here’s what they were talking about:
- The invasion of Lebanon.
- The terrorist attack of Mumbai.
- The derailing of a train in Chicago.
- A crash in Boston.
- Big fires in California.

Fuck! The world is mad. I get back to my desk.

Where people can relax and unwind…

I am wearing a t-shirt that I got from Lebanon during my last visit; it reads:
“1975-1990
[Great Lebanese war]
Game over”

When Germany plays, I wear a Ballack shirt. Today my country is playing, and has reached penalty kicks; so I support.
But whom am I supporting… I feel that neither teams are playing as “home team”.
I don’t know, I am confused…
Oh I know… I don’t care about teams, and who’s playing against whom. I am supporting my country…
I wore this t-shirt to emotionally support my country. I believe it helps.

People ask, I explain. They laugh, I don’t care!

But anyway, as I was saying, benches here… no I mean steps here… A nice paving pattern would be good… Maybe design some kick ass slick light poles…
Hold on:
- Allo!
- They cancelled the Baalbek festival?
- Are you serious? I guess that’s it. The country’s economy is to the ground.
- Yeah I know.
- I’ll call you when I get off work, we’ll watch the news together.
- Ok.

That is if I can work…

So yeah a place where people can relax and unwind…

- Allo?
- Oh yeah? They are blaming Syria and Iran? Send me the article.
- Already sent.
- The whole world knows that they doesn’t respond to the Lebanese government. But they’re going to bomb us ruthelessly anyway.
- I’ll call you later.

Relax and unwind…
So a pattern of pavement here, and a different one over there. Grass, flowers and shrubs over there… a dynamic shaded path passes through…

My co-worker passes by my desk to deliver a newsbreak she is eager to share.
- Oh yeah! Zidane said that? I am sorry I don’t care right now… I am in a rush… I have to work. I
need to send a sketch of this plaza by the end of the day.

Relax and unwind… A dynamic path…

“Israel Pounds Lebanon in Heaviest Bombing in 24 Years Killing Dozens of Civilians” – ny times again.

My boss passes by my desk: “I am sorry for what’s happening in your country… you don’t have to finish the design today… next week would be fine…”

I don’t want your sympathy; I’ll finish it – I say to myself.

A place where people can relax and unwind…
A place where people can relax and unwind.

You know what? Fuck that!
I’ll take your sympathy today, and to hell with EVERYBODY who is relaxing and unwinding…
I am going home… or to that little apartment I call home.

This fucking world is mad, and MY Beirut is burning.

This is not a war LEBANON wanted or needed.
my heart is with you.
I wish I was there.
Photo source: www.nytimes.com

16 Comments:

At 11:52 AM, Blogger Mirvat said...

i'm gonna borrow ur picture.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger _z. said...

please do...
Oh! I forgot the photo credit :P

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger moral ground said...

I haven't lived there continuously since 1992, and I can't even work, all I do is look through news and blogs all day, so I can only imagine what you people who lived in Beirut and the South for so long are going through. Like I said on my blog to the world: well... I better not say it here.

 
At 1:08 PM, Blogger Mirvat said...

fuck photo credit now

i talked to my mom just now. she always gives me the don't worry crap like you said. she didn't just now and they just left beirut. she sounded worried for the first time and my world collapsed. i've been crying like a child since the morning and my boss sent me his support by email.

i don't know man. and i can't help but read the comments on lebanesebloggers and i cry some more. how ruthess some of these opinions are. if we don't get any mercy from people, how are we hoping that the war lords will have mercy?

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger _z. said...

that's why we are here for each other mirvat...
ficheh khil2ik...

my family is still calm, although they are not too far from what's happening. My father didn't go to work... mom did. it is further away.
war lords don't care. don't expect mercy from their side.
hope your family is safe.

 
At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Patrick said...

Rage. It's been a long time, but that f@# feeling is back. Rage. Rage against politics and bullshit. Rage against seeing Canadian PM repeat like a parrot our southern neighbour's words. Rage against those same fuckin' neighbours exercising their right to veto the G8 decision stating that what's going on is unfair. Fuck, how could there be so much bullshit going on and no one to stop it? let alone see it...

 
At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

z
My day has been so similar to yours..I am terrified, for the last 2 days my parents gave me the same talk we r ok itis not the first time..they r stuck in the south, but hours ago my dad said "we r alive for now at least, and hamdillah inna ghrad la ousbou3..he is scared, he does not say it..he says it is ok..and I cant do anything for him, for mom for my sisters..fuck this whole thing.. I am stuck in the US, I have never before been away from them at times of bombing, nevr..I can not even look at people's faces
sorry i am just venting anywhere and rambling
Hala

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger _z. said...

vent away hala...
hala fikeh!
:)
good luck to you family

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger moral ground said...

Good luck to all of yous!

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Mar said...

I can't stand it here today, it's getting darker outside, just like the thoughts running in my head. I should have went home or shouldnt have driven to work today.

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Eve said...

nothing hurt as much as this picture.. It gives me nausea everytime..

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger laila said...

me too eve.

 
At 6:40 PM, Blogger _z. said...

I miss those mountains more than any day.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger arch.memory said...

Ziad,
You said it! It was so reassuring to read this post; I was feeling like I was all alone. I also couldn't focus on work at all. I was supposed to be working on a center for the mentally disabled, and I was starting to feel mentally disabled myself. I was going nuts! How can I be designing buildings when my country was being reduced to rubble? By 3 I just couldn't take it anymore. I was just staring at my CAD, not knowing what to do, and then checking the news again. Refresh, refresh, refresh... I didn't even wait for my boss to tell me, It's okay, you can go home. I just did. I think they understood. If not, too bad. I am dreading going back to work on Monday, but I guess it's better than staying at home glued to the screens all day. That just did me in today! Though I don't know if I'll be able to focus on any work, but I don't know what else to do... Ah, well. Thanks for sharing!

 
At 11:38 PM, Blogger arch.memory said...

Hala,
I feel exactly the same; it is so frustrating! I feel so helpless, like all I can do is watch, hands tied. Thanks for rambling; it's good to know that one's not all alone.

 
At 11:44 PM, Blogger _z. said...

My other fear Ashraf, is that as i told you, I was planning to go Home for 2 weeks today. so for 2 weeks I am OFF and staying in Montreal. My vacation is set, so I will be glued to the TV, and refresh, refresh, refresh will be my hourly task.
I am writing a report now, to be submitted tomorrow night to china. I wrote in Posts and Comments, at least 5 times more than I am writing for the report.
Relax and unwind... fuck that!
thanks for reading and identifying man! I appreciate it.
I honeslty count of blogging and fellow bloggers to help me, and everybody else like me, go through this. Anyway, as Lebanese, it is obvious now that we can only count and rely on one another.
cause frankly my dear, THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

3