Who's to Blame?
Watch this video from CNN, and this clip, posted on Rampurple. Decide for yourself who's fault it was! I for one, don't really care who the guilty party was. All I care about is that this dementia has to stop. RIGHT NOW!
For Qana. [A Day in Mourning]
for more pictures of the massacre
Photo source: www.nytimes.com
Audio source: www.shoofimafi.com
Qana Massacre, REVISITED!?! [Qana Massacre II]
Translation of the text in the picture: "Martyr #101"
This is the only way for people to identify their own... a number written on a coffin.
At dawn today, and 10 years after the first Qana massacre in 1996, Israel hit a shelter in the Southern Village of Qana, leaving behind over 60 bodies; more than 30 were children.
I can't even begin to describe the pictures and the images I am seeing on T.V. right now. There are no adjectives, no words, nothing that would give justice to what I am witnessing at this moment.
How can the world remain silent still? How can people be so insensitive, so cruel!
I am originally from Qana.
Condoleezza Rice cancelled her trip to Lebanon.
Nasrallah: this incident will not pass just like that.
ESCWA building broken into.
Photo source: www.albaladonline.com
"Is one Israeli life worth 10 Lebanese?"
This is the title of a post published by * (asterisk) on his blog A Blog about Nowt. * (asterisk) is a fellow blogger from the U.K. that I recently met in the blogosphere. I really recommend reading his blog, and what he had to say about the July War on Lebanon. Thank you * (asterisk) for an amazing post. (As I said on your blog, my opinion is biased, but still...). Believe me, it is because of people and bloggers like yourself, and red, that the world is at times able to balance itself out. Thank you my dears.
Letter from Lebanon: Update July 30, 2006 Sunday
Here's another one of Rosie's amazing dispatches from Lebanon. I would like to remind my readers that Rosie is an American woman, currently living in Lebanon.
Dear Family and Friends,
There is not one person in this country who has not been affected by this war in one manner or the other. While many of us in the mountain villages are fortunately safe physically, everyone is stressed, concerned, and worried.
As I do my errands in the village, many people cannot believe that I am still here. With protruding eyes, they exclaim in utter astonishment: “What! Why are you here?” Why do they say this with such amazement? Because I have the American passport. I have a passport to escape the nightmare. They have Lebanese passports. And Lebanese passports without visas is like having no passport at all. Furthermore, this is their home. How can they even afford to leave and live abroad for any significant length of time? Those who have other nationalities, especially those of Lebanese origin, find it difficult to just pick up and leave. So many issues to consider, analyze and finalize. Most say that they do not know what to do. “We go round and round the issues. Leave? Stay? Who knows what the future will hold?”
There are now close to a million displaced Lebanese. These families primarily lived in the south of Lebanon and in the southern suburb of Beirut, in the main line of fire of indiscriminate bombardments. Many now live in parks, in schools, and on sidewalks. Others have moved up into the mountains, in the mostly Christian areas where they took refuge once before when Israel invaded in 1982. Hotels in the mountains have lowered their rates considerably to accommodate these refugees. Empty homes will be prone to be legally forced open so that the displaced can live if the war continues unabated for a long time and if there is no alternative found for these refugees. So that means, if you leave your home, and a displaced family gets the government to break into your home, you cannot reclaim your home. Or, at least not easily. During the 1982 invasion, our house was not furnished. My husband had bought the house but it was left completely empty because we were living in Saudi Arabia. A family came in and started using the house. With much difficulty, we had the man evicted and only because it was proved that he was using the house for his mistress and not his family. If his family were there we might have been obligated to pay even up to $30,000 to try to get them evicted. We live facing a hotel that is full of refugees. Everyday, I see their laundry hung on the balcony. I worry that if we leave they will notice that there is no longer movement in a house that they can easily see. That they will know that a house is ready to be moved into with all its furnishings. It’s only been less than three weeks. But the sheer volume of homes destroyed is going to take months to rebuild and where will these people live in the meantime? Will they continue for months to accept to live on the streets? In schools? Paying for a hotel?
Also, since schools are occupied by the displaced Lebanese, it means that schools will be unlikely unable to reopen in September for the academic year. That means all Lebanese students will soon suffer with significant delays in their studies, not to mention the psychological anguish many are enduring and which will continue to manifest itself later.
My daughter like many of her friends are holed up in their homes. Some moved to their summer mountain home. But no one visits each other unless they are next door and even then most do not venture out much. All movements have to be carefully considered and calculated. I started taking my daughter to dance during a specific short period of the day. I only did this because she was going crazy at home. Just to give her some relief and release. But I don’t know for how long I will be able to continue taking her.
The government recently announced that there are enough fuel reserves to last another ten days, until about August 7. Some gas stations in our area have already been closing early because they are not re-supplied on a timely basis. (Truck drivers are scared because many trucks have been targeted by Israeli aircraft.) But the moment will arrive when they can no longer be re-supplied at all. From the initial announcement of the Israeli naval blockade, people began to significantly curtail their movement; however, others had no choice but go to work. They will continue to go to work until the gas runs out. And how long will the reserves last for electricity until there is a 24/24 blackout?
The war, of course, has caused considerable damage to an already fledging economy. If fuel is not allowed to pass through the ports, the economy will basically shut down. Banks already limit how many dollars you can withdraw per week. What would happen if the banking industry had to close? All the other industries? Food and pharmaceuticals shortages are a major crisis in the south, but even on the mountain we see the shelves emptying. I have only identified a small portion of the effects suffered by ALL Lebanese. I hope it is becoming clearer the snowball effect of Israel’s decisions in this war. A war, which they say they are trying their best to act in a most humane way.
Saturday night, the Israelis bombed the Lebanese/Syrian border through which many try to escape. We were planning to leave this week via Syria. Now I don’t know if we can get out as the border was forced to close for the first time during this conflict. We’ll have to see if it is able to reopen in time for us to catch our flight.
Saturday morning Israelis targeted a Cheeroke four-wheel drive in the southern suburb of Beirut. I heard the explosion but didn’t know what it was until my husband heard the news and explained it to me. Apparently, the Israelis were targeting two members of Hizbullah. I find this amazing that they can target from the air a Cheeroke (green I think) with supposedly two Hizbullah fighters, yet they can miss the clearly marked UN observation post in the south of Lebanon, not to mention that the UN peace keepers had repeatedly warned (more than a dozen times—I heard 17 times) the Israelis that they were getting too close. The Israelis hit the same observation post the other day! I think the Israelis know exactly what they are hitting. And I think they know that they can get away with it, which they did. They got the usual little slap on the hand with a watered down complaint from the United Nations. And that’s life with the Israelis.
Death toll: 400 Lebanese, mostly civilians: 52 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
You’ll pass this on please; we must try to let the world know what life is like here.
Labels: letter from Lebanon
Public Transportation in Lebanon'06.
Who said us Lebanese each drive our own car to get to the grocery store just around the corner? Not true! We are very cautious with the Environment, we are Urban friendly, and we use Public Transportation viscously.
And here's the proof:
This is how you empty a country of its citizens, and inhabitants.
In less than two weeks, one third of the population of one country was forcefully displaced.
Many killed, many injured, and many more humiliated.
Who is to blame? Who is to pay?
President Bush weren't those your words today?
"Terrorist kill innocent lives in order to achieve objectives…"
Prime Minister Blair weren't those also your words today?
"…we will call for a solution and a cease fire sometimes NEXT WEEK…"
How about right NOW!
Only You have the power to stop the killing of innocent civilians. Please say stop now. Regardless of who started it, and who's pride is going to get hurt.
STOP THIS WAR!
In today's Bush/Blair press conference, Nick Robinson
from BBC posed an excellent question
"You spoke of building houses, as part of your aid to Lebanon, but wouldn’t the Lebanese rather you ask Israel to stop destroying their own houses...
… and isn’t it true that you think that Israel is on the right side of the war, and you want them to win?"
Here's to objective journalism.
Photo source: www.nytimes.com
Letter from Lebanon: Update July 26, 2006
This is another insightful letter from Rosie. An American, living in Beirut. In her email, Rosie attached a PowerPoint presentation containing images of the atrocities in Lebanon, and an image (a diagram representing the location of the bombings in Lebanon); I am just posting the image.
Dear Family and Friends,
Yes, we’re still in Lebanon and doing fine. Been sleeping much better in the last few days. I started working on this letter this morning at 7:00 a.m. until the electricity was cut at 10:00 a.m. When the electricity came back we were having lunch and then I had to take Tanya to dance lessons, which she resumed yesterday. And so more than 12 hours later from when I started, I now am trying to wrap this up.
The last American evacuation boat left Wednesday, July 26. Less than twenty percent of those on my warden list decided to evacuate, although I understand that over 12,000 Americans did leave, (out of 25,000). The road to Damascus is relatively safe now, although riddled with holes from Israel’s attacks. MEA (Middle East Airlines), Lebanon’s airline carrier, is doing its best to honor its flight reservations from the Damascus and Larnaca (Cyprus) airports.
I had the pleasure to participate on Monday evening on the BBC Radio live panel discussion, “Have Your Say,” discussing the current Middle East crisis. I had received a call from the BBC in the late afternoon Monday to arrange for them to call me back at 8:00 p.m. for the show. There were many participants, so each only had a short time in which to speak, but I was happy that I had that opportunity. At least they try to have all sides represented to openly present and discuss different point of views. We had a bit of a reprieve during Condoleezza Rice’s visit. That’s about the only positive outcome of her visit. As I had mentioned in a prior letter by the time she would have come, the country would have already been ravaged. Israel made sure to do the maximum amount of damage before they would be obliged to stop. Not that they have to stop. The United States has given them the green light to continue its barbaric bombardments. For the last few days the pounding has been focused in the south of Lebanon and the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Let’s see what is/was Israel’s goal? First to retrieve the captured soldiers, one Druze, one Jew. Then they said they wouldn’t stop bombarding until Hizbullah is disarmed. Now they are saying that they want Hizbullah to retreat at least 20 kilometers from the frontier to create a buffer zone.
Let’s recap some of what the Israelis have done in two weeks’ time: Destroyed at least 42 bridges, 38 roads. Bombed repeatedly Beirut International Airport, bombed Lebanon’s other airports, blasted two army caserns although they said the Lebanese army was not a target. Blasted two dairies (both Christian owned), a wood factory, and a plastics factory. Bombed nearly all the ports. Targeted the silos at the port. Bombed television and communications facilities, many of which are Christian owned. Bombed hospitals and ambulances. Warned the people in the south of Lebanon to evacuate their homes and villages and then when they were fleeing, they bombed their cars, using chemical weapons which either killed or badly burned many, including children. The Israeli Defense Department claimed that the chemicals were within international standards; tell that to the children whose faces are nearly burned off. A horrific sight. Destroyed hundreds of homes. Bombed in many Christian neighborhoods. Threatening areas in Tyre and Baalbeck that are protected by the United Nations (UNESCO) as recognized heritage sites. Today, a well marked UN observation post was hit “accidentally,” yet conveniently, killing four UN soldiers.….Lebanese killed pass 380 people with more than 1500 wounded, mostly civilians.
I guess you could liken this to two feuding neighbors. One neighbor smashes the other’s mailbox. The second neighbor retaliates by first smashing the first neighbor’s car. And realizing that is not enough pummels the house then blows up the front and backyards. Killing 5 and wounding two. But then I guess that would be an appropriate response for knocking down the mailbox.
Now please tell me what is wrong with the picture. Unfortunately, I can’t draw it, and therefore will describe it. But that should be easy: Picture a Big Smiling United States. One Hand is handing out a pile of intelligent bombs to a ‘poor’ Israel, whose F-16’s and nuclear warheads are tucked in their back pocket; the Other Hand has a tad of foodstuffs and medicines to distribute to the nearly 1 million distraught displaced Lebanese.
How do you think the Lebanese can accept the United States as an independent, impartial broker in negotiating peace? If you have ever been selected for jury duty you know the process. Those who have the slightest bias or prejudice surrounding the case to be tried are eliminated from the jury panel, because the lawyers want a jury that is open-minded and can review the facts fairly. When the United States provides Israel with over $3 billion in aid annually, supplies most of its military arsenal, provides on demand more bombs to Israel, how can one think they will be impartial when it comes to peace negotiations? Not only does the United States not act as an impartial broker, but they act as Israel’s advocate. Can the Lebanese really stand up to that? Time and again, they acquiesce to the bigger powers. Why isn’t another uninvolved country or countries selected to truly negotiate a peace settlement, like Japan, India or Argentina, without any influence from the United States or Britain? The July 21, 2006 cover page of the British journal “The Independent” displayed on one side the flags of the Israel, the United States and the United Kingdom. On the other side of the page, all the other flags of the world. The question posed: Who supports a cease-fire?
On Saturday, July 22, 2006, ten days after the start of the war, The Daily Start reported: “…the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Friday accused both Israel and Hizbullah of war crimes. The ICJ said Israel’s “disproportionate and indiscriminate” use of force against civilian targets amounted to “collective punishment.” The Geneva-based organization called for an immediate halt to the violence and accused the international community of not doing enough to restrain Israeli actions in both Lebanon and Gaza.”1
Since 1968, Israel has staged over 5,000 military attacks on Lebanon, including five invasions or major campaigns, causing nearly $3 billion in damages. A preliminary estimate of the toll on the infrastructure thus far from their recent barrage of bombs is over $3 billion, in less than two weeks.2 And we have not even spoken about the human lives lost or economic damage that Lebanon has suffered and will suffer, peoples homes, buildings, offices, etc. All this under the guise of “Hizbullah only targets.” I would like to see the equivalent statistics for Israel.
I remind my readers that at the end of June this year, Lebanon was issuing a formal complaint to the United Nations about a Mossad cell (like the CIA) in Lebanon, “Lebanon’s friends at the UN should support us against Israeli operations [assassinations] on our territory,” a source stated.3 Tension and provocation at the border is nothing new and it has been going on both ways, for years. The only difference is that Israel has the military might and the backing of the United States. So they get to bomb when and how they feel like it. How nice.
And as usual, pass this along to friends and family… or does it go without saying now? Have I got you trained now? Don’t forget to check out the attachments showing pictures of the atrocities as well as a map indicating areas hit. Thanks a million!
1. The Daily Star, July 22, 2006, page 2
2. The Daily Star, July 24, 2006, page 6
3. The Daily Star, June 21, 2006, cover page
Labels: letter from Lebanon
This was posted on Lebanese Bloggers by Raja. It also brought a smile to my face:
Keeping the spirit high -
In 1982, Italy won the world cup and Israel invaded Lebanon
In 2006, Italy won the world cup and Israel invaded Lebanon
Message to all Lebanese people:
Next time Italy wins the world cup, we all go immediately
down to the shelters!!
Also from Lebanese Bloggers:
As for the actual G.W.Bush freudian slip, you can check one of my previous
Mr. President, your mic is still on!
I got the new Ziad Rahbani CD, and in it was this piece:
"Wear Sunscreen" is a speech written by Mary Schmich. The music that accompanies the text is composed by Baz Luhrmann. (I wish I knew how to link the mp3 I have on my HD... it is really worth listening to.)----If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you.Sing.Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.Floss.Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.Stretch.Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year- olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.Accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You too will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.Respect your elders.Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will Look 85. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.But trust me on the sunscreen.
Toot toot 3a Beirut!
Toot toot 3a bayrout, ya bayyi khedni mechwarchla7ni 7addak bel service, w rbotni b bekli w zonnar.
Letter from Lebanon: Update Friday, July 21, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
First: We are safe. Although some fuel shortages are appearing in the mountain region, life “on the mountain” is pretty normal, other than it is accompanied by tattered nerves, tension and angst. Since Israel is targeting trucks, the garbage collectors are too afraid to make the rounds and garbage is starting to collect around the large communal garbage bins.
Second: Thank you all for your letters of concern and support. They are really appreciated.
I started this letter yesterday, but just didn’t have time to finish it. There was the first massive organization of evacuation for Americans. As a warden for the US Embassy, I am responsible for informing about 30 American families in my region. The US Embassy called me yesterday with directives for evacuation that was for 5:00 a.m. this morning. I received the call around 7:00 p.m. I, therefore, had to call all the families on my list and a few more. It took nearly three hours to contact and communicate the message to everyone, plus calls during the day I received from concerned families. I must have been on the phone at least four hours yesterday including one call I received after 11:00 p.m. Since the war started, I am in frequent contact with the families on my list, passing on emails that I receive from the Embassy as well as receiving nearly ten calls a day, to answer further questions and to share information with each other. Before 10 o'clock this morning I had already received a half dozen phone calls from those on my list.
Many people are extremely worried about the future. The main fear is that once the foreigners leave, the Israeli will double up their efforts against Lebanon.. Then what?
And why are so many foreigners leaving? It demonstrates that the Embassies realize that their citizens are in danger because the Israeli assault has not just focused on Hizbullah targets as they claim but civilian lives and infrastructure everywhere.
Listen carefully to the news. Listen to the words that the newscasters are now using. When is the last time you heard them talk about saving the two Israeli soldiers? The rhetoric has changed to “disarming Hizbullah,” which was the Israelis’ goal from the beginning. As I wrote before, this was never about the two soldiers. (I hope those poor soldiers sue their country for using them as bait.) Now Syria keeps being brought into the picture. I hope they are not as stupid as Hizbullah and get lured into this war.
Now getting back to Hizbullah. I want to make it very clear to my readers that in no way, shape or form am I a supporter of Hizbullah. I support the Lebanese as a unity. There are many Lebanese who have been fed up with Hizbullah for a long time, and who are furious that they got the Lebanese into this war. But as I see it, and as I have stated before, this is a well planned and executed war. This was going to happen sooner or later, whether Hizbullah took the two Israeli hostages or not. Israel was waiting to pounce. The Israelis are trying to enforce UN resolution 1559 requiring that all the militias in Lebanon disarm. But again, since when did Israel give itself the authority to enforce a UN resolution in another sovereign state? Can you political science majors help me out here? What gives Israel the legal right to do this? They have no legal right. They have military power. And that is what is speaking. And they have the backing of the West, namely the US and Britain. Israel is doing their dirty work.
Remember, Israel ILLEGALLY occupied the south of Lebanon for over ten years. How many times the Lebanese government went to the UN demanding their evacuation. Nothing was done. No one wants to realize how many illegal incursions and infractions Israel has done over the years with IMPUNITY. The US blindly backs Israel. For over ten years they were in Lebanon! Until the Hizbullah pushed them out. Now I ask you, if you are pushing a squatter, that murders your family, out of your land, are you a terrorist? Would you get the least bit irritated if someone was not letting you get to your own home, for ten years? Would you just relinquish your rights without a fight? And if you fight, would you like to be called “terrorist”? The West and Israelis now use the word “terrorist” for their convenience.
And I remind my readers, that at the same time Israel is illegally enforcing a UN resolution, they are DESTROYING Lebanon, against the Geneva convention which forbids the destruction of infrastructure. So again, with their military might and hiding everything under the guise of “disarming Hizbullah,” and “Hizbullah targets,” they are destroying the essential fabric of Lebanon. Lebanon built itself up after a deadly war with blood, sweat and tears, plenty of tears. While Lebanon received some aid for reconstruction—in the form of soft loans-- from the Arab League and other international organizations, they don’t have a sugar daddy like the United States to plump up their bank accounts with grants. Since World Word II, Israel has received from the United States aid (that means it’s free) equal to $140 Billion. That’s American taxpayer's money. Israel would be nothing, but a dirt hole (it’s primarily a desert compared to the lush land of Lebanon) if they hadn’t received this aid as well as other loans, many of which were forgiven, grants, and direct foreign investments, from the United States. And thanks to the United States, Israel is a major nuclear power. The Lebanese army was not even allowed to rearm; they have some helicopters dating back to the Vietnam era. Does this seem balanced to you? Do you see perhaps just a little, why there is so much tension in the Middle East?. The United States has created its own Frankenstein.
I am a firm believer in peace. The smart Arabs know that they must reconcile with Israel. This war has set the Lebanese back 20 years and the peace process back a century. But this war as with most conflicts with Israel, the injustices, the wrongs, the beliefs run deep. It’s hard to give up on your beliefs.
A short update on some recent destruction caused by Israeli bombardments and other repercussions of the war:
The Israelis bombed silos that are near the port. What, are the Hizbullah hiding arms there? They bombed a bridge in Mdeirij, the tiny village where my husband lived as a child. We recently drove by the bridge a couple of months ago on our way to a luncheon at some friends’ of ours. The Israelis had bombed portions of it before, but they came back for its near total destruction in two further raids. For what purpose?
July 19, they killed 55 civilians, the single most casualties in one day since the war started. The death toll has risen to more than 325, mostly civilians, with a 1,000 wounded. Israeli deaths 29, fourteen of them were soldiers.
Today the Israelis bombed Baabda, a Maronite (Christian) community, not a Hizbullah target!
Israel had stopped the passage of an Australian ship carrying evacuees. Later they were allowed to continue, but it halted further Australians boarding a second ship until the sea was free.
In the south of Lebanon, Israeli warplanes are targeting all civilian or military cars, including UN bulldozers and forklifts needed to remove heavy rubble.
In Tyre, an ancient port city in the south of Lebanon, they hit the French Cultural Center, killing a relative of a friend of mine. My friend’s family had thought the French Center would have been a safe place…
Most stores in Beirut and the suburbs are open for short periods, closing by 12 noon. The streets are almost barren. The middle of summer, when the roads are normally jammed pack, now a few cars pass.
As many of you know, Lebanon deals with both the Lebanese lira and the US dollar. There has been such a demand on the dollar that banks are now limiting the daily amount you can withdraw, sometimes only $200, other banks up to $1000.
People are still taking the precarious route to Damascus. The ride normally would cost $100; now it’s jumped to $1,000.
The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Douste-Blazy, arrived in Lebanon appealing to the United Nations to force Israel to allow a humanitarian corridor into Lebanon to provide fuel, food and medications. As of this writing, it is not clear whether it will be granted.
“UN Secretary General Kofi Annan criticized Hizbullah for triggering the latest outbreak of violence but he also condemned Israel’s excessive use of force in Lebanon and collective punishment of the Lebanese people, saying the conflict had triggered a humanitarian crisis.” (The Daily Star, July 21, 2006)
I agree. In the meantime, the United States is still waiting to pull the strings on Israel. Of course, there is no guarantee that Israel will listen to the United States when the moment comes. Then the United States will say it cannot control Israel. And the barbaric attacks on innocent lives will continue.
Please keep posting these emails and forwarding them to your friends and family. The Lebanese are suffering more and more each day.
P.S.: 11:30 p.m. and I think I heard the garbage trucks. Maybe they decided to sneak out during the night… Will know tomorrow.
Labels: letter from Lebanon
Letter from Lebanon: Update Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Here's another letter from Lebanon sent to me by Rosie, an american living in Lebanon.
z.----Dear Family and Friends,
The United States has finally started evacuation. The process is slow and not very well organized. There are about 25,000 Americans living in Lebanon. Not all will choose to leave, but even if half want to leave and one ship holds 1,000 people, well you can do the math…..
Yesterday, during the day our area was quiet, but they were bombing in the south, although we could not hear it. However, we were bolted awake in the middle of the morning, as in 3:30 a.m. (Wednesday) with a slew of explosions. We are fine. Not sleeping well, but we are still safe.
In my note yesterday, there was an incorrect word. I had written: “I know many, many, many Arabs of different nationalities and they are not terrorists, but they will defend their country. And they will defend their country against aggressions that are perpetuated by Israel.” It should have read: “perpetrated.” Maybe it was a Freudian slip…
I am so upset that I can barely think let alone write, but I am determined to get this information out. This is not a war; this is a blitzkrieg. A total destruction of a country while the world watches. This is abominable! I can’t believe it, if I weren’t living it, I wouldn’t be able to believe it. And President Bush refuses a cease-fire because he thinks that the Israelis are defending themselves when in actuality they are using this line of rhetoric to destroy Lebanon.
As of this morning the Lebanese death toll was close to 300, with nearly 500 wounded, depending on your source. Death toll for Israelis is about 24. (Always keep in mind the 10-15:1 ratio of Lebanese deaths to Israeli deaths, so if you don’t hear about the Lebanese deaths and just about the Israeli deaths you know by which factor to multiply to estimate the deaths in Lebanon.)
The Israelis bombed Gallery Semaan, famous for being at the center of the Green Line during the prior war period in Lebanon. It is a furniture store that imports fine Italian furniture from where we bought some of our furniture nearly nine years ago. This is also the area that has the Ford service agency where we have our two Ford cars maintained. True this is in a Hizbullah area, but did the Israelis think that Hizbullah was hiding under the furniture?
Two dairies were destroyed, Candia/Liban Lait, Lebanon’s largest dairy, and Tanayyel. Liban Lait was not hit just once but six times! It took years for the Lebanese to finally restart producing fresh milk after their war, and now the Israelis destroy these. These dairies, both owned by Christians, are located in the Bekaa Valley, the heartland of Lebanese agriculture. Hizbullah has nothing to do with these dairies. So what is the meaning when the Israelis pummel them six times? The Americans are okay with this? Are you?
The Israelis destroyed or disabled a paper mill, a packaging firm and a pharmaceutical plant. The local newspapers quoted industry insiders as saying that “the losses will cripple the economy for decades to come.” The Israelis know exactly what they are hitting! Why is the international community doing nothing???????
This morning, Israel targeted a truck on Abdel Wahab Englizi street, in the heart of a Christian section of Beirut. They are targeting trucks to paralyze the transportation of supplies to the different regions. Transportation costs have skyrocketed; in some instances going from $67 to $500 to transport the same load. You can imagine what will be the cost of fruits, vegetables, fuel and pharmaceuticals, for example, with this increase in transportation costs; a burden that the already impoverished Lebanese can hardly sustain.
Gas stations are targeted, not only in the south but in Beirut as well.
This is all very, very bad news.
Zahlé, a Christian town in the east, where my husband’s family has many homes and relatives, was bombed.
My friend from St. Jude Cancer Center for Children, which is included as part of the American University hospital, said this morning that they are trying their best to get the patients from the south of Lebanon. And those that are able to make it up to the hospital are not able to make it back of course, so they are doing “their best to find housing for them, which is costing [this non-profit organization] a fortune.” Both St. Jude Cancer Center for children and the American University of Beirut Pediatric Cardiac Care Center need donations badly.
I had stated in a prior email that close to a third of the population was displaced. Although that may eventually be the reality, published statistics range from 400,000 to 500,000, still no small number in a country of 3.5 million. The public school in our small village already houses several displaced families from the southern suburb of the capital.
A friend of mine from the British Embassy, who lives in the Christian section of downtown Beirut told me there is now a nasty smell in the air from all the explosives. The Israelis are using phosphorescent bombs that burn everything around after they explode; their use is forbidden by the UN. The long term affects of this war will only be realized later, unfortunately when it will be too late.
In the today’s edition of the local English paper, The Daily Star, Israeli General Gadi Eisenkot is quoted as saying, “We don’t see Syria or the Lebanese Army as a target….” But they are targeting the Lebanese army bases: they have already hit at least two army caserns, radar stations owned and operated by the Lebanese army.
The Israelis say one thing and do another. They say they are targeting Hizbullah infrastructure, but in reality most of this destruction is to the civilian population. What is the effect of the naval blockade? It is to prevent oil and fuel from reaching the average Lebanese. Today, we could not fill our diesel container. I hope we can tomorrow as we have only enough reserve fuel for our generator for 24 hours. For the moment we have electricity for at least half the day.
Other shortages are just around the corner as damaged or destroyed roads and bridges will prevent food from be transported.
THE ISRAELIS LONG AGO STOPPED FOCUSSING SOLEY ON HIZBULLAH TARGETS; THEY ARE TARGETING CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND CRITICAL SUPPLIES.
United States Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice “said she was primed to visit the region when it will be ‘helpful and necessary.’” If she waits another day, her job will be easier, because Lebanon will cease to exist.
And all the while, President Bush is sitting with his feet up on the desk relaxing:
“WASHINGTON, July 19, 2006 (AFP) - The United States and Israel have initially agreed to wait one week, while the pounding of Hezbollah targets continues, before seeking a buffer zone and an international force in southern Lebanon, The New York Times said Wednesday.”
President Bush has agreed with Israel, agreed with Israel? What is this??? Lebanon doesn’t exist? The Lebanese people don’t exist? How can the United States of America, the pillar of democracy and justice, simply ignore the illegal attacks that Israel is making into Lebanon? The Lebanese people are the sacrifice. That’s all there is to it. They are the sacrificial lambs so that Israel and the United States can have their will in the Middle East.
These have been the headlines in the local English Newspaper in the last few days:
Friday, July 14, 2006 “War comes back to Lebanon”
Saturday, July 15, 2006 “Lebanese brace for long war”
Monday, July 17, 2006 “War takes even deadlier turn”
Tuesday, July 18, 2006 “The ruin of a nation”
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 “Wasteland in the making”
Please, anyone, let me know what country in modern civilization has intentionally destroyed another country over two kidnapped soldiers? I admit I am not a history expert, so let me know.
I need your help. The Lebanese need your help. Please send this email to all your friends and family, to newspapers and other media. Put it on your blog if you have one. Thank you.
You can address your comments to Rosie.AKL@gmail.com
P.S.: It’s around 8:15 p.m. The Israelis just bombed the southern suburb of Beirut. I am surprised that I am not afraid when I hear the explosions. Maybe because I know that my area is safe, knock on wood. Anyway, I really don’t have time to be afraid.
Labels: letter from Lebanon
Dearest Uncle! [my reply]
“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”. 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.
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.
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!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”.
Then KABOOM! An invasion!
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.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.
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.
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…
Labels: memories_ nostalgia
Dearest Uncle! [our memories]
For years now, my uncle and I kept a series of emails, letters and correspondences. With his permission, I am posting his latest letter, and my reply.
Dear Family and Friends,
Mdeirej is a little village at the intersection of two main axes:
- the Beirut-Damascus highway and
- the road linking the Chouf with the Upper Metn region, the first villages of which along that road being Hammana on the Metn side and Ain Dara on the Chouf side.
I spent the first 10 years of my life in that little village; I went to school in Hammana, and, because of the difficulty in logistics (the road being available-- due to snowfall- some 50% of the time in winter) I was sent to school at the age of 7. We had a house and a fruit and vegetable garden there, and I spent a wonderful childhood in that village, mostly doing mountain climbing in the summer, hunting for birds.
The unskilled laborers working for my father were for the most part from the neighboring villages: Hammana, Falougha, Ras-el-Metn, Ain Dara, Azzounieh, Aghmeed, Sofar, Bhamdoun, to name a few. As a result of my father's professional involvement I knew many families in the region and, in the Summer time, some of the workers used to bring along their children to play with me while they were doing their job.
Consequently, Mdeirej holds a special place in my memory; the hospitality of the neighboring villages, the conviviality, the natural beauty of its surrounding villages, the plentiful supply of water springs in the mountains where I used to go hunting, etc. Nothing can erase those souvenirs from my memory. On Sundays, when I used to go hunting (or simply doing some hiking), some of the fruit orchard owners would be tending to their property; unmistakably, each and everyone of them, at every orchard we pass, would invite me and my cousin Charles to stop by for a bunch of grapes, a basket of cherries, some apples, some pears, a basket of figs (in September); these memories are to die for. (Perhaps that's what is required of us at this time?!)
After we moved to Beirut, we kept our property there and used to spend the summers in Mdeirej; at 1,500 meter. of altitude above sea level the late afternoons are rather chilly, not to mention early evenings and later. If one sleeps for 5 hours, one feels like new in the morning. Then the 1975 war occurred in Lebanon and in their advance on Hammana, coming from the Chouf side, the Palestinians and the so called national forces pillaged our property and destroyed it completely.
The house is gone, now Mdeirej is shelled, but the memories remain; and I am sending copies of this mail to my daughter, my niece and my nephew, so that the memory goes on, to the next generation; perhaps some day there will be a story to tell.
Cheers, in spite of it all.
Labels: memories_ nostalgia
Montreal, July 18, 2006
For more pictures, please click Here.
This is how we do it!
A bit of humor to start off the day, won't harm anyone would it?
Photo source: www.nytimes.com
Give Zaven a Missed Call!
I am watching Zaven Kouyoumdjian on Future TV just now.He is hosting a program where Lebanese are just calling to vent and speak their hearts out.In a remarkably sweet gesture, Zaven urges his audience to call him:"If you don't have units on your cellphones, and feel like talking, please give us a "missed call", and we'll call you back!"
Thank you Zaven!
We all do whatever we can, to help our country.----I find myself hesitant to write the number here, just because some would abuse its usage. If you know someone interested, write to me, and I'll gladly give the number.
Mr President your mic is still on!
"Jul. 17 - Whilst having lunch at the G8 summit in Russia George W. Bush and Tony Blair discussed the Middle East crisis candidly - unaware their microphones were still on.After Bush refered to Condoleeza Rice as 'Condi' and then swore about Hezbollah, Blair realised and quickly switched their microphones off before continuting the conversation." - reutersTurn on your speakers and watch it here
Letter from Lebanon: LEBANON IS KIDNAPPED!
I received this letter from a U.S citizen married to a Lebanese, and living in Lebanon. With her permission of course, I am publishing her letter on urban-memories.
z. ----July 16, 3006
Dear Family and Friends,
Ha! I think I am becoming a reporter now! First, we are still safe, but hardly anyone sleeps. The bombing has been continuous, day and night with no reprieve. We are in the mountains and we are awakened by the sound of the explosions. And it’s not as if you can just fall back asleep after hearing a bomb land. You can imagine what it is like if you are in Beirut. The situation is extremely serious.
I want to reiterate that we need your help in disseminating this information and hopefully getting it to the press. The news you are receiving is skewed. This is a well orchestrated war that Israel is carrying out. This is not a reaction to Hizbullah’s apprehending two of its soldiers. It becomes clearer by the day that there is a master plan that Israel is executing. Israel has literally kidnapped the entire country. One by one they are destroying every single road that leads out of the country. Just this evening around 8:00 p.m. we heard Israeli planes flying overhead only to hear a few minutes later on the radio that they destroyed a mountain road that leads to the Bekaa valley. This road is further up the mountain from where we live, in a primarily Christian village.
On the news earlier we heard that of the 93 Lebanese killed, only 3 were soldiers. As of 8:30 p.m. more than 120 Lebanese are dead and over 500 wounded.
Yesterday they bombed a small port in Amchit, a Christian village about one hour north of Beirut. Why? The Israelis got wind that a French ship carrying medical supplies was arriving. Damaging the port they prevented these critical medical supplies from reaching their destination.
Yesterday, my niece was attending a wedding—poor couple—could they really delay their wedding after months of planning? The wedding was held not too far from Jounieh, a major port about 25 minutes north of Beirut, a Christian town (and definitely not a Hizbullah stronghold). Everyone was on the terrace celebrating when Israel repeatedly attacked the Jounieh port. My niece said that everyone ran into the church and prayed. The bride was crying. The groom was crying. My niece left the wedding flying down the main highway while bombs whistled by. Nice memories for the newlyweds.
This afternoon, the Israelis decimated a small Christian village, Ain Ebel in the south of Lebanon. The mayor was pleading with the UN for a cessation of the Israeli bombing so they could evacuate women and children, and eventually to get food and medical supplies. Again, Ain Ebel is far from being a Hizbullah basis.
In the southern suburb of Beirut, Israelis knocked out all telecommunications—both land and mobile.
They just struck the airport again, as I have been writing this. This must be the sixth or seventh time, I lost count!
Over 1 million Lebanese, that’s nearly one third of the entire population has been displaced! Hotels, homes in the mountains are packed to the brim trying to accommodate these people made refugees in their own country.
Are you still convinced that Israel is attacking only Hizbullah targets? Are you still convinced that Israel has a right to defend itself—and if so, in this way?
Even during the 15 years of war, never ever were all roads, ports, and airports simultaneously blocked. When I was in Saudi, we would fly to Cyprus then take the boat to Jounieh to visit my husband’s family. Now there is no way out. Israel has kidnapped and trapped the entire country. There are more than 17, 000 French citizens, more than 10, 000 English, more than 25, 000 Americans and many more other foreign nationals trapped because Israel has blown up all major roads, bridges, airports and ports. Their actions are barbaric. The British Ambassador made a public announcement on television telling his compatriots that the roads are not safe enough to travel on for an evacuation and urged them to just remain at home. How reassuring! You hear news of evacuations, but we are all wondering how anyone can get out when roads, bridges and ports have been damaged so severely.
Now, to end with a little story. A news item that I am sure did not make big news in the American press:
On June 21, 2006, about three weeks ago, The Daily Star, the local English newspaper published an article about Lebanon expecting complete support from the UN Security Council about a complaint the Lebanese government was presenting to them. The Lebanese were following proper international protocol. What was discovered? The Mossad, the Israeli secret service (like the U.S.’s CIA), has a network in Lebanon and has assassinated at least 3 Lebanese citizens which the Israelis believed to be “terrorists.” I ask you: What is worse? Hizbullah’s kidnapping two Israeli soldiers or Israeli agents coming onto Lebanese territory and assassinating its citizens? It’s like having a North Korean secret service cell in the U.S. killing American citizens. Would the U.S. sit back and do nothing? It’s an outrage. Yet, Israel destroys Lebanon with impunity and no one pays attention to the infractions that Israel does. And what right does Lebanon have to defend itself? If Lebanon, dared to do what Israel is doing to it now, it would be labeled “terrorist.”
I once again plead with you to get this news out. Israel is destroying Lebanon while the United States puts its head in the sand! These atrocities must stop!
10:10 p.m. The bombs are exploding. Another sleepless night ahead….
Labels: letter from Lebanon
Red Cross Donations.
Post World Cup Lebanon.
I apologize for finding little humor in this picture.
Haret Hreik today. [no comment]
STOP DESTROYING MY COUNTRY!!!
Today's peaceful protest was excellent. A big number showed up... Many thanks to everyone!IT IS NOT OVER THOUGH, LEBANON STILL NEEDS ALL HIS DAUGHTERS AND SONS.Here are two more peaceful manifestations:MONTREAL
TUESDAY, JULY 18 @ 5:00 PM
DORCHESTER SQUARE, 1155 METCALFE
TUESDAY, JULY 18 @ 5:00 PM
QUEENS PARK, DOWNTOWN TORONTO
PLEASE STOP THE AGGRESSION AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF LEBANON.
Montreal, July 16, 2006.
For more pictures of today's Montreal's peaceful Demonstration, please click Here
I just received this from a friend:
Montreal / Canada:URGENT RELEASE: CALL FOR DEMONSTRATION SUNDAY JULY 16, 11AM – PEEL AND RENE LEVESQUEIn the past 96 hours, the Israeli assault has killed 92 civilians in Lebanon, tens of who were children and 252 injuries.We cannot remain silent as Israel continues down the path toward a catastrophe in which hundreds innocent people more will be killed and forcibly expelled from their homes and lands.DIFFUSION IMMÉDIATE : appel à tous les libanais et libanaises à une manifestation dimanche le 16 juillet, 11AM – coin peel et rené- lévesqueAprès 96 heures, le bombardement barbare Israélien a tué près de 92 civiles au Liban, dont des dizaines d’enfants innocents et 252 blessés.Nous ne pouvons garder le silence devant le massacre d’Israël où des centaines de personnes innocentes seront tués et expulsés de leur maison et de leur terre.STOP AU GÉNOCIDE – STOP AU MASSACRE – STOP AU TERRORISME D’ÉTAT
Photo source: www.nytimes.com
The Blood of a City.
The July 2006 WAR [7arb tammouz el 2006]
- Majida el Roumi
- Julia Boutros
Are back to hug our radios and our televisions.
You can forget about dancing on Haifa and Nancy's songs for a long while to come. Tourism and fun are not on Lebanese schedules for years to come.
The infamous music that accompanied many Lebanese during the war years is back:
"maktab el tahrir... fi khabaren jadid"
[a music that played whenever there were breaking news to deliver... Lebanese became addicted and dependent to this tune - it became to mean the difference between life and death for them.]
We, as Lebanese, all agree who our ennemies are (and they are many).
We, as Lebanese, also know how to defend and embrace one another, in times of need.
We, as Lebanese, don't want our children to die.
We, as Lebanese, don't want to see our homes and everything we built and worked for destroyed.We, as Lebanese, ask for this rutheless invasion to stop.
We will resolve our internal shit later on, but for now... somebody has to do something.
This has to stop!
AND YES! BEIRUT HAS A PROUD SOUL. BUT IT CAN ALSO BLEED.
Photo source; www.nytimes.com
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
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
(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…
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:
[Great Lebanese war]
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…
- 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.
That is if I can work…
So yeah a place where people can relax and unwind…
- 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
Ok something is weird.
Are we so low in the pyramid of the food chain?
Have we no value? No worth?
After the war in Iraq and its escalating continuous effects, it became evident that there were two countries next on the black list. And everybody unmistakable knew which countries were in question.
For a period of time, we thought that Iran was next. Debates and threats kept heating up. And we thought ooops! That's it, close your eyes and brace yourselves!
But all that was dismissed. We opened our eyes again.
Then the focus changed. The target shifted to Syria. Again as debates and threats heated, there was tremendous pressure from everybody, and we though ooops! That's it, close your eyes again! Hold on!
But again it was dismissed.
Suddenly, without any debates or serious threats (be it heated or cold), and without any kind of pressure, we didn't even have the chance to utter ooops.
We get hit. A twister crosses the southern border, and the whole world is watching.
This is no coincidence man! We really are expendable. The entire planet is fighting its war on Lebanese soil.
Lebanon is the coliseum.
It is all about scale. Think about it.
Think of Lebanon as being the green grass of a football field; the bleachers and the crowd, the whole world. A couple of sold-out referees are thrown in here and there, the whistle blows and:
PS: I hope this will not be taken as a discourse of victimization, inferiority complex, or self pity. It is no conspiracy theory either. It is just one of those things you think about sometimes, and then dismiss soon after.
Photo source: http://www.nytimes.com