This is Beirut

This is Beirut is designed to give voice to the millions of Lebanese who are suffering while the world sits silently. We are not interested in propagating hatred. We want the world to witness through the eyes of Lebanese citizens the destruction and the suffering that has been brought on in the name of defense. If you have a story, poem or letter to share, please email amyabdou@gmail.com We will work together to end this violence.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Call to action

For the first time in my life I am on the other side. I usually would have been in the midst of it, trying to survive and make it till tomorrow. Usually I would be one of those trying to brave the situation, and trying to beat the hand that has been dealt against me, against us.

This time it is different. I am safe. Away from harm’s way. I am not in want, and I will not be here. I am not trying to find a shelter. I am not thinking about the electricity shortage, or the water dearth. Yet somehow it is just as bad as before. Those whom I love are. My family and my friends are there, braving the nights and the horrors of the days. Mentally it is just as bad, because I see myself in a flashback with the radio glued to my ear scrounging every news flash that is being issued by every news sender from around the world. I have become a news junky, a flash addict. Paralyzed, hypnotized, at the limits wishing I was there. I spent the first week of it all in a mental stupor, like all the Lebanese abroad, I imagine, feeling helpless and useless. How can this happen and nobody is doing anything to stop it? How can this humanitarian disaster be allowed to go on any longer? We also feel guilty for living our daily lives. It just all feels so pointless. In comparison to the death our loved ones are facing, how can we continue living?

I also was angry. So angry at the world, that it should allow this to happen again, and again and again…. So many times that it has become countless. How can we call ourselves a humanity when we are not even humane? What is that measured response that I keep hearing about? Why is everyone just talking about ‘restraint’? This is a blatant ‘non assistance of a person in danger, which in French legislation and International convention this is punishable by law and would lead to imprisonment. Then who should be punished here? Is it going to be the whole international community who is just watching idly? Or is it me who is sitting here feeling miserable and helpless?

Our country and our families need us. They need to get their voices out. They need us to show the horrors of what is happening to them. They need us to help provide them with the basic daily necessities that so many are in dire need of. They need us to supply them with medication for both the chronic illnesses and the trauma that is being inflicted upon them., as well as food, clothing, blankets, baby supplies and every other necessity of life. They need us to rebuild after the horrors are over.

Above all they need us to be human.

I am not going to ask for monetary donations since these requests are being thrown at you from every direction. I call upon you to help me set up networks that would volunteer on supplying all of the above to our country. Put a bit of your time into this, give this war a face and help that face regain its life and dignity. Contact who you know that can provide us with these supplies, contact the food industry, pharmaceuticals, hospitals… maybe even organizations that are working on the ground so that they would help us get those things to the people who need them.

Contact me at shechaime@hotmail.com and help set this network in motion
You could also send me your posts to help keep our voice alive.

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