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 We will work together to end this violence.

Monday, July 24, 2006

War Diaries Day 12

Dear World

July 23rd 2006, 12th day of war.

I am slowly running out of things to say. Slowly, my eyes are getting accustomed to the smoky and bloody scenes on television, my ears are getting used to the bombing sounds.

Last night, 1:00 a.m., the Israeli war planes bombed the southern suburbs for the millionth time, I could hear the sound very clearly, but still I managed not to jump out of bed and run to the television screen like I have been doing for the past days.

I remember the first night of the war, when I woke up to a loud bombing sound (the first I heard), I ran to the living room and saw my mother and brother watching the airport burn on television, in an expression of deep sadness and disbelief. Today, watching things burn has become a daily routine, I am even starting to wonder whether I will miss or not it once all of this is over.

Today, a journalist died, Layal Najib.

Slowly, Lebanon is becoming a tabula raza. Beirut's southern suburb is slowly getting reduced into powder and the emptiness overwhelming the place, although carrying a morbid smell of death and desolation, has a mesmerizing feel to it. They bombed a building there today, among other things of course. We spent hours watching it burn on television.

Right now, four men are negotiating on television, joined, from the four corners of earth, on a screen split in four. Riadh, Washington, Lebanon and Iran. To me, it seems like an absurd play. On the bottom of the screen, people are still sending announcements, looking for their beloved.

Today, I was faced with the painful fact that this war will last for months. And I decided that the world has gone mad. There will be no cease fire, they are even negotiating other parties joining the party, what a blast! More fireworks and dead bodies flying out of the windows of their own houses. Houses that once witnessed intimate moments. Mothers cooking, children playing, young adolescent girls combing their hair or toddlers learning for the first time how to tie their shoes. These houses have fallen apart now, and slowly neighborhoods are becoming deserts. Slowly, we are heading towards nothingness, the same nothingness that fills the brains of our dear international politicians. If we look at the only positive thing about this, we could say that nothingness is a wonderful place to start from. A clean, fresh Lebanon. A blank page where you can start from scratch. I am just wondering if I will still be there by then. I am starting to have doubts.

I am starting to get tired, yet I still feel writing can do something… Usually people start shouting the first one or two weeks of the event. Then, they start talking about it, then whispering. And a few weeks later, silence prevails. I hope we can keep on shouting, whether it accomplishes something or not is not important. This shouting is for us, an immunity to the numbness that might take over our minds and emotions, too much exposed to images, sounds, screams, and opinions.

A month ago, my friend and I were talking about designing a touristic map of Lebanon, and we were worried about how complex the whole research and design process would be. Flash news! We can draw it in just a few days now. Except that there are no more tourists. No need to worry. Our country has become stranger to us; we have become tourists in our own land…

with love,

a Lebanese Citizen


At 3:39 AM, Blogger dronbyfoto said...

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