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.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

War Diaries- Day 15

Dear World

July 26th, Day 15

Today was my first day at work after two weeks of absence. Although everything was just the way we left it on Thursday July 10, nothing was the same. We weren't the same. For the first time, sitting and working in front of a computer screen became hell, although sitting home and following up the news on television was not less of a torture. My desk was s a mess, I didn't even have the desire to clean it up.

I was sitting at a friend's house when we heard about the attack on a 6-floors residential building in Tyre. People were running all over, covering their noses with their dusted shirts. God knows what chemicals the bomb had in it. The attack provoked a big mushroom smoke, and people were rushing out the scene with grayed faces, bursting in an explosion of sadness, anger, despair. The Red Cross members were rushing to help, transporting dismantled body parts on their carriers. Black and grey smoke, orange and red flames people running left and right in utmost panic.

And then I realized that I haven't grasped the reality yet, that war is once again happening to us. I watched it all on television like another American action movie. They are so good at making things look real that we now confuse our reality for one of their movies. Image after image, sound after sound, it builds within me a cumulus of anguish, sadness and chock, but doesn't get me an inch closer to reality. I watch, I burst into tears sometimes, but then again I am only watching myself as another actress in some drama. You always think something like this will never happen to you and then find yourself in the middle of the action, watching it, screaming words that eventually have the impact of a whisper.

There are three things currently playing on our national televisions: news, politicians talking or arguing, and national songs coming in between them. Basically, I skip the politicians, gather sadness during the news and burst into tears hearing the national songs. I can't help it. Today, an orchestra of young men and ladies was singing one of Zaki Nassif's songs, and there was something about this wonderful life energy within them that shook me from head to toe. It is that same life that animates Red Cross volunteers, and all the young people who are channeling everything within them to reduce, as much as possible, the amount of suffering happening around them. I might sound idealistic, but I feel this is what Lebanon is all about. The people. We have witnessed our buildings fall so many times, but the people here have always found a space to get up and keep on going. It is one of the things that pours hope in all of us. And they don't deserve this because they are wonderful. They had bombs as lullabies and shelters as parks in their childhood, and yet they refuse to bend and simply keep on going forward.

On the television, Marcel Ghanem has gathered a few young men and women debating about the country's situation. At this stage, I don't know how supportive talking is. I am in no situation to judge, I am kind of slow concerning politics. They are yelling at one another, repeating the same words I have been hearing for the past fifteen days. The War Vocabulary. Nation, Peace, Resistance, Nasrallah, Sanioura, Protection, Shelthers, Publicity Break and we continue. 'Fadi didn't fail. When Auxilia helped him, Fadi didn't forget. He grew up and became an architect, and now he is helping another Fadi through Auxilia.' Solution. Rays. Saudi Arabia. Christian. Muslim. Unity of the Lebanese people. Israel. Enemy. Displaced. Communities.

Sukleen is recruiting. I am seriously considering joining the night shift; Beirut's streets are very sad to look at. Never been dirtier. I could also use some pocket money. I do encourage everyone to do so. Mechanic work can be a great therapy for the madness that is starting to install itself in my head. Plus I really love the tweezers they use to pick up the trash!

Keep your country clean!

Peace, Peace Please!

A Lebanese Citizen

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