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.

Friday, July 28, 2006

War Diaries- Day 16

Dear World

July 27, 16th day of war.

When I was a child, the 8 o'clock news were the most annoying thing for me. It was the moment where I couldn't communicate with my parents anymore, the moment where I had to stop watching my Felix the Cat cartoons videos. Silence prevailed around the house, leaving space to the speaker's voice, announcing the deceases and destructions of the war.

I remember one specific event, on some war night, where General Michel Aoun went on television and announced that the "Liberation War" was going to end, for the sake of Lebanon's children. I remember my mother jumping with joy, and I will never forget the relief I felt within, although I was too young to grasp what was happening. Of course, the next morning, we woke up to our lovely boom-boom alarm. And it took another interminable set of boom-boom mornings before the war ended.

Whatever I say, I will never be able to express how intense my thirst is to this sentence: "the war is over".

But everyday, we face the reality that it will not end soon. The most painful thing about it is that we don't know anything. We don't know where they are going to bomb, when they are going to bomb, what they are going to bomb. We don't know if we can plan for tomorrow. So far, all that we know is that fuel will run out on Friday. Fill up your Mazola plastic bottles so you can operate your generator for a few days before darkness prevails. Store up candles and matchboxes. Prepare a radio and spare batteries.

The eighties all over again. My father's silhouette is highlighted by the corridor's night candle. He carries me out of my bed and takes me to our vestiaire, the only safe area in the house, far from windows and balconies where gunshots are likely to land. Except that now, there are no gunshots, but bombs. No area in the house is safe. My father is not here anymore, and anyways I am too heavy to be carried out of my bed.

Today, while they were digging somewhere in the south to check if another UN officer was buried under the rubble, they found the bodies of a mother holding her two children. Once again, me deepest respects to the Israelis, who are so keen on freezing our intimate moments under masses of powdered concrete. Mummification Revisited.

The Ministry of Health announced today that the number of deceased reached over 600. What is the peak number before they ask for a cease fire? A thousand? A million? One American? 600 without counting the people in the South Villages surrounded without food, water, milk for 16 days now. 200 out of the 600 are still buried underneath the powdered households.

Today, as I was going back home from a friend's house, I took a glimpse at the sea, of which I could see a chunk, framed between two buildings. I miss the sea. Since they bombed the lighthouse and set the Beirut Port on fire, I have been avoiding going to that area. But it is only from a far distance that I can enjoy it now, since they have been pouring oil and petroleum, which set it in a disastrous state of pollution and killed most of the marine life

It is funny what God's Chosen People are doing to his creation. Having within something as intense as life, going on doing something as destructive as what we have been witnessing and enduring for the past two weeks.

Today, I realized that we might be totally out of electricity in the coming weeks. So I started calculating. No electricity, no fridge. Being myself a big fan of fruits, that cannot survive without refrigeration, I decided to start making fruit preserves.

These Israelis never stop surprising me with their avant-gardist visions. Training the next generation of Lebanese Grandmas, who would have thought about that!

With Love,

A Lebanese Citizen, and promising grandmother-to-be.


At 5:51 PM, Blogger Sherby Paladin said...

I am with you. I wish I was, no, actually, I wish yyou were here, in Canada, so I could comfort you. I can't believe my government is supporting Israelis (we never took sides, never, in our whole history), but PM Harper is an Evangelist and is Bush's puppet.

Please, be strong, I just don't know what to say. Don't worry, we'll never forget what the Israelis are doing and I'll remember it when I go to the polls, next time. I will work against Harper, he will lose.

God, I wish I could take you for a walk in our great canadian forest and then come home for a coffee and some sugary treat. I just wish I could beam you here, hold you in my arms, like a brother, and comfort you.

My name is Martin, I'm 28, french-canadian and I'm with you, in thouhts at least.

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Maya said...

Dear Martin
Thank you for your support, our only hope right now is this kind of humanity.
I hope you will be able to come here someday, then I will take you for a walk in our Lebanese mountains and offer you our grandmothers'tabouleh and hummus :)
Pain is happening all around us, but we don't allow it to become suffering.
Let's hope this war opens a possibility for wordly peace.
A Grateful Lebanese Citizen

At 8:36 PM, Blogger silviu costea said...

what i can say? it is very hard for us to really understand what do u feel down there with the bombs around, a lot of screams and pain. My country too suports israel and usa, but we are too small to decide anything in this cruel world (i'm from Romania), but trust me, the majority of the citizens does not agreed with the usa politics. Don't loose your faith, and be strong, the wheel is turning...


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