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.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

War diaries, day 24

Dear World

August 4th, Day 24

I didn't sleep tonight. And even if I did for a few minutes, I woke up five or six times to my beloved boom boom sound.

Today, they bombed 4 bridges in the Northern of Beirut. Some friends of mine were spending their night in Jbeil or other Northern areas, and they cannot come back home. It reminds me of one of my history classes in high school, as the teacher was saying that the Berlin wall rose in one night; some people were simply paying a visit to others, and found themselves stuck in eastern or western Germany. Except that the German separation was based on the construction of a wall, and the Israeli tactics are simply about the destruction of links.

There are two ways one can actually 'create' himself. Either through a personal retrospective, work and effort to create a better self, or through the degradation of others. Except that the latter technique is absolutely pointless. It keeps you in the deepest shit and you are not even aware of it. You don't move forward, but simply drag everyone backwards with you.

Lebanon doesn't have a military force. I am not sure of the reasons, and personally I do not care. I simply see it, somewhere, as a sign of peacefulness. The Lebanese people don't want to fight anyways, they simply want to live. 17 years of war were enough for them, it was a deep nightmare not to be repeated.

24 days have passed. Our country is shredded into pieces, we are expecting 60% of unemployment rate, I will not number all the losses because they are way too many. And still, as I walk on the streets, I see shiny eyes and a deep desire for life. And still, we find time and space to make jokes. I just received one of them as an sms on my phone, and I cannot but share it:

"The Israeli Government is asking for Feiruz's phone number because they don't know the location of Jeser Al Lawziyyeh." ("The almond tree bridge") Okay. It is a Lebanese inside joke. For the foreigners, the Lawziyyeh bridge is a fictional bridge mentioned in one of Feiruz's songs.

Life is all we want. And this, even the most evolved bombs cannot take away from us.

Yet they still want to destroy. I don't blame them for this. The very core of their existence as a State is based on destruction; it is running in their blood now and they cannot get rid of it. It doesn't matter what they are destroying. People, buildings, bridges, lives, anything on their way. What they destroy is not the point. It is just that the action itself is their source of life. And I wonder what will happen to them when there is nothing left to destroy. Please don't get me wrong. I am not describing destruction as a negative thing. Sometimes things need to be destroyed. I am simply seeing that, with the Israeli leaders, it has become a compulsion. For 24 days, they have been destroying. They haven't moved one inch, an idiot could see that more destruction will not lead them anywhere except in deeper despair, and still they cannot help it.

We have seen people suffering from compulsions. Now we are witnessing the disease expanding. Can we really ensure 'world peace' (just like all Miss Teen USA say it on television with their pearly smiles) when world leaders cannot even control their own compulsions?

As Lebanese, we are not totally innocent. We have our little compulsions too. Celebration, laughter, jokes, life. No matter how deep the hole is, we still find a way to create our own little heaven in it. And I love this country for that. Because somewhere, we are able to celebrate everything, even wars.

12:04 am, listening to Feiruz, I am fine. And we will all be.

With Love,

A Lebanese Citizen

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