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 12, 2006

War diaries, days 30 & 31

Dear World

August 10 and 11.

It has been a month since the first Israeli assault happened. Since then, time has stopped, our lives have halted and we have been living in a constant expectation of our own death.

In celebration of the one-month war anniversary, I would like to update you on the numbers, although I don't think that the quantity of victims is relevant. The blindness with which our dear neighbors are bombing us is as revolting whether it hits one or one million persons.

1100 deaths

Over 3200 wounded

1 million displaced.

And the world is still watching, of course. More passively than ever.

Yesterday, around noon, as I was working on designing calendars in my office (it is as fulfilling as designing Ramadan Cards, as a matter of fact), we heard a huge bombing sound, closer than any that we had heard so far. I would like to report to you some of the conversations that happened after that little event. Bitter sweet talks. However, if you don't feel like reading them, please scroll down until the line of stars that marks their end.

CONVERSATION 1

Medium: cell phone

Me: "Hello? Mum?"

Mum: "Yes dear"

Me: "Where are you?"

Mum: "Home"

Me: "No, you are lying. I called home and there's no one there"

Mum: "I am in the parking"

Me: "You are in the Military Beach Club!"

Mum: Hahahaha, yes.

Me: "Mum!! I told you that the sea is polluted and you shouldn't be anywhere near it! Didn't you hear the bombing?"

Mum: "Yes, dear. It's the suburbs again."

Me: "No mum, they are saying it's the old lighthouse. It's meters away from you!"

Mum: "Really? Funny… Maya, I am okay. Stop panicking!"

Me: "Mum, please watch out"

Mum: "Okay dear. Bye"

Me: "Bye"

Mum (thinking I hanged up, talking to her friend) "She always panics whenever she hears an explosion!"

CONVERSATION 2

Medium: MSN Messenger

Anonymous says: (11:58:20 AM)

maya

heard the sound?

? says: (11:58:27 AM)

yes

but no clue where

Anonymous says: (11:58:46 AM)

dawi infijar kawi 3ala shate2 el rawsheh (was heard a strong explosion in Raoucheh)

arabia just wrote it

? says: (11:59:39 AM)

shit

raoucheh?

Anonymous says: (12:00:44 PM)

hek katabo (This is what they said)

nobody knows still

? says: (12:01:07 PM)

mum bel hemmeim el 3asskareh, 2al ma fi chi (Mum is in the Military Beach Club. She says there's nothing)

Anonymous says: (12:01:31 PM)

keef hal 7akeh!

kteer aweh el sot (Huh? The sound was too strong)

? says: (12:01:41 PM)

ma ba3rif (Dunno…)

Anything else on the news?

Anonymous says: (12:05:08 PM)

nothing

browsing

? says: (12:06:01 PM)

ouch

Anonymous says: (12:10:36 PM)

darabo el manara el 2adeemeh lol (They hit the old lighthouse lol)

manara

? says: (12:10:48 PM)

ana sme3et el manar (I heard it was the Manar TV Station)

oooooh mbala

? says: (12:16:05 PM)

non mich manara chaklo (It seems it's not Manara)

my friend's aunt lives there. nothing

Anonymous says: (12:16:23 PM)

el manara el 2adeemeh (The old Lighthouse)

it's on tb

Anonymous says: (12:16:26 PM)

TV

? says: (12:16:34 PM)

oooh

3am bisawwwrouwa? (Are they filming it?)

Anonymous says: (12:16:47 PM)

non

bass all tvs wrote it

isn't it right next to hamem el 3askareh (The Military Beach Club)?

? says: (12:17:01 PM)

Mbala (Yes)

Anonymous says: (12:17:10 PM)

weird

all wrote it

? says: (12:17:16 PM)

ana my mum is getting a tan 

Anonymous says: (12:17:25 PM)

its 200m away max from where i am

? says: (12:17:33 PM)

ouahahaha

? says: (12:17:37 PM)

funny

Anonymous says: (12:18:09 PM)

yeah

Anonymous says: (12:18:12 PM)

na2azzouneh (They scared me)

? says: (12:19:17 PM)

looool

? says: (12:19:22 PM)

al mod7ik al moubki (The "funny-sad")

Anonymous says: (12:20:12 PM)

they are correcting

Anonymous says: (12:20:17 PM)

some people are saying 2 trucks

? says: (12:20:25 PM)

where?

? says: (12:20:33 PM)

kamen manara? (Also near Manara?)

Anonymous says: (12:20:46 PM)

3al rawsheh yeah

w kassafo 3amsheet (They also hit Amsheet)

haydeh ba3ed Jbeil (After Jbeil)

w dad is going now to the north!

am scared

? says: (12:21:01 PM)

ouch

? says: (12:21:04 PM)

check on him

Anonymous says: (12:22:13 PM)

future sawwar el manara el 2adeemeh (Future TV is filming the old lighthouse)

? says: (12:22:32 PM)

eh

so, manara it is?

Anonymous says: (12:25:23 PM)

yes

Anonymous says: (12:25:28 PM)

Future 3am bitssawwir (Future TV is filming)

Anonymous says: (12:25:31 PM)

put future

? says: (12:25:33 PM)

ktir damage?

Anonymous says: (12:25:33 PM)

lol

sorry

? says: (12:25:38 PM)

victims?

Anonymous says: (12:25:39 PM)

enno 2 missiles

Anonymous says: (12:25:43 PM)

nothing yet

Anonymous says: (12:26:23 PM)

Borj el 2ize3a el libneniyeh el 2adeem.. (The old Lebanese Radio tower)

Anonymous Moz says: (12:26:28 PM)

between college and LAU

? says: (12:26:42 PM)

oh

CONVERSATION 3

Medium: mouth

Location: Office

Person 1:"So, you thought it was Dahieh?"

Person 2: "Yes... but the sound was different."

Person 1: "How different?"

Person 2: "When they bomb Dahieh, it's usually Bwouhouuuuf. Now, it was Bwihiiiiiiiijjjjjj."

Yes, We are becoming experts in bomb sounds. And we are proud of it!

I didn't sleep tonight. They bombed the southern suburbs around a million times, and I am sure they were using a new type of bombs because it felt like the bomb was exploding few centimeters away from us. No electricity to check the news, mum puts on her walkman and hears what the exact location is.

After a light morning sleep, I wake up with a pumping heart and spend my day jumping off my chair every time a door closes or a pencil falls on the floor. I have crossed the limits of alertness and entered the realm of hysteria, where a person sneezing can make me think that a bomb exploded nearby. I wish I was deaf, truly.

Today, at around ten in the morning, the Israeli threw some flyers over the Sanayeh Garden, that said: (I am actually holding one in my hand)

"Nasrallah is bluffing you and hiding from you the huge losses in the rows of Hezbollah. Here is a list of some of the deceased's names that Nasrallah left out and of which he denied the death." Followed by a list of 90 to 92 names in alphabetical order. You will find a snapshot of the flyer attached to this mail.

When I was in Kindergarten, once landed on my desk a small note from one of my classmates that said: "Lana is in love with Maher, but she is hiding it from everyone. This is what she wrote on the bathroom door: 'Maher I want to marry you'"

Flyers are really very strategic and intelligent means of communications, especially when the message they carry is truly mature and well thought of. I really see that our lovely neighboring state is nothing but baby-brains with plenty of weapons. What can we expect from such people except destruction and more destruction? It's just like giving a gun to a child and letting him mess with it.

The Marjeyioun hospital closed its doors today because of a total lack of resources.

And the world is still watching.

I am considering sending flyers to the rest of the world that say:

"God is bluffing you and hiding from you the huge losses in human beings' brain cells despite the impressive-nonetheless useless- technological improvement. The truth is that we are in the Age of Stupidity and Mediocrity, and that we are far behind the Stone Age in terms of Human Intelligence. Here is a list of the 'Historical Events' that you chose to forget, ignore, deny or regret." Followed by a list of all the wars and massacres since 1950, in alphabetical order of course.

After all, what is more important than the ABC of life?

Happy One Month

A Lebanese Citizen

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