Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The most blogged war

"This used to be my playground. Six days ago there were four buildings with 8 to 10 stories high and a little garden in front of them. My parents home used to be on the second floor in the building in the middle. They did not harm anybody their entire life. Neither did their neighbours", posted by Bashir at UrShalim
"A few minutes ago the sirens started again in the distance; they were so faint that we were only made aware of them by watching Haifa on TV. Like Pavlov's dogs we react to the stimuli dutifully, almost mindlessly. It's a second nature now. But this time it was different.On the way down we heard a large boom, my neighbor phoned his daughter across town as soon as the radio announced that Haifa was hit. Up until now he seemed to me the calmest person down there, but his expression changed. "It hit near you? The windows exploded?" His arm unknowingly touches the wall to support himself, "don't cry, don't cry.. Are you ok?". He hangs up and with resolve says that he's going down there, no tears but he's already changed. With shaking fingers he calls somebody else about the car", posted by and at Live from an Israeli bunker
"My cousin fled the country with her parents. She was engaged to a Beiruti who refused to leave his parents under the shelling. Now they’re living in separate countries. Their engagement was just 2 weeks ago. My friend works in Paris. Her fiancé is stuck in Lebanon; they had plans to get married this summer, now they're postponed until further notice. My brother's wife came to Lebanon to visit her parents. Now she's stuck and she can't go back to Africa where they live.This war is taking a particularly strong toll on Lebanese couples. My cousin, my friend and my brother are just a few cases. In Lebanon, unless you’re married to someone, you flee wherever your parents flee, to the mountains, to neighboring countries or to faraway lands.It is the very fabric of our society that accentuates this forced separation. A lot of people who come from different parts of Lebanon, meet in cosmopolitan Beirut and fall in love, only to be “recalled” by their parents in times of war. Most of them either have foreign passports or live in the other end of the country.Also, summer in Lebanon is marriage season. Most Lebanese work outside of Lebanon, and most prospective couples look forward to summer to tie the knot. To marry in Lebanon in summer, you had to book a place months in advance. Wedding halls are usually booked every single day between July and September. Needless to say. Not anymore. 5 weddings to which I was invited were cancelled.When my friend heard that I got engaged while Lebanon was being bombed, she thought our story would make a good Hollywood movie. Perhaps, but I’d rather have real fireworks, not ones dropped by Israeli Jet planes", posted by Mustapha at The Beirut Spring
"I know them. I worked with them. I made friends amongst them. Together we had built a fragile bridge between our two cultures. Yet, as with every other bridge built over the years, it was cruelly destroyed by barbarism. Only this was with my blessing. This is one bridge I don’t want to rebuild", posted by and at The Perpetual Refugee
"What does this mean? I'm not sure. I'm too sad and overtired to think about it right now, to be honest. But I know this is significant. I do think about the fact that many of these bloggers are from their respective countries' educated, liberal elite and I am sure that amongst them are some future leaders. When this latest round of pointless death and destruction ends, when the anger dissipates, perhaps they will remember the personal connections with their "enemy." Think about what it means, if the next generation of Lebanese and Israeli politicians and business leaders have intimate and personal knowledge of the others' humanity. They won't forget that, even while there was a war going on, they were able to talk to one another and express their feelings. It's not so easy to kill someone you know. It's possible to contemplate embarking on a joint development project or business endeavour with someone from the other side - if you know him or her as a human being, not simply "the former enemy.", posted by Lisa Goldman at On the Face


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