Thursday, July 20, 2006

July 21, 2006 - Evacuation Day

It is time for evacuation. Part of me wishes there won’t be room for me on the ship, or better yet, that a sudden ceasefire will make evacuation completely unnecessary. Beirut briefly came back to life yesterday; restaurants were open, and people were out talking and laughing, the way I have always read that Beirutis dealt with war during the dark times. But underneath it all is the constant presence of something sinister and dark. This sinister entity reminded me of its presence through two heavy explosions in the evening; once again my building shook and the windows rattled.

In a way I am ashamed to leave. I feel like I’m abandoning the Lebanese who cannot leave. But then again, already people look at me with a puzzled look and say “You still here?” I know my presence here does no one any good; in fact, I’m just one more mouth to feed in days of humanitarian disaster. Even if fighting ended today, and it shows no signs of doing so, Lebanon has been dealt a blow from which she will no doubt rise, but which has set her recovery back by several years. Perhaps physical recovery can be swiftly achieved with international aid, but the long-term damage is of another kind. Lebanon’s sons and daughters were returning after many years overseas. Now they turn away again. There is no way to live here, they say, life is just too difficult. And who can blame them? After all the years of civil war, in which every conceivable local-national-regional-global player was at some point involved, and after the recent years of struggle to throw away the yoke of foreign occupation, everything appears to be crushed in a heartbeat underneath a military boot.

The whole experience of “evacuation” is bizarre. I stopped by my off-campus apartment yesterday only to find a note from my British roommate. He’s been airlifted out of here by helicopter. Another note informs his friend to keep what he wants and sell what he doesn’t want. Windows are open, curtains are fluttering in the wind, and half of my roommate’s wardrobe is left behind, since he could only bring a small bag on the helicopter. Plants that won’t be watered, foodstuff in the fridge that will just be there until someone returns or someone new moves in; it’s just a very strange feeling you get being in an abandoned apartment. It was the first time, I’m ashamed to say, that I was gripped by a slight panic; a feeling that I would be the last one left behind. But that was only for a split second, because then I realized that millions of Lebanese have nowhere to go. They can’t get on a helicopter or a boat and leave. They are doomed to stay here and be extras in whatever horrific show Israel and Hizballah will put on. Again, I feel ashamed. I leave you now, Lebanon, with a quote from one of your greatest sons, Kahlil Gibran:
Brief were my days among you, and briefer still the words I have spoken. But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come again, and with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak. Yea, I shall return with the tide, and though death may hide me, and the greater silence enfold me, yet again will I seek your understanding. And not in vain will I seek. If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in words more kin to your thoughts.
B'hebbak, ya Loubnan. Stay strong.

17 Comments:

Blogger nounou :) said...

I wish you a safe return home.. and just remember beautiful Beirut will be here when you get back.. stronger than you are leaving her and if possible, even more breathtaking than you first saw her. I believe in Lebanon.. i believe in my people and i believe that we will make it.. what doesn't break you only makes you stronger.. one more time Lebanon, we can do it!

11:16 PM  
Blogger DhiaK said...

Aiwa, ya Nounou! Ba'ad marra -"B'tirja Loubnan, ah'san, akhdar ma'ken".

Safe journey, Andy.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Kam Ling said...

I think I can understand your love to Lebanon and really appreciate that. Yet, it is obviously better for you to go now especially you can do nothing there but leaving your family and friends worrying about you, as well as being one more mouth to be fed and one more person to be taken care of. To have a safe journey and looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Lebanonese - although I didn't know any of you, wish you good luck, be tough and stay strong.

Wish from Hong Kong.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Robert Gregory said...

Please stay safe,

I wish you only the best and you have a wonderful blog!

In solidarity,

Rob,

http://insolidarity.blogsome.com/

10:02 AM  
Blogger Haustat1 said...

Israel continued its relentless atrocity campaign against Lebanon and Palestine today. The Zionist state murdered more than 300 Arab civilians and demolished much of the infrastructure in various towns and cities. Only one thing seems louder than the sound of US-made jets and tanks that are unleashing genocide on Arabs: the deafening silence that has blanketed Arab capitals. The US has voiced full support for Israel’s aggression and has given Israel the green light to continue its massacres in Lebanon and Palestine. This support was confirmed when America blocked recent efforts at the Security Council to push for a cease fire and bring an end to Israeli war crimes. In addition, the New York Times and others have recently reported that the US has given Israel the green light to continue its mass slaughter of Lebanese and Palestinians. And the Zionist US Congress has voted overwhelming to endorse Israel’s aggression against the Arab World.

Rather than voice great outrage against America for endorsing Israel’s genocidal assault in the Middle East, the reaction across Arab capitals has been painfully muted. The meaning and implications of such silence deserves further discussion.

Lebanon:

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has appropriately condemned Israel’s barbaric atrocity campaign against his country and people. However, he has said virtually nothing about America’s role in helping to prolong Lebanon’s suffering. Although his government has no official diplomatic relations with Israel, it has maintained a cozy relationship with the current war criminal administration in Washington. It seems irrational and inconceivable for Lebanon, a country whose people are being exterminated left and right and whose infrastructure is being destroyed, to have open diplomatic relations with another government that is openly advocating its destruction and supporting its enemy. By maintaining communication with America, the pro-US government of Siniora appears to be in bed with the enemy.

The current silence vis-à-vis America of Fouad Siniora and others in Beirut - including the pro-US, anti-Syrian voices at the Daily Star of Lebanon – exposes an egregious level of hypocrisy. Over one year ago, this anti-Syrian contingent sang America’s tune loudly by heaping scorn and unprecedented condemnation against Syria before the entire world. Their vociferous display of mean-spiritedness and hostility against the Syrian people was fully coordinated with a demagogic, barbaric and tyrannical US administration that has been destroying Iraq and spilling the blood of tens of thousands of its people. The behavior of the anti-Syrian camp, in retrospect, is disgusting for its streak of blatant opportunism. One needs to ask the anti-Syrian camp several questions. As you helplessly sit back and watch the despicable horror and terror that the criminal state of Israel and its US ally unleash on you, what has Syria ever done by comparison to Lebanon? Why aren’t you displaying even a fraction of the intense anger and rage against America that you’ve proven so capable of displaying toward Syria?

The pro-US, anti-Syrian camp, per America’s calling, apparently decided to convict Syria of a killing for which Syrian involvement has never - even to this day - been proven. The pro-US, anti-Syrian camp in Lebanon decided to seize the ship of opportunism that America fielded its way and, in the process, chose to demolish the consensus of the Al Ta’if Accord intended to end the decades-old Lebanese Civil War. The daily flag-waving protesters who dumped a barrage of anti-Syrian taunts while sailing Washington’s ship of opportunism were more eager to challenge pro-Syrian groups with counter-demonstrations than consider the implications of their actions on Lebanon’s future. They chose to entirely play the amnesia game and forget that Syria was invited into Lebanon by a Christian-dominated Lebanese government and ultimately remained there on the basis of Lebanese consensus for the sake of peace.

Even while Israel was just beginning its atrocity campaign in Gaza several weeks ago, Washington’s anti-Syrian allies in Beirut continued to show that Israel is not alone in its desire to oppress and finish off its Palestinian population. As Israel’s murderous arm descended on Gaza, the Lebanese government continued debating ways to intensify the appalling oppression, misery and marginalization of its own Palestinian community. Such debates have only served to heighten the vulnerability of Lebanon’s Palestinians to the savage, barbaric anti-Muslim forces that exacted unforgivable atrocities on Palestinians in the past. The anti-Syrian camp has even refused to allow a true memorial to be erected in Lebanon for the victims of Sabra and Shatila. As such, they have demonstrated a complete inability and/or unwillingness to look within themselves regarding past and present mistakes. By failing to look within - and by choosing to perpetually scapegoat others for Lebanon’s problems – it is difficult to envision how Lebanon can ever truly be whole. The anti-Syrian camp continues to viciously demonize Palestinians, Syrians, Iran, etc. -- anyone except the United States. Sadly, while the anti-Syrian contingent remains mum, the war criminal US administration and the Zionist US media continue to cheer, gloat and celebrate as Israel relentlessly drops bombs all across Lebanon and mercilessly massacres her people.

Nobody should ask the Lebanese people to suffer for others. That is both wrong and it is unfair. But it is also wrong and unfair for Lebanese to jump on a ship of opportunism built on lies and false accusations and belonging to an enemy that is bent on destroying and slaughtering the Arab people. And it is shameful and painful to watch Lebanon debate ways to make the lives of Palestinians in Lebanon even more unbearable and miserable than ever before while Israel wreaks genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.
Lebanon should not have diplomatic relations with any country that is destroying Lebanon’s Arab neighbors and simultaneously helping Israel annihilate Lebanon. Period.

Elsewhere in the Middle East:

The silence of Arab leaders in capitals such as Riyadh, Amman, Cairo, and the US-occupied Green Zone in Baghdad should come as no surprise to anyone. These capitals appear to represent a fifth column for America’s Zionist-Crusader efforts to exterminate the Arab and Muslim peoples. The leaders in these capitals have uttered virtually no criticism whatsoever against America’s own barbaric actions and its support for Israel’s atrocities. One can envisage several actions that could have be taken to send a clear, decisive and unequivocal message of outrage to America regarding her abhorrent crimes. Such actions might have included cutting off diplomatic relations with America and halting trade and economic relations, including oil sales. Instead, Arab leaders as usual have chosen the option of silence, offering Israel and America a virtual green light to continue slaughtering Arabs with impunity.

The self-proclaimed leader of the world’s Shi’a Muslims in Najaf is also noticeably quit these days. As Israel annihilates the Shi’a population of southern Lebanon, Iranian-born Ayatollah Ali Sistani is nowhere to be found. Isn’t he supposed to be representing these people and speaking out about their suffering? Why is Sistani remaining silent about the joint US-Israeli annihilation campaign against the Shi’a Muslims in southern Lebanon and about the barbaric US invader-occupiers who are committing mass atrocities in Iraq?

The silence that permeates Arab capitals as Israel continues its aggression in Lebanon is both painful and deafening. Over the long term, such silence will contribute more to the ongoing suffering of Arabs than the gargantuan terror of US-Israeli bombs and missiles. Such silence will also undoubtedly have devastating repercussions for Lebanon’s future.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Haustat1 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:15 PM  
Blogger Acadian10 said...

Just think, no one would have to exacuate if it wasn't for the Hezbollah's kidnappings. Fool yourself eitherway into blaming Israel...

11:10 PM  
Blogger Acadian10 said...

And there's Lebanese people disrespecting Canada, I didn't appreciate that one!

11:11 PM  
Blogger baarinco said...

hi,
um a lebanese student in french, i read ur article, it's very interestaning, and i would tell u: by the person like u, u can transport the really pics what's happened in lebanon to the europen people.
finally: lebanon will stay libanon strong and country of cedars.

12:14 PM  
Blogger baarinco said...

hi,
um a lebanese student in french, i read ur article, it's very interestaning, and i would tell u: by the person like u, u can transport the really pics what's happened in lebanon to the europen people.
finally: lebanon will stay libanon strong and country of cedars.

12:19 PM  
Blogger bosnian said...

God bless You...

I feel being together with you...

3:37 AM  
Blogger bosnian said...

God bless You

3:38 AM  
Blogger wys said...

Hello,

My name is Paula and I am spanish

I follow your blog, theres is a real 'public space' in internet, where we can find a lot of humanity and even love.

I posted some of your words in my own one, as I wrote about Beirut and news + report from people who is living there. I hope it is ok for you

http://weiyisze.blogspot.com/

It is painfull that we can not stop that atrocity, I trust at least anyone can make someone else feel better

Wish you my best

Paula

2:10 AM  
Blogger Bloody_Islam said...

You see, Islam cannot blissfully thrive without red hot blood—the human blood. As a car cannot run without petrol, so is Islam. The fuel that propels Islam is blood. When infidels’ blood is difficult to shed, Islam spills its own blood. Blood is the life-line of Islam, violence its hallmark, hate its foundation. Therefore, when needed, Islam must cannibalize itself, just to run its own course, set by Muhammad, the last Prophet.

This cannibalism is nothing new in Islam. Islamic history is profusely replete with many such savage anecdotes of cannibalization.

During the last few decades we have witnessed much such Islamic cannibalism. The most recent event was the Iran-Iraq war, in which millions of Muslims were killed, not by the infidels (kafirs) but by Muslims. Undoubtedly, in not-too-distant a future, we are bound to witness many such events of Islamic cannibalism.

Here, I shall illustrate a few such cases of Islamic cannibalism as was perpetrated during the nascent stages of Islam, and ponder if we could learn few a few lessons from those gruesome episodes.

The earliest example of Islamic cannibalism, strangely, is found in the Holy Qur’an, in verses 9:108-110! These verses refer to the gutting of a rival mosque on the instruction of none but Muhammad (pbuh) when he was returning after his expedition to Tabuk, a resorceful town in the Syrian-Byzantine territory.

6:12 AM  
Blogger sweetbreeze408 said...

Thank you for sharing your experience.

6:52 AM  
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