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from beirut to the journalist-LISTEN

All I ever wanted was to pick apart the day put the pieces back together my way. – Aesop Rock

this I feel each morning when I wake up about the events that took place the previous day in lebanon. yesterday morning I was at the port of beirut. there i saw the thousands upon thousands of people fleeing the land. They were canadian, australian and american nationals. I do not want to join them. you ask why. Here is your answer:

I was born here. On November 2, 1980 in a small hospital, walking distance form our house now, khalidi hospital. this past birthday of mine, the first one I ever celebrated in my home land, I went there. I photographed the place where my eyes first saw life, where my ears first heard sounds, where with new my nose I first smelled a scent and where my body first felt alive. yesterday I was walking on the same street now known as sidani st. I was with my boyfriend george and as we walked I turned an said to him, this is where i was born. he smiled and said, HERE!?

I’m proud of where i was born, beirut. I am not proud of the US. not proud of America’s hubris pride over the other regions of the world that it wishes to see crushed, nor am I proud of the government’s persistent measures to attempt to attain power in the middle east. 6 billion dollars a year and all the weapons of mass destruction Israel could ever want — to wipe out a nation. The bombs being dropped on us are made by boeing, and other multimillion dollar companies in the us.

this is my middle east not bush’s! this is my mother’s middle east not cheney’s! this is my father’s middle east not condoleza rice’s! and I hope he has the ability to tell her that when she arrives in the near future. I do not support post colonial imperialism, not for another second and I will not flee from the forces that be that want me to do exactly that only to affirm their exercise of freedom…sure! let’s talk about the mexicans in the us or the how about the chinese, maybe the Japanese during WWII. so free indeed. I think it would suffice to look at south central LA, new orleans (how can we forget Katrina), anacostia washignton DC or the slums of chicago’s south side. where’s the freedom? when I last checked freedom meant one with equal opportunities as well…where are those equal educations, and equal cares of health, evenly paved roads? they do not exist in the country that is now conquering terror and fighting a war on terrorism to bring democracy to the middle east. I think this is a good time to remind you that palestine and lebanon are the only 2 countries in the history of the arab world that have ever held democratic elections on a regular and consistent basis. check your history books or wikepedia for that matter. and why are we targeted? i think many of us may well know the answer to that.

This is my propaganda if that’s what you wan to call it, but it also true.

other reasons to stay in my country all encompassed by the word LOVE…father mother lover and lebanon. betrayal never an option in my book. I LOVE them all!

I never thought I would ever claim to be such a proud national. this is what the word watan means. but i guess under pressure and under shelling one changes their mind.

Today they hit baelback that some of you may have heard of, known for it’s greek and roman ruins in the beeka valley which they have also hit I believe three times now. This is a beautiful place in between the lebanon mountains ands the anit-lebanon mountain range. Monasteries, farms, and families and also known for it’s scenic views.

Today on July 22nd I went with george to the sanayeh gardens and there the families were plenty. Refugees. waiting to be relocated to a school preferably if any rooms are left…they are each given a small foam mattress, sheets if they’re lucky, a ration of clothes and food. Whomever needs medicine is given what they need. Milk and diapers are provided for babies and toys for the older children. one relief effort that a good friend of mine has put together is called www.savebeirut.org and is an effort along with www.cafeexpress.com/savebeirut . please click to see how you can help and buy a t-shirt. it comes forma poster in our house. there are many little independent projects planned for now to entertain the kids who have been sitting around in the laps of their parents, taking walks if they’re lucky with teta and jedo (grandparents)….and I am very sad to say that the government has yet to start with any relief efforts. I spoke to them today at senioura’s office and they are in the process of planning an hope to be functional by monday.

INSHALLAH! As we, over here, love to say…it means god willing. What god? Is there still a god. A friend of mine’s mother, he is actually in Haifa now though I have not head form him in over 5 days and I am now starting to worry, once told me, stopped believing in god after years and years of generations of people she saw suffer in Palestine. She truly believed that it could not be that there is a greater power above, around, somewhere not taking care of these people and allowing them to suffer in such a way for such a period of time…indefinitely?

I thought it was a ridiculous thought but I can equate it to one thing. the whole world right now!
sorry for the rant
Rayya

by [a former member] at 2006-07-23 14:21:02 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Beirut , Lebanon | Bookmark | | Report spam→

dear rayya: never apologize for what you have to say. and always remember darwish’s amazing lines: “We have a country of words. Speak speak so I can put my road on the stone of a stone.
We have a country of words. Speak Speak so we may know the end of this travel.” at a time like this, these words reflect a need and a compulsion far greater than that just of palestine. much courage. be safe. asim

by [former member] | 23 Jul 2006 15:07 | stockholm, Sweden | | Report spam→
rayya,
thankyou for your thoughts and feelings.when i read them i imagine all those people,in the lebanon,israel,palestine.all those normal,ordinary people.people who just want to get on with their lives but are trapped in the nasty,violent uncaring world of politics and money.
i have been in places that have endured great suffering,tragedy and violence but what separates your experience from mine,and why your missives are so raw, real and valuable,is that none of those places were my home.empathy is a wonderful thing.thank you for helping me to understand.

by Michael Bowring | 23 Jul 2006 19:07 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→

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Michael Bowring, photographer Michael Bowring
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Belgrade , Serbia


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