It's raining bombs; only two hours of electricity

Last night, I counted at least 12 explosions. It was a difficult night. They just wouldn’t stop. I only heard 12; others say there were at least 18. They just kept going. The Israeli army announced yesterday that they were expanding their attacks into Beirut. And indeed they did, hitting areas in central Beirut! Today has been difficult getting online. Electricity is less and less. We are down to about two hours a day. Because there is a fuel and diesel shortage, it has become difficult to keep the generators going. You know in Beirut, everyone lives in apartment buildings; with the electricity shortage, it has become hard for the elderly to move in and out of their homes. 

One-month anniversary

It has been one month now. For one month, Lebanon has had bombs drop on her. In one month, I have aged 50 years. For one month, I have cried everyday. As the days unfold, the news is only getting worse. I find myself sinking … it has become so hard to write. How many times can I keep repeating, help, Israel is targeting civilians; Israel is blowing up the whole country; infrastructure has been hit; all the highways have been hit; roads and bridges, hit; food and wheat storages, gas and fuel supplies, communication towers, ports all hit; hospitals shutting down because they have run out of fuel … the whole country is slowly being choked to death? 

Words Fail as the Bombs Fall

I haven’t been able to write. Words irritate me these days. Words distorted and twisted by power, words re-used by journalists and analysts like parrots. A country waging a war becomes a country under siege, resistance groups become terrorists. I do not want to use the language the new rulers of the world are using. I get irritated listening to myself uttering a single word they use. I haven’t been able to write also because words fail. I sat yesterday in front of the TV set, watching a broadcast about the Shayyah massacre where 43 people died. It is at the funeral; there are interviews with bereaved mothers. 

It was the rescuer who separated them

When I went home last night, I rushed to Kinda’s bed as usual. I pulled her arm and kissed her hand. For a second, I thought that her arm remained in my hand. Her small white arm left her shoulder and was in my hand. Suddenly she became parts and bits. Her foot was at one end of the bed, her leg was at the other. Parts and bits. My baby is nothing but parts and bits. Now, today, she is still in one piece. What is it that will prevent them from tearing her apart? What is it I can do to prevent them from tearing her apart? Baby Waad has in her mother’s arms. She stayed there when the building fell on them. It was the rescuer who separated them. 


A man steps inside his house. It’s a nice house, overlooking the beach. The man, however, doesn’t even look towards the window. He rushes to the kitchen, hugs his wife, takes his daughter into his arms, and makes funny faces to his toddler, trying to make him smile. The man looks tired, he hasn’t shaved in a while, and he certainly needs a shower. He takes a shower, eats lunch with his family, hands his wife a sum of money and goes to bed. The wife calls the children to go with her to the supermarket: they’ll shop for food and toys from the husband’s wage. The dad is an Israeli soldier. He works hard, Marwa knows that. 

Facing West from Arab Country

The Bush Administration encourages Israel to crush Hezbollah, perhaps because many in the US think Israel is a settler society facing exactly the situation their own country once faced. But haven’t Israelis been here long enough to recognize that simplistic example of the eastward gaze called the war on terror? Lashing out will not make Israel safe; such a strategy is based on faulty “knowledge”: it is like plowing the sea. If crushing people will make them capitulate, the people of Gaza would long ago have become docile rather than defiant. 

War is becoming a way of life

As each day goes by, war is becoming a way of life. And that is so dangerous. People must never get used to this. Today it is Lebanon … but tomorrow, who will be next? Violence begets violence. And all this attack is doing is creating more hate for the West in this region. It didn’t have to be like this. It was only a month ago that I was in the south of Lebanon listening to the radio. The station was being broadcasted from Israel — they were playing great music from the ’80s. I was listening, enjoying the tranquility, and thinking about how similar we were. A part of me wants to just sleep and wake up when this is all over with — however, I am so scared that when I do wake up, things will just be a lot worse. 

The hardest part is the waiting

We try to get together every night to talk. It helps relax, or distract us. The out-loud questioning, hypothesizing and arguing makes us feel that there is reason, that we can put the previous day’s violence into a chart and then navigate it to some conclusion, logical or otherwise. We guess which roads we could, if we wanted to, drive on tonight. Which areas of which cities we could visit. But we also know that we will not drive on those roads, and we will not visit friends, family, or even favorite restaurants and bars in different parts of the country. Increasingly, we do not mention, or fantasize about going to the south, where one of us has a family house that we visit at least once each summer. 

How can you send love with a missile?

Ussama is 19-years-old, a Palestinian refugee, born and raised in Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp. “Although I always dreamt of corresponding with my country and my hometown to see if I still have relatives there,” he writes, “I was unable to because there is no mail between Lebanon and the State of Israel. Ironically, only the missiles of Hizbullah can be sent to Israel. We are not allowed to return, but the missiles go where we cannot.” Ussama reflects on his own life amidst the escalating war, and how the roar of the F-16’s and the missiles has, amidst the worry and devastation, reconnected him to the broader world. 

They were thirty-three men and agricultural workers

They were working in the fields, to save what is left from the season while Israel constantly targets fruit trucks and convoys all over Lebanon. They were men and agricultural workers. They were workers having a break after a long day of peach and plum picking, resting to continue their day of work that extends to the night. They were men, thirty-three of them, who died because they were working at a time when we are supposed to be all sitting home scared or demonstrating against the resistance as the enemy wishes. They were maybe called: Muhammad, Ahmad, Issa, Ali, Hani Fadi, Khaled, Hassan, Tarek … maybe and maybe.