A night at the symphony in Damascus

Salaam a’laykum - peace be upon you. The greeting used by Arabs and Muslims all over the world - and for the people of Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq, a poignant reminder that peace is a precious thing. Seeing the images of massacre at Qana today I don’t know where to begin - or how to stop crying. I feel I can only convey fragments - perhaps because my heart is breaking. I’m trying hard not to seem melodramatic, because I know how it is there - you read this in the midst of a long, exhausting, busy day and too many of these and it’s too much to bear, it feels so far away. 

From Syria, with love

It has been demonstrated time and time again (Iraq, Palestine and now Lebanon come to mind) that demonizing people so you can feel better about destroying everything they hold dear is not the best route to peace in any region. Therefore, I would like to offer an alternative to counteract the fear-mongering demonization of Syria that seems to be the one thing our administration is now willing to stand for (besides doing the same to Iran): The Syrian people are some of the most welcoming, kind and forgiving people I have ever encountered. Some notes from today to illustrate this point follow. 

Reliving the terror, once again

Evacuated again. Throwing up, shaking, fearing, hurting, crying. Again. And again the feeling I keep having is that terror. That terror that I had twice before. The feeling that it is gone, it’s over. You summon your courage, your optimism, your humor - the things that people love you for. You decide that tomorrow Beirut will be back, that you will see daddy again (oh how I kept turning my brain away from thoughts of him when he died - it was too difficult to fathom the reality). The idea that you will never see something or someone you love again is unbelievably terrifying when you know really that it’s over, it’s gone, and it’s getting worse every day. 

From Damascus

Every time you hear that Israel is “minimizing civilian casualties” with “surgical strikes”, know that the south of Lebanon and everyone in it, as well as those in the southern suburbs of Beirut, are decimated and continue to be bombed many times daily. Also know that Lebanon is the size of Rhode Island, or Connecticut - which one, I forget exactly - it’s small. So while bombing every bridge and road in and out of the country plus every port may seem to be better than targeting civilians, it is a slower and more insidious kind of targeting - a complete and knowing crippling of an entire nation’s ability to get help to those wounded or supplies to people who need them.