south Lebanon

Meeting Ahmad on the Burnt Side of the Border

I arrived to meet Ahmad after a highly emotionally charged trip through the destroyed villages along the Israel-Lebanese border. We stood there silently sobbing, watching the forbidden land that we consider Palestine as we puffed our cigarettes along with our frustration and helplessness. On one side of the border total destruction, burnt land and graffiti of resistance; and on the other side, green fields and tidily arranged houses protected by the Israeli military. All look serene, rendering the scene all the more brutal and surreal. Borders never looked more ridiculous and painful, a winding barbed wire with fences and military roads marking the separation, cutting through a land that looks very much alike. 

"Popcorn" bombs: The casualties continue

Yasmine is 11 years old, from a small village in the south of Lebanon and a good tour guide around her family’s garden as she shows you the remaining unexploded cluster bombs. Two to give a count — one is hiding high in the grape vine and the other next to a little rock. They look nonthreatening, just little odd metal canisters calling to be removed. But Yasmine is good at protecting you. She firmly asks you not to touch them nor get close to them, only to laugh later as she teases you that you can never know when the one on the grape vine would fall, “so you’d better be ready to run”. 

A Resistance to War

Last week, I made my first trip to South Lebanon since the war began. Having traveled a fifth of the world, and been present during “wars” in Iraq, Palestine, and New York - I can honestly say that I have never seen such complete devastation in my entire life. The only thing that even comes close are the pictures I’ve seen from World War II. Much of South Lebanon simply lies in ruin. In the South, Israeli warplanes occasionally break the sound barrier, rattling people as they fly off on God knows what missions. Israeli drones constantly fly overhead. The low, insistent hum of their engines serves as a continual reminder that Lebanon is not yet safe. 

South Lebanon: I still have no words

I just came from the south of Lebanon. I went to Tyre, to Hannaoui, Qana, Siddiqinne, Srifa, Bint Jbeil, Aitaroun, and Ein Ebel and many villages on the way. I so want to write but I still have no words. This was Tyre after all, the lovely city and its beach that I always wanted to call home. These were the villages at which I made friends, aided in tobacco harvesting and drank the best tea ever. I still haven’t cried, I feel I am not entitled too — if I were to cry, what would I leave to the people that have lost loved ones and houses full of memories?