Imad Martada

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. 

When Rain Becomes the Nightmare: National Day Against Cluster Bombs!

When it comes to cluster bombs, rain was again an issue; a big tent was put up in Martyr s square in downtown Beirut to host the event to avoid the pouring sky. Many NGOs, local and international, gathered to raise awareness about this indiscriminate weapon and to voice a demand for a ban on its manufacturing, distribution and usage. School children and adults toured the multiple sections of the event, an extensive photo exhibit revealing the perilous impact of these weapons in Southern Lebanon; a booth and area where specialists illustrated the stages in constructing prosthetics and artificial limbs, and where the public could also try them along with wheel chairs; and a puppet show for children raising awareness amongst the children. 

UNIFIL: What are they here for?

Resolution 1701 ignores, apparently deliberately, the investigations held not only by the United Nations itself, but also independent investigations conducted by international organizations like Human Rights Watch, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International — only to name a few — which find Israel responsible for serious violations on many levels, some irreversible. Resolution 1701 equates between an act of invasion and aggravated damage to the Lebanese infrastructure, environment, and population both Lebanese and Palestinian, with the legitimate response and (in comparison to Israel’s military power) the microscopic military power of Hezbollah. 

"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”.