Muzna Al-Masri

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? 

Needing a miracle to hold my beliefs accountable

She was almost my age, my mother, back in the summer of 1982, that summer which holds my best-conserved memories. I look at myself in the mirror and I almost see her face staring back at me. The fine wrinkles on the forehead, a few grey hairs, and the new habit I am acquiring of pulling my hair up. How does one describe the changes in one’s features? Like looking at old pictures and knowing you don’t look as young anymore, though you also know you haven’t changed. Maybe more than anything, it is the eyes that betray us; - tired eyes through Kohol, our traditional black eyeliner, announcing to you and to the world that you are at war. 

Reconnecting the Displaced: An Update from Lebanon

It is Tuesday and Mariam has a smile on her face this afternoon; something that I haven’t seen since Saturday. She finally heard from her family. They are safe, she says, after a hard trip from Tyre to Sidon. She has been staying at my house since Thursday morning, trapped in Beirut after the roads to her native village Siddiqine, just 12 kilometers west of Tyre were blocked. Her only alternative refuge was an apartment in Haret Hreik, too close to Hizbullah’s headquarters to be safe. I am relieved that she is here, out of harm’s way in my house that now hosts many other friends. I think of her family, this one is not their first escape. They fled Siddiqine last week and stayed with relatives in Tyre. 

Mohammed and his family in Tyre

Saturday July 15 — It is not me they should be worrying about, my friends from countries around the world who have been calling since Wednesday; after all I live in one of the safest areas of this country, next to embassies and prime ministers. I have water and electricity and, above all, the Internet. If they are to worry, they are to think of the tens of people I am calling everyday. People in the south of Lebanon who are under the shelling, and isolated from the rest of the country. If I am to share a diary I will not share mine, but that of my friend Mohammed and his family.