Renee Codsi

Letters from Beirut: Grasping on to normalcy

As much as we may have seen here in Beirut, it is still nothing compared to the south. Sour/Tyre is devastated the death and destruction is hard to stomach. It is my favorite place in the south - the oldest inhabited city in the world, with incredible ruins, art, beaches and most of all the most relaxed and welcoming of people. The sea turtle reserve where I work is down there. It’s a secret I have been keeping from a lot of people because it is my safe haven and I did not want it to get crowded with people I may be trying to get a breather from. The women there are OK as of now. 

Letter from Beirut: Eerily silent in the city

July 15 morning update: After all the retaliations it was eerily quiet after 1:00 am in Beirut Friday night. Israeli ships could be seen encroaching the perimeter of the northern seaside. The Israeli planes were too busy hitting what they had left in the south and beginning their northern operations to bother with Beirut.  We heard the planes all night but they were in the distant as they passed over and kept on trucking up north. The fires are still burning in Bir Hassan from yesterdays attacks. Smoke billows in formations like cumulonimbus clouds. 

Letter from Beirut: They’re Back

July 12 2006 — Hey everyone just wanted to let you all know that all our friends and family are all O.K. A lot of them are unable to go home in the south since the roads have been destroyed, so we all have friends crashing at our houses in Beirut till things calm down. The situation has been escalating this week but no one thought it would get this far, with air raids a nightly occurrence. This morning at 5:30am, I woke to the sounds of Israeli planes coming to hit the airport. We have been set back into the dark ages with power cuts, fuel crisis and Israeli ships controlling the coast and not letting anything come in or go out. 

Letter from Beirut: Sleeping in the day and awake in the night

July 14th, Morning update — Was awakened again by the Israeli planes in the sky and missiles form the sea. The Daahiye in Beirut (densely populated Shiite neighborhood) was hit all night long. The first planes came at 3:30am, it has been raining ever since. They hit the power plants in the south on their way up to Beirut along with a bombardment of the Damascus Highway (the freeway linking Beirut to the Bekka and on to Syria). We are cut off, trade and supply wise, from the rest of the world. 

Letter from Beirut: Return to the Dark Ages

July 14th, Evening update — Well the entire Daahiye is debilitated…they have been bombing all day long…the Israeli birds and sea vultures are no longer limited to nocturnal activity. They completely obliterated the roads even more than before south and east…now they are beginning with the north… The airport building itself was also hit whereas before it was limited to the runways… they fixed the take off runway earlier on Thursday and 5 planes took off loaded with passengers before the Israeli planes hit it again and obliterated the airport building itself.