Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sumar á Líbanon

Well, it seems that just like last summer, this one is shaping up to be a bad one (or a 'hot summer' as people say in this case). Just two weeks ago, Jo and I were still thinking about going there this summer to have a wedding celebration there, with all my family (following the civil wedding in State College and Thai wedding ceremony in Seattle last year). But two weeks ago, my parents told me to postpone the plans, because things were unstable. I knew they were right, but I was a bit upset nonetheless.

Over the last few days, troubles erupted in North Lebanon, in and around a Palestinian camp. An extremist militia, after a botched robbery attempt, attacked army posts and killed about two dozen soldiers that day, so things got fucked up very quickly, and they have been involved in a fight with the army till now. Now, Lebanese politics are very complicated (seriously...), so I can't explain it in depth here... But let's just say that for each act, there are tons of different conspiracy theories that could actually be true. So it's often hard to know the real causes and motives. But, personally, I suspect at least a partial Syrian involvement in this stuff. We'll see.

Two days ago, a bomb exploded in East Beirut, near a shopping mall. Yesterday, I got a call from my parents, telling me not to worry... as there was a bomb 300 meters from our house (in a neighborhood named Verdun). This area down the street from us was targeted with a car bomb, and a whole building burned.

Now, there has been shit going on for the last two years, but when it hits your neighborhood... It's different. It's scarier. And it angers/hardens me in ways that I don't like. But that's the way it is (Interestingly enough, my mood at such times often oscillates between black humor, anger, fear and sadness).

I've felt this way last year too, during the summer war between Israel and Hizbollah. Though the whole thing was very stressful, the damage and/or destruction of familiar places (beaches covered in oil, bombed roads and bridges) always hit me very hard. But still, that would be nothing compared to loved ones being hurt.

Anyway, I really hope things don't continue on this path. This is not what my neighborhood is supposed to look like.

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