Thursday, August 17, 2006

At noon, all the streets are empty. Is Nasrallah on TV? Well, no, it is Walid Jumblat. "Sorry, I have to run, I am watching Walid Beik in the cafe" being echoed in Hamra affected me with a different sense of deja-vu. It is the revenge of the "14th of March" patriots. "We were listening exclusively to your Nasrallah, now you have to listen to our Jumblat". What is it with you people? The least you can do is to give us, and yourselves, a time out. "No, no, I have to watch the Jumblatian attack and debate it stupidly with my friends". The patriotic feeling that Lebanese citizens surfaced out during the war is gone. No more talks about Marwahin, Qana or Shiyah. It is in the past now. Make way to internal political confusion and sectarian hatred.
  • Mahmoud has his smile back. This engineer who lost his house and his two offices, not to mention a large part of his investment, was having his espresso and his cigarette, in the same place and at the same time. I used to set up my watch when he comes. "I finally erased the past month from my memory, I am happy that my family is fine and that is the most important thing for me. I was lucky to be successful so fast, and I will do it all over again", he said happily.
  • Alaa knew from the second week of war that his apartment in Dahieh was reduced to ashes. When I asked him about his plans after Nasrallah's promise to pay the families war indemnity, he answered: "Do you know how many families are in line. I will have to wait months for my turn". Nagging is part of the Lebanese culture.
  • It has been more than a month since I last saw Sanaa. She spent her time during the war at her grandfather's house in a relatively safe village in the Bekaa, much safer than her apartment in Dahieh. "Due to the village's location, I could watch the Israeli missiles being dropped on bridges and houses. After a while, I got bored, but the sound was terrifying", she started by saying. After an espresso sip, she continued: "Since I wasn't working, I don't have enough money to go back to university. I saved just enough to buy an airplane ticket. I am traveling to visit a cousin in Germany. There, universities are much cheaper and I will try to apply".
  • A truck full of broken furniture parked down the furnished apartments next to Cafe Younes. It was the remains of a house in the South. It is everything this family owned. Hezbollah was paying $ 12,000 per family, they were one of the first to collect the indemnity and they are staying in a $ 300 per month furnished apartment. "Nasrallah won't leave us", I heard them saying, "We are staying here till we find a way to rebuild our house in the South".
  • A very polite Egyptian photographer came for his last cappuccino. "I am going back to Irak", he said, "There is no more work for me here and there, nothing has changed, people are still getting killed".
  • A "we" and "you" argument broke Hamra's afternoon street silence. Five people were debating Jumblat's speech. A machiavelic experimental scientist would have given them guns, just to see, but the results would have been obvious. As I was painfully watching them, the plan of leaving the country came back to me.

The best thing to do, to erase the pictures of this last debate, is to go back to the movie I was watching on DVD. Don't get tempted to watch a "smart-non-Hollywood-independent-low-budget" movie. You will interrupt it in the first five minutes. A nice romantic comedy will do. So, I am going back to "Prime" featuring Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman, and if you haven't seen it yet, don't.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

meh its a bad movie ??
i was planning to get it on dvd...i thought the AD was great ...and so is the idea ....what went wrong ??
(inno meryl streep and Uma wont do sth bad ?? wud they ???)

2:40 PM  
Anonymous sana'a said...

akh ya amino :( i wish i got bored.. my already disturbed sleeping patterns are forevermore screwed-i still cant sleep.and most of the time i actually do, theres another f16 cruising over dahieh..in just one month,i lost the better part of (my) life..i lost thousands of sisters&brothers&children, more thousands of houses-homes-whose stories ill never hear,i lost sleep&the ability to dream..i got american-made israeli fireworks on my 21st birthday tho,only problem:i turned 50.i lost the ability to love/have faith in/not pass judgements&all else my own people..all that i might be ableto deal with someday,but what broke me-what ill never overcome was that i lost my country,MY home(land)-and i fear i didnt lose it to the isrealis(enemy),i fear i lost it to my own peoples' ignorance&blindness..i came out of that month with the murdering realization of a truth ive tried to ignore for sooo long; this war-OUR war-has no end..so halla2,3 days from now,im doing the one single thing i thought/knew/believed i would NEVER do;im leaving lebanon..im going to make whatever life i can in jordan-german fuckers never gave none of us that stupid visa.. i love you amin :)

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