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Grown men do cry
by perpetualrefugee (reposted)
Friday Jul 21st, 2006 7:52 AM
I’ve just gotten off the phone. My good friend, an architect. Grown man. Shi’ite. Crying. Seeking comfort with a friend not of his sect. And receiving it. He’s here. Safe. His mother is there. In danger. South Lebanon. Under a barrage. Supposedly taking refuge in a ‘Christian’ village with Christian friends. No refuge. Just bombs. Terror. Misery. And unity.
I’ve never seen our people so united. I just came back from a depot for humanitarian aid, organized by a friend of a friend. Within a 24 hour notice period, hundreds of Lebanese responded to the call. Over delivering. As usual. It was full of everything. From laptops to children’s toys. Food. Clothes (all branded of course). We may be displaced, but we’ll never look it. Car after car dropping off items. Offering assistance. I’ve never seen our people so united.

I’ve received news from family in Lebanon about how homes have been opened up for fleeing compatriots. Food is being shared. Love is being shown. And the bombs keep falling.

We take comfort in groups. Every day. Every night. Listening. Talking. Comforting. Planning for our re-emergence. We recount the dark days of our internal conflicts. And we know that those days have disappeared.

I haven’t cried yet. I want to. But I can’t. I take solace in our abilities. In our strength. And I see that our destiny has yet to be realized. But we will realize it, together. As one nation. Under one flag. With a shared history. A deep, rich, glorious history.

Today, Lebanon is united.
Tomorrow will bring challenges. And we are ready.
by perpetualrefugee (reposted)
Friday Jul 21st, 2006 7:53 AM
Jido is a proud man. Late 80s. Recently widowed. Still getting over losing his true love. Crying each day. Always so happy whenever I make my traditional first stop in Lebanon to have a coffee, kiss him on the top of his head, share his argileh and talk.

In the same backyard that I used to play with him and teta those many years ago. While she would pick a fresh fig for me to eat from one of the many trees. Or akkidinyi. Berries of all sorts.

The same house that I was raised. And to which I returned during the cold years of war.

The same house that I used to poke my fingers into the bullet holes. And watch Israeli planes fly over, intimidating us those many years ago.

He never left that house. Through all those years of misery. He never left. He raised his family. He gave us hope.

In his house, he organized meetings to ensure people of the neighbourhood always were taken care of.

In his house, all sects were welcome. All people came by, to pay their respects to this man of men.

Teta recently died in this house. Quickly. Painfully. Of cancer. He has not been the same man since. A shell of a super being.

But he is my hero. One of several.

I had spoken with him each day of this current genocide.
I had begged him to leave his house and seek safety elsewhere. The bombs were falling everywhere around him. And yet, he stood his ground. He would not leave his history. He would not leave the memorial he had built for his love. Teta.

While watching the news yesterday I was angrily watching the bombs fall in real time. And I noticed the neighborhood was familiar. I noticed that the neighborhood was that in which I was born. Raised. And had just left 5 days ago.

I saw a street and a landmark I distinctly knew. I went cold. It was Jido's street. Bombs were landing on Jido's street.

I couldn't get through. Calling. No line. No network. Freaking out. Calling. Calling again. No network. No line. Fear having taken over. Praying. Banging my fists against the table. Rage flowing through me at dangerous levels.

No line. No network. No hope.

My sister then called me. Crying. Screaming. She had gotten through. Our neighborhood was under attack. And all I could do was watch it happen. On tv. As if it was some Hollywood production. Sanitized from this view from afar.

An hour had passed. I got through to my mother. She had sent one of my uncles to forcefully remove him from his home. His sanctuary. Dodging the Israeli target practice. While the stocks of several U.S. defence suppliers must have been rising.