Friday, January 26, 2007

What Lies Ahead is but a Repeat of Things Behind...

As we look forward into the specter of civil war, seemingly looking forward into the past, we cringe once again and wonder “hal na7na aj7al min el j7eish?”

We see the pictures of Thursday's events an eerie reminded of days we thought long gone. They remind us of the war and the stories that came from it. On July 12 2005, the bombing of Defense Minister Elias el Murr occurred… I witnessed directly the aftermath. How different were those days. Civil war seemed far far away… certainly fear was ripe in the air but few if any foresaw the Harb Tammouz of 2006 that began one year to that day… a war that brought days far darker than those of the summer of 2005…

And today we also wonder, will we once again go through a national trauma of civil war? God knows what the days before us hold. Once, while Blacksmith Jade and I were conversing many years ago over the civil war of 1975-1991 he remarked to me “I wish I was there… you know to help out, join the Red Cross or something”. Since then I have remembered those words many a time. For those of us who remember the civil war from afar in expatriate land or who were too young to recall or participate in those events, this desire to help in such times may once again be given a chance to be fulfilled (alas!)… better yet, may it not happen altogether. I wonder too whether I will end up as one of the cadres of young men who took up arms, led by well-meaning but misguided zeal to family and land… and also misled by treacherously cunning leaders (no doubt many men were in it for great wickedness; drugs, money, power, women, blood-thirstiness, or simply hatred). I wonder sometimes whether I will be carried away by the hate and fear mongering of our leaders... in the name of defending land and loved ones of course. It seems that many of our peers at BAU on Thursday already have plenty of misguided zeal and hatred enough to carry batons, knives and kalshnikovs… to kill. The dead of that day have been said to have died for ‘national unity’ by one party leader… what an absurd and poor poor comfort to the mourning ones.

The days ahead, we are anxious, may hold the trauma of being far away from our beloved and our land while war rages (just as it caught many of us unwares in the summer)… we remember the double trauma of the war and everything it brought to our people, along with the second blow… not being there to do something! Alas, the woe of feeling sheer helplessness in the face of such evil was so heavy… all those who love Lebanon will remember 2006 as one of the worst years of their lives, whether they were displaced by that war or lost loved ones, or were watching it from a relatively safe area in the land, or somewhere abroad.

So what can we do to help now? How bout writing blogs? Oh the silliness of it… are we actually making a difference here? This blogging thing is addictive… a good way to meet people and exchange ideas that only God knows when and if they will be implemented… As we fill our minds and hearts with news reports (and blog entries), and as we believe (or not) crazy rumors, we can not but be moved in one way or another towards anger, fear and hate; more of the stuff that fed those young men at BAU… On the practical side of things I tend to be in the habit of feeding off of 2000 year old news that is Good… We can also pray; God will hear our cries, but, you know, His plans are much different than ours (for the better, that is).

Peace to you, our beloveds and to Lebanon.


  1. Thanks for the warm, sincere thoughts Abu Jaafar.

    Good post.

  2. I was just wondering the same about the whole blogging and making a difference! Even thinking of quitting it.

    Anyway I guess we're not really making a difference in the people, but only in ourselves! And also we are meeting new people who we exchange ideas and perspectives with. So it's cool.

    Keep it up.

  3. Your welcome, BJade. Allah y'khalik ya Fares. Liliane, sorry, I think it makes little difference. All things are wearisome, all streams run into the sea yet the sea is never full. I'm kidding... well sort of.

  4. Dear Abu Jaafar,

    You are right. What we write is read (soemtimes), and it might make one or two persons think twice before taking an AK and going to the streets to harm one of his brothers or sisters. Even if it only delays one of them, whichever freaking party he comes from, well, it is good enogh for me. And yes, we can't repeat it enough: the pen (or nowadays the blog) IS stronger than the sword (today the infamous kalashnikov). Because a bullet can only maim or kill one or two persons, but it can't create anything, only more hate. Words have the power to destroy too, but they can be used for good, for convincing, for politics (the real noble one, not the petty infighting that so many "leaders" in Lebanon and elsewhere tend to show to the public).


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