July 17, 2006

A little more about Lebanon

I was in Lebanon about a month ago visiting a friend. Everyone I met there was extremely kind, generous, and hospitable. The terrain was beautiful, full of towering mountains, seaside havens, and lush forests. It was heaven.

Beirut itself was teeming with life during my stay. The nights were full of raucous celebrations, especially when Lebanon's adopted team for the World Cup, Brazil, scored. Strangers smiled as I passed by during the day. And the call to prayer was stunning. It would always put a smile to my face.

What is happening now is a tragedy.

To be clear, I am not endorsing either side. I am not sure what other response Israel could have taken. But perhaps I am not creative enough.

Sometimes we see statistics scroll along the bottoms of our televisions and don't really understand what they mean. Sure, fifteen people died during such-and-such bombing. And then we forget about it. But how does it affect those who are closest to it? Most importantly, how will this affect the younger generation of Lebanese? They will be the doctors, teachers, lawyers, and statesmen who will shape the Middle East in the years to come. And few media outlets have reported their reactions.

The friend I visited (who is thankfully back in the United States) has posted some of her own thoughts as well as the thoughts of her Lebanese friends about what is happening now. I believe more information is almost always better, and I hope you will take a moment to read it. I would encourage anyone with similar stories (whether Israeli or Lebanese) to leave a comment linking to them.

The Link


  1. Anonymous2:36 AM

    "They will be the doctors, teachers, lawyers, and statesmen who will shape the Middle East"

    You forgot about future terrorists and hate mongers.

    Hezbollah is a political party, facist, just like the Nazi party ... This war is societies way of cleaning house.

    I wish Israel victorious and the peope of Lebanon safe ... Life is not precious and individuals plights are simply anticdotes in a much more complex situation.

    Death to A'merkin's

  2. to anonymous:

    i think you misunderstood varun's point. he said that civilians are being killed and i think he is correct to assume that young civilians generally grow up to be "doctors, teachers, lawyers, and statesmen," both in lebanon and in the rest of the world. a civilian is not a "future terrorist" nor a "hate monger."

    on another note, individual anecdotes do, in fact, matter. one of my friends has left beirut for his village, another has moved to a different part of the city. both cases are representative of the internal refugee crisis that is occurring presently in lebanon. my uncle, who lives outside be'er sheva, israel, is concerned with the number of people dying in lebanon, though he fears hezbullah and hopes that his country's military initiative removes it as a threat. his views are indicative of the concerns of many israelis. i saw two of my friends on cnn last week because they were among the american evacuees. this demonstrates the perceived severity of the conflict from the outside.

    if you look at what is happening now and merely observe that there is an internal refugee crisis in lebanon, dilemmas of both morality and security, and few expectations for a rapid resolution, then your understanding of this "much more complex conflict" lacks a great deal of nuance.

    i was the one who was in lebanon.

    yours sincerely,

  3. Anonymous5:26 PM

    I quote your article from above:

    "The probably deliberate murder of 4 UN peacekeepers by a whacko racist aggressor state is not front-page, headline news? I guess washingtonpost.com was busy running that picture of Nelly, and nytimes.com has that sweet Prey story. Portal technology sure is awesome!"

    Yet in this blurb you say:

    "To be clear, I am not endorsing either side."

    Of course you aren't.

  4. Anonymous,

    This blog has more than one author. Perhaps it was unclear to you.