Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Shame on the World!

The Israeli's offensive in Lebanon hit 8 days now. Lebanese are paying a price for a decision they didn't make and do not own. Every day exposes the international community and the US administration for what they really are--impotent, racist criminals themselves. A nation is pleading for help and the whole world is turning their backs on them!

It's a shame to see what's happening in Lebanon, a country that suffered decades and decades of war and managed despite all that to rebuild and rise above all other countries in the region and the Arab world. I still ask, what's the point in destroying the best democracy in the region?

I happened to move to Lebanon in 1991, just at the end of the civil war. The ugliness of the war was everywhere, on the streets, the buildings, the infrastructure, and most prominent on the faces and morale of the people. You can rebuild a country, but can you restore morale?

The psychological damage of war is much more grave than the physical damage. People don't have the same view of life as those living in peaceful countries. Despair is part of who they are, living everyday as it comes, no guarantees, no worries about tomorrow. What a life and what a destruction of human life!

During my seven-year stay in Lebanon, I had witnessed many Israeli and non-Israeli attacks. I was astonished beyond comprehension by the reaction--or better yet, lack of it--of those around me treating it business as usual. I was horrified and scared like I've never been or could have ever imagined possible. The destruction, the ruins, tangible and intangible, were horrific! I have seen only a glimpse of the war, really, so imagine the scale of damage to those who lived through it for decades, the generations that were brought to life in the middle of it and knew no other way of life.

The current attacks on Lebanon brought all those feelings back; it's hard to explain what feelings war provokes in a person who lived through it, in it, to those who are watching from the outside. The best I can do is that a dark gloomy cloud engulfs you and all your senses, and you see things only through that dark cloud...

I left Lebanon after seven years, and it took me well over two years to recover the psychological damage and regain my sanity and my self. My two children, Ennis and Jenna, are still living in Lebanon. I could not take them with me because of the many restraints and inequality women still face in the Arab and Muslim world. Even though it is very clear to everyone involved that the children are better off leaving Lebanon--and they do have more than one place to go to--their wellbeing is not superordinate to those involved in making the decision on behalf of the kids. My heart goes out to them and I wish they don't have to witness and live a war... My hands are tied and my heart is knotted!

From Lebanon's The Daily Star:

Diplomats leave Lebanese civilians to pay for a decision they didn't make

Seven days into Israel's war on Lebanon, there is no hint of effective international diplomacy on the horizon. The Lebanese are being forced to accept that they are alone in the world, without a friend who can defend them against an undeserved onslaught. The Syrians, who many have argued share a healthy portion of blame for the current crisis in Lebanon, are too busy saving their own skins, threatening fierce reprisals if their nation comes under attack. The Iranians, also fingered in this latest wave of hostilities, are cozily sitting back and enjoying the luxury of sacrificing Lebanon and Hizbullah in their quest to sweeten a deal with the West over their nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia is abandoning its role as a regional peacemaker, placing all of the blame squarely upon Hizbullah and Iran, and expressing no hint of outrage over the collective punishment and destruction in Lebanon. They apparently have adopted the belief that the more than 220 innocent civilians killed are among the "elements" in Lebanon who are responsible for the current crisis.

Egypt, the home of an ineffective Arab League, which cannot even muster the diplomatic will to hold a summit, is busy scolding Hizbullah for its misdeeds. As Lebanon burns for a seventh straight day, we see no sense of urgency on the part of Egyptian leaders to convene emergency talks among regional heads of state.

Even in Israel, there is no sign of diplomatic efforts on the part of leading politicians. The rookie Israeli government - which has achieved record destruction at a scale and pace rarely seen, even in this part of the world - has stepped aside and let Israeli generals take the lead. They fail to see the irony in the fact that their commanders have been pounding the very army that they expect to impose order over Lebanese territory.

And the Europeans and the Americans are blindly following as the Israelis lead us all down a treacherous path. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, formerly an advocate for the Lebanese people, is still lingering in Washington, apparently reluctant to even try to come and resolve this conflict.

In these darkest of hours, with the skies of Lebanon and the brains of international leaders clouded by the haze of war, the Lebanese are desperately searching for an outstretched hand of diplomacy. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has pleaded with the world to stop Israel's "barbaric" attacks on the country. But the world has effectively abandoned the Lebanese people to their misery and turned a blind eye as they suffer the consequences of a decision that they themselves did not make. Instead of sending us their diplomats, the world is sending us its boats and buses for the refugees who hold foreign nationalities.

The Lebanese who don't hold dual citizenship have no choice but to hunker down in their basements and shelters and watch the return of an international war that has been played out again and again on their territory. This time, their beloved homeland has been chosen as a battleground in which the Israelis will brutalize the Lebanese in order to teach the Iranians a lesson on behalf of the West. The war-weary Lebanese have no choice but to pay the ultimate price and once again bear the brunt of the consequences of world diplomats' failure to resolve a crisis peacefully.


  1. some how u need to get ur kids to the us - r u a citizen? If u r, I believe the us will help u bring those kids here. regardless of pyschological damage they can be saved and rehabilitated. make it a priority to get them here.

  2. Do not let Israel or the U.S.A. fool you. Neither care about the Arab countries or people. If innocent people die (and they happen to be Arab or African) it is really no big deal to either of these governments. Any way you look at the Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq situations it is no win for anyone. Americans do not understand this and they are just digging themselves into a bigger whole now and for future generations. All Arab countries need to unite to make any difference in what is happening. Without that type of unity, the Arabs will always be sold short.