Spotlight on Israel and Lebanon/Rayya’s emails
Today woke up just like any other day as the traffic increased both in sound and volume in Ras, Beirut where my family and I tried to rest our heads last night. And still awake at 8 am…it wasn’t enough. I have been awake most of the night at first responding to the dozens of emails many of you sent in concern with what’s happening here, also chatting with friends in Canada, Chicago Boston, DC and Paris. Your concern is very sweet…but I will tell you that we are fine. Well, here in most parts of Beirut at least. With more than 50 dead and hundreds wounded we can only pray for a cease
to such bullshit.
Last night after I was awoken by the loud ending of the American movie Ali with Will Smith, I turned of the television to sleep quietly only to hear explosions in a far away distance. It’s disturbing especially when you have no idea where it’s happening. It takes the TV press at least 15 minutes to report anything of significance and I must express my disappointment with Al-Jazeera at 4 o’clock in the morning. CNN & Fox news of course bias to the Israeli extreme. As the sun was up, too shelling had ended. But this was after they had hit another large bridge, the Dahye area again after it was already hit twice yesterday, and a southern Beiruti suburb. Mostly it was hard to hear that they had targeted Mar Makhael, a neighborhood close to where we all go out at night in Ashrafieh. So during the war, Beirut was split into 2 parts, the predominantly Muslim western side and the predominantly Christian eastern side. Ashrafieh is in the East, and it is where my boyfriend George slept last night.
Now all three of three airport runways have been destroyed and they burned a majority of the oil reserves there late last night as well. We’re awaiting and expecting that the electricity will be next. With most of the bridges between Beirut and the major southern city of Saida also with huge holes in them….unusable. People down there are stuck and cannot easily leave the south. On Wednesday, they first had hit the electric plant in the southern most city near the border called Sur where there are many ancient ruins. This is not anywhere near over and we hope that our downtown that has barely been visitable for 5 years now, will not soon be a target as the Israeli’s have already threatened…so far they’ve been pretty good at sticking to their threats.
Yesterday evening this place seemed almost as a ghost town…quiet at 6 pm and not bustling as usual. It’s hard to take a nap in some parts of Beirut because it’s usually so noisy and the honking never seems to end. Walking home, I felt such a desire to photograph this emptiness. George and I almost did but figured we could get stopped or questioned….that the opportunity would anyway inevitably re-arise soon. Now it’s 1 pm and we’re starting to conserve fuel which we need to run the generators, only some have, that creates energy when the electricity gets cut…that’s it for now. I’ll be sure to keep you all up to date as far as I can.