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Posts tagged ‘explosion’

Romeo and Juliet style

Living in Lebanon you continuously hear of different troubling news going on all over the city: A bomb over here, a gun fight over there, or simply the murders of different names.

When talking about bombs, we get different namings for different kinds (yes you have to learn them if you want to know exactly how much you need to freak out).

So we got the normal (read sarcastically) “humane” hidden explosives like that which killed Rafic Hariri and many others (naming Hariri for it is the most famous one in that type of bombings), where the terrorists hide the C4 under the ground or hide it in a random car on that street. With this type of bombs, you’re going to be fine, whoever was the target it’s done now and you can move on, just try and avoid the area from traffic and curious people.

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The “evil” hidden explosive takes the Lebanese and Syrians back centuries of civilization where we have the suicidal bombers that drive a car around full of C4 before killing themselves and the target (or sometimes just to scare the crowds). When these go off you should panic a bit, especially when there is no specific target, in these cases who knows where they will hit next and you should be careful. But if there was a target then be a bit worried from the crowds that might decide that they’ve had enough and decide to carry their guns once again.

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Or I this case have a wedding to show that love still exists.

Now that’s where the fun begins!

The shooting type and when to be afraid, when to be fine, and when to be very afraid:

The first type I would like to talk about is the “back-clash” gun fire, that usually takes place after a “evil” bomb, it’s when the crowds decide to try and take matters into their own hands by scaring off other crowds, shooting at random people or in the air (of course forgetting that what goes up must come down), and ensuring an interesting number of casualties and injured on the night news.

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These you need to be very afraid of; my father’s cousin was playing golf a couple of months ago when some guys decided to shoot in the air a bit, one of the stray bullets decided to lodge itself in her shoulder before deciding to head out the other side. In cases like these I like to keep a roof over my head and stay away of windows, however far I am from the shooting.

Now the other type of shooting would be the “Romeo and Juliet” style, where you have two random kids from over-excited families that fight over a woman, a seat, a parking space, or even an idea; and end up getting both their families in uproar, shooting at each other from different ends of the street, making the street dividing line a war zone.

Now these clashes are interesting in a way, if you’re close to the streets where either family reside, get away asap, you don’t want to get stuck in the middle (trust me, it could go on for days!), if you reside in the area avoid all windows for the duration of the clashes so not to receive a stray bullet, as well as move the TV and other breakable objects away from the windows and balconies (I miss our old TV!).

Another type of gun-fight, the “cowboy” shooting would be two random guys that just shoot at each other until one gets the other, or in the case where one simply attacks and kills the other straight up for some obscure and unknown past “règlement de compte”. These aren’t scary much at first, you have to wait until you get the names of the person that was killed, and base your decision on whether to be afraid or fine; if one of the people is from an important family, or known as a hot-blooded family, stay at home and avoid contact with the outside, a “Romeo and Juliet” might take place and you’re going to want to stay away from there. If it were some obscure person with an obscure family you’re pretty OK to head out, just keep your guards up just in case.

And last but not least you got the “happy” gunfire, where a proud father who’s soon just graduated wants to show his pride, or a bunch of friends celebrate the wedding of a friend by shooring a row of bullets as fire work. These are usually safe, just as long as you keep a roof over your head you’ll be fine (but you should know that some people were mistakenly injured or worse at some of these “happy” shootings).

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I know, the way I write it makes it feel so much less scary, and the simplicity in which I describe each scene can sound pretty inhumane as well, but after 26 years of being born and growing in this country, I can’t find any other way to be able to put it in without freaking out every second of my life and living in a bubble in the basement (of the building of course! No houses in Beirut!).

Now that we’ve cleared that out, next time you get a bit of news from LBCI, MTV, OTV, AlAkhbar, AlJazeera or any other channel on your phone, you’ll know exactly what to do. Meanwhile I’m going to hide behind my computer.

T.

Lebanon or bomb-a-home?

Listening to the news in this country is like waiting for a huge bomb to explode in our face. Whatever we do, and wherever we are, we’ll always wait for this one call and wish we never get it.

I personally don’t actually listen or read the news, I simply scan it. I receive messages from LBCI, and MTV, always hooked on my phone; but what I scan for are the words explosion ‘انفجار’, bomb ‘متفجرة’, missile ‘صاروخ’, gun shots ‘قناس’ or ‘اطلاق نار’, and all the words relating to any murderous incident that might have taken place anywhere and everywhere around my country.
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Some people continuously ask me, why keep these news updates if you won’t read most of them. My answer is simple, in case the explosion happens anywhere close to a place where I was, might have been, or usually am in my first reaction is to grab my phone, call my mother and tell her I’m fine, before closing the line asap for my other siblings to be able to call her as well before the lines build up and connections become rare.

So why call it bomb-a-home? Simple explanation as well; not only are targeted crowds, or person, or even place, get harmed with the onset of a car bomb or explosive or whatever the case might be; but ‘casualties’ as some call them are always the main victims of such savagery.
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(Trying to put off the fore that spread to houses and cars around the explosion).

Homes are destroyed, schools, streets; people lose their lives, their children, their parents, their friends; but they also might lose their jobs, their office, bakery, market, library, or any other assets. They lose either literary their roof, or the way to keep that roof over their heads… they lose their home.

And yet we continue with our lives, going to work, going for a drink, or heading out for a road trip. We act as if it’s a normal thing, we have gotten used to the casualties, to the savagery, to the killings and destruction. We sometimes shout out, we shed tears for those whose eyes have dried out, we scream in revolt, and call for justice. Yet once the tensions thins out a bit we relax, we still nag, but we don’t do anything to figure a way to stop it; we don’t keep pushing our government to protect our rights, we give up on the fight and let our police (whose job is supposed to protect us) run around after lost souls that smoke up, instead of finding those that kill us.

Like today for example, where they found that the explosion wasn’t triggered from a distance, but where remains of a suicide bomber were found. (How can they even still exist?)
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So what am I doing now? I’m still sitting at my desk at work, and so are all the rest of my coworkers; if we were to leave and go into hiding in our homes, which are not even that safe anymore, we would lose that job and that which keep our house’s roof over our heads. There is no such thing as a moment of silence anymore, once we have called all the people we know, all those we care about, and made sure they are safe; we go back into our trance of everyday life, trying to ignore the pains of the others so not to be overwhelmed.

So now I need to clock in the rest of my hours for the day. Have a safe day without fireworks my friends. And keep yourselves away from danger (if you recognize it in time).

T.

“Goodmorning” lebanon!

Now I sure some of you might be surprised at that post today, but today should have been a good day, which is why I say goodmorning!

Today marks for most of us the last day of work for the year before heading out to the villages or preparing our homes or our plans for a happy happy new year.

Most Lebanese are out shopping, swearing at traffic, wiggling their way around to make sure they end this year 2013 in style and welcome a new year full of joy and happiness.

But as I notice we, as a country, as Lebanese, still dream big; we dream for peace and safety…
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And this is what we get
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Even Lebanese and non Lebanese living abroad get injured
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I’m not taking about physical injuries of course, I’m also taking about mental and emotional; we as a country have learnt to be thankful for surviving explosions instead of being thankful to the Trust, love and prosperity that we’re supposed to wish for.

And still, someone keeps dividing us, destroying our Trust in each other.

Media and crowds run to assumptions, blame parties, and forget to mourn for those whose life was destroyed in a blink of an eye; 5 dead and 70 injured in the polls today.

Will our history ever stop repeating itself? No one knows. But I still have hope.

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So goodmorning to all, and hope that 2014 brings with it some safer days with less tears and more laughter.

T.

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