Sneak peek into an estranged world. Cheers!

Posts tagged ‘war’

Congratulations Germany?!

I’m primarily an Italian football fan, but tend to also appreciate and like Germany’s team play and defense.

So of course I was cheering on for the German team throughout the night.

But at the same time I was half wishing they’d loose, not for the sake of Argentina, but more that of Lebanon.
You see looking back at the history of Germany winning world cups I noticed asomething common in the dates and the lebanese history.

In 1974, Germany won the world cup, a couple of days later trouble started sparkling up all around Lebanon, and before you know it, we had a 15 year civil war raging on and destroying the country:

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Germany wins the world cup in 1974

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The lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990

The second time Germany won the world cup, was in 2006, the year israeli bombs were destroying all bridges around the country after first targeting the airport; and instilling fear in the crowds:

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Germany wins the world cup in 2006

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Israel and Hezbollah war rages for 34 days

Now how do these link all my fears together? Simple:

A couple of minutes after the end of the 2014 World Cup games ending with Germany taking the world cup once again, a news update arrived:

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LBC Lebanon News, Urgent Update

“Israel responds to the two missiles sent from Lebanon’ s Raas El Ain with many rockets launched onto Khirach Al Hanya and Al Aazariyah…”

That was fast…. so here we go again or will we defeat our sour fate?

T.

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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.

What is horror?

Roaming through my Facebook newsfeed a couple of days ago, I came across this article that has been going around in Lebanon.
The article was written by a fellow Lebanese, expressing his disgust and the inhumanity of what has been going on in Tripoli.

The article named: “Tripoli: Horror after Horror” click here to readdoes not, however, talk about the issue going on; when I saw this title I thought someone is finally pointing out the micro war taking place in our country. To my surprise it wasn’t; it is simply about the issues of slaying stray dogs all over Tripoli.

Don’t get me wrong I fully agree that it is a crime indeed to slay stray dogs randomly just for fun, but at the same time I think the writer missed the point by quite a margin when talking about horror.

Horror is seeing neighbors shoot at and kill each other for pathetic excuses, horror is suicide bombings in civilian neighborhoods, horror is seeing children slain on the sides of the road from an explosive car, horror is human beings killing other human beings.

This is true horror.

Horror is what we Lebanese see and live with on a daily basis, and for the past two years Syria has been going though the same horror.  

Here is the status of a friend on Facebook that describes part of this horror we have survived through: (S.L)

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Some of the bombings and killings weren’t mentioned or the list would have taken up at least 10 pages; and in each assassination, bombing, and attack hundreds of civilians were killed (not mentioned either).
The catchphrase at the end of the list says: “Vote for the same idiots (donkeys) you idiots then blame the country”; quite an interesting perspective on things, don’t you agree?
A bit off subject, as you all know the Lebanese people are famous for making jokes out of each situation, so here’s an image that’s being sent through Whatsapp groups as well as Facebook; this picture made me laugh at first, agree next, and finally tore me up:

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I’m honestly worrying about the people’s views when it comes to horror, disasters, wars, bombings, killings, and natural tragedies.

Take for example what happened in the Philippines, a natural tragedy, killing hundreds of people, destroying their homes and belongings; people run to help them (including me), we run to their rescue, send money, food, and medical supplies. We pity them = it’s horror.

But put that story in perspective with what’s happening in Syria; it’s a war, there are bombings, killings, thousands of people dying everyday, survivors loosing their homes, having to hunt stray dogs for food, drinking water off the streets in order to survive: so how do we react? We judge, we don’t pity; we say it’s on them, it’s their own fault; we don’t help cause we don’t want them to think that we are okay with what is happening = it’s not horror, it’s shameful.

I see them in a different way, first to be clear on a few things I would help both countries, I would pity both, one for having been subjected to a natural disaster (at least that’s what we call it when nature overrides and destroys humans, but after all it is a simple hurt reaction for what we humans have been subjecting it to – that would be another post by itself), the other for having been subjected to forceful harming ways, inflicted to them by other human beings: this is the true horror (in my point of view).

Imagine yourself walking down a street with your friend when a sniper blasts your friend’s brain on you, or driving down a street, you notice a guy speeding, hear a loud explosion, then notice that if that poor soul hadn’t been in a hurry he would have survived the bomb explosion like you have.

This is inhumane.

It was veteran’s day a couple of weeks ago, when all Americans praised their soldiers; I’m not saying they should be criminalized for killing other humans, after all they enlisted freely and decided to fight; but what about these poor children in Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, these kids that should be in school standing on the roads, getting killed with no hope of fighting back, with no hope of protection, no ammunition or shelter; I doubt they chose war, and doubt they ever would.

It’s a sad note for Lebanon once again, but I’m keeping my hopes up, because if we give up, how can we wish our children a bright future when we let darkness settle on our grounds.

Open your eyes, this is horror.

T.

My motorcycle diaries -1-

Here is a simple story that shows a young girl’s growing obsession toward a beautiful mechanic: motorcycles.

Part 1: Discovering motorcycles:

Since before being born Father had a motorbike that he used to use to go to work, leisure, and short trips around the country. It was his means of travel, and his love.
Father has four children, by the time the youngest was 4 years old, he would take all four of them with him for rides around the city, it was a time of thrilling adventures, a year after the Lebanese civil war ended on 13th October 1990.

Before that time father would only use it for work, to be able to reach his office without trouble from car-blocks, burning tires and closed/blocked roads, and generate a regular income to his household, making sure they were always fully equipped with food, shelter and medicinal equipment.

His motorcycle had become a mean of safe travel. Until the war ended when he started enjoying the ride more for what it is than just a mean to an end. So he used to take his kids all riding with him; His eldest daughter right behind him with his eldest son (stronger) holding on to both from behind. His younger son right in front of him and his youngest daughter in the front, grabbing on to the steering like a child tied in a safety chair.

Having the front row view, the wind lashing, the whole opened panorama of roads in front of her; her obsession started developing, her need for adrenaline started pumping; but she was just a child, a four year old little girl being carried around, laughing at the world. Little did she know what was growing in her brain.

Unfortunately soon after, Father had an accident with a car crashing into him from behind, destroying the bike to pieces but safeguarding his life. So his wife enquired and begged him to give up his passion for bikes, now that the war is over and roads have been opened, he could switch and only drive cars. Which he agreed to, for the safety of his life, and that of his children.

But Father kept on watching bike shows on TV, little did he know that his youngest toddler was watching with him in amazement, eyes sparkling and imagination on full speed.

This was how she discovered the amazing world of motocross bikers, the thrill of the adrenaline, and this is when she started having a passion for the tests ahead.

– End of part one-

T.

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