Friday, July 21, 2006

Hello ! Human Rights, anyone ?

"Up until now, Israel has done the following: blown up our international airport, runways, gas reserves for planes (no one can leave or enter the country); blown up small military and domestic airports (both in the north and south); blown up all bridges and roads linking Beirut to the south; blown up villages in the south, everything from the deep south to Sidon; blown up - as I type this now, another jet is flying by, it is so loud - blown up the suburbs (Dahiya); blown up the Beirut to Damascus road at several points. We are surrounded by sea as well.
Everything that is happening now is because Israel is trying to wipe out any trace of Hizbullah in Lebanon. In the process of doing all this, they are wiping out our infrastructure. Our roads, bridges, civilian homes, innocent lives."
In an intimate diary, 30-year-old Lebanese artist Zena el-Khalil describes helping foreigners escape, the nightly rocket attacks - and how she couldn't leave her sick friend behind in My city, on fire again.
"We are under attack by Israel. It is so unjust and unfair. Everything we've worked towards for the past 10 years is gone. We had so many events planned for the summer: exhibitions ... concerts ... plays. All gone.
Lebanon cannot be occupied again by Israel....
Last night was probably the most frightening night I have ever experienced. We counted at least 15 bombs falling into Dahiyeh in the Beirut suburbs. I have not slept in days. I know I have to be strong, and I will be, but I cannot deny what I am going through. So many of us are working hard to fix things - we are running around Beirut trying to get food and water and medicine to people, we are doing things online, but it doesn't mean we are not scared, sick or tired...
Biggest cynical statement of the day: Israel has told people to evacuate from the south because they are going to annihilate the south of Lebanon. However, the people cannot leave because all the roads have been destroyed or blocked. And yesterday, when people did try and leave, the Israelis opened fire on them.
Israel is trying to bring Lebanon to its knees. Israel is trying to destroy the Lebanese spirit. Israel is trying to turn the Lebanese against each other, to turn us into animals scrounging for food, water and shelter. Israel and the United States of America are trying to drag Syria and Iran into this too. They are using Lebanon as bait. We are stuck in the middle.

We are a peaceful country. People of all religions coexist peacefully here.

I am not leaving. And there are many of us who are not leaving. We love Lebanon. We love what we have spent our lives building.
I don't want to write about all the miserable moments I had today. I don't want to write about the tears that fell when I heard about how the Israeli army bombed wheat silos and vegetable stores. Now they want to starve us to death? I don't want to write about how they are now targeting Lebanese army outposts and barracks, when the Lebanese army are not even fighting them. About the planes that are flying so low. About how my house starts to shake every time a bomb drops. About my worries now about food and water shortages. About the refugees who have lost so much, who are now living on the streets.

I don't want to write about the cramp in my heart every time I hear the death toll rising. So many children! I don't want to write about how everything I have spent my whole life working for has disappeared in a matter of days. A matter of days ... my whole life has changed.

My whole life has changed and I did not ask for it. My whole life has changed because someone, not me, decided they were going to change it. Who said they could? Why didn't they ask me?....
Israel has changed my life because Israel is targeting me as a civilian. And who said Hizbullah could take a decision on my behalf and provoke the monster?

Two bombs just went off. My windows are shaking.....
I want to tell Israeli citizens what their government is doing to us. Remind them that Lebanon is their neighbour and that coexistence is possible. How are we ever going to reach an understanding through violence? We were so close ... We were so close."


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