November 12, 2006

Bits & Pieces in Beirut

Man taking a picture of his wife and child on the Corniche on Sunday afternoon

Too busy too blog. So Today Some Bits and Pieces
Several stories run through each other at the moment; the resignation of the Hezbollah & Co ministers and its implications, the ever-widening gap in Lebanese society between the western and eastern crowd, the parallel running gap between sunni and shiite muslims, the upcoming ‘promise’ of street demonstration, the Israeli harassment of the UN and all this while I have to work every single night till seven this week and Saturdays are working days as well in order to make up for time lost during the war. No rest for the wicked, I am afraid.

During a conversation with Ali, a friend, today, he mentioned how he listens to the news in the morning like he used to listen to the traffic report when he was still living in the States. “ You check out the news in order to know whether today is a day to leave the house, or whether there might be areas you don’t want to go. Just like during the war.’ By war, he does not mean the war last summer. That was just a minor disturbance. By ‘the war’ they mean the civil war, and it is more and more on people’s minds. People are discussing back-up plans, “You know, just in case.” What most Lebanese of my age realize is that they are the third generation living with war. “My grandfather lived in times of conflict, and he was worried about the future of my father in this country. And then my father lived during the war, and he was constantly worrying about my future, and now I’ve got a three-month old son, and I think, ‘here we go again.’ What does this country have to offer for my son? So I have a back-up plan, all my friends have a back-up plan. If the shit hits the fan, I’m out of here.”
Many Lebanese do have a foreign passport. Many are making their children study abroad, just in case. The Jews are always talking about the Diaspora, but the Lebanese one is becoming quite impressive too. I have friends that have a brother in Brazil, a sister in Canada, another one in Germany, a father that works in Dubai. And these are not exceptions.

On another note; Anne, a Dutch lady in Beirut, decided - in view of recent reconstruction efforts - to crash her car into a cement truck. With debatable results. She totalled her puny little car and ended up with a bruised liver, deflated lung and a cut nose. First thing they attended to in the hospital was ... yes, the nose.
Ah yes, the nails. She did not scratch her nails.

Ayay, the mood is grim, but the weather is not

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