November 19, 2006

Watching Beirut

Watching Beirut
A picture to show you how grim the situation is here at the moment. All hell could break loose any moment, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone. Right now, everyone is watching and waiting.

I was having lunch with sis in-law up in the mountains this afternoon, and during lunch, shooting started in Beirut. We were at 600 meters above Beirut, and sound really carries far, but it sounded like regular machine gun fire, and maybe heavier stuff as well. We could even see the light flashes way down in South Beirut.
It lasted for a good 45 minutes, so we ruled out a wedding (they can get overly enthusiastic at weddings sometimes) and the ordinary road rage incident. There were no planes overhead either, so it couldn’t be anti-aircraft firing either. So we assumed that the clashes between Hezbollah and Lord knows who had finally started. Civil war is very much on everybody’s minds right now.

So there we sat on the roof, witnessing the shooting, and contemplating how to get home, as both of us have to pass by the southern suburbs in order to get home to our neighborhoods. The kids were having a ball, and all inspired by the shooting, created a game of ‘Israelis’, whereby the ammo (pinecones) had to be launched from the base (the roof of the house) onto the victims (the adults on the veranda down below).
As it turned out, the shooting was probably a happy response to Hassan Nasrallah’s speech. He said in a tv speech to his followers that they should psychologically prepare, because at any moment, he can ask them to start the street protests. And although he did stress on the peacefulness of these demonstrations, and in case the other side also staged protests, that clashes should not occur, this does not instill much confidence.

Nasrallah may believe in peaceful protest, but I have met plenty Hezbollah followers over the years. Many will follow the man. Most of them are very reasonable. But there are those that feel that they have been the underdog for so many years, they feel like the other part ‘owes’ them something, and if they are not getting it peacefully, they will come and get it through whatever means they can. And I doubt that even Hezbollah's famous crowd-control guys can do anything about those.
And so we watch and wait.

1 comment:

loverofbeirut said...

dude ur town is named after the sickest drinking game ever. That rocks!!! :) :) :) hell yea im gonna move there now