January 04, 2014

An Unusual New Year’s Wish

For the past ten days I have been observing the Lebanese news from a Dutch perspective. It seems quite odd that one can live a (semi) normal life in this place. Bombs on a monthly basis, a dysfunctional political system and incompetent politicians.
Try and explain to a Dutch person (or any non-Lebanese, for that matter) that we have not been able to attribute the numerous bombs & assassinations since 2005, to anyone at all (with the rare exception of the 2006 Israeli bombing campaign).
We are being blown up from all sides, and we can’t catch the perpetrators? We are not able. We cannot do it. Or are not willing, I am not sure which one, but it’s a sad conclusion.

 Except for two: one that targeted the Iranian Embassy last November (23 dead, 145 wounded). They caught a certain Majid al-Majid, a Saudi, and apparent one of the leaders of the Abdullah Azzam Brigade, a faction with ties to al-Qaida. Unfortunately the man died in Lebanese custody of ‘kidney failure’ yesterday.  (Dutch source  and English source).
Kidney failure, he? I thought that rather opportune. I assume he'd given up all information there was to be had. Not much further use for him now.
Eat that, Obama, with your Guantanamo;  this is how we take care of business.
The other ‘resolved attack’  is the man who blew himself (5 dead, 80 wounded) up in the New Year; A certain 19-year old Qotaiba Mohammad al-Satem from up north. (source).

That one was solved quite quickly, unusual quickly for Lebanese standards, especially if you consider that they still haven’t figured out who was the suicide bomber that blew up a former prime minister, Rafic Hariri,  in 2005. 

Either Hezbollah (who was targeted in these two attacks) has a better investigation department (which wouldn’t surprise me one bit) than the Lebanese state, or it is all a big conspiracy (and that is quite possible for this region as well). Ah, the possibilities are endless.

As it is, from a Dutch news perspective, and probably from a ‘the rest of the world’ perspective, it seems we are in for a rough ride over here. 2014, and the years after, will not bring peace and quiet to this land. But I think we, the Lebanese, figured that out quite some time ago.

And so I wish you, above all, a safe 2014.  That you may not lose loved ones in the frequent, yet useless explosions that lie ahead of us. That no one in your surroundings may get wounded. That you may not lose hope that there is a future for this country, but that you may exert patience, as the sun sets upon us. 
Although this is a picture of a sunrise. Have not been in town these past 2 weeks, so no more appropriate and recent pictures available.

And for some interesting Dutch perspectives (Okay, it is really Belgian, but they speak Flemish, which is practically Dutch) , watch here. (link fixed)


Tanya Dernaika said...

Well said. Not a strange wish at all, but the only wish we pray for. God help us.

Anonymous said...

I am 34 years old and I cannot remember a time when Lebanon was truly at peace.. I want to believe and have hope but so little of hope is left today. The country has only gone downhill...

Anonymous said...

I am wishing for the French to come back and save us from this misery

Anonymous said...

Your article is so true. I thought the same when I read that he died of natural causes. Who are they kidding. Every other country catches the people behind any explosion quickly except us

-paul said...

Sorry but the last link 'here' doesn't work.