Short story about religion from beirut. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-08-2006, 11:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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this thread is not meant to be political discussion on who is the real terrorist. i just wanted to post short story as a lebanese who lived for long time in both christian and muslim districts of beirut and thus have seen different points of view. this story as well is for the memory of Bint el Jbeil, south of lebanon where most of the fightings took place. thousands of lebanese are still trapped there, with no food or medicine and this beautiful village so important and dear to many of us is now in ruins.

Living in beirut is beautiful if you know how to live there. unlike whole lebanon which is devided between chrostians, muslims and druze, beirut is the mixture of all. it has different districts but poeple are usually coming and going in all of them, thus mixing even more and more.
I started living in beirut as university student, living and studying in christian part of beirut, christian university, whose most important cares were to make my boyfreind marry me and get good grades to get the scholarship. i can say i was good sample for any christian student, coming to beirut from village, where christians are freinds and muslims are "not bad but better not to have contact with" : ....we were afraid to explore rest of beirut as it was "full of muslims" and stayed closed to our place in ashrafieh. Occasianally israel would bomb some power supply station in beirut and we would wake up terrified, cursing hizbullah who "of course" did something to trigger this attack. After those attacks beirut was out of electricity but we didnt care for it since our dorm could supply its own electricity.
Years passed by. I graduated and found job in hamra (beautiful district of beirut where 80% of population are muslims). At first i was afraid to live there. My freinds' parents didnt let anyone live there and i felt lonely and strange. Little by little i started to realize that it was more beautiful than place i lived in. Mostly because of its mixture of poeple. I started to have muslim freinds and my view about muslims totally changed. I saw them as more responsible, deep thinking and polite type of poeple. One muslim girl Rima became my best freind. Her mother wore hijab and their house was full of Koran and muslim names....i didnt find that strange anymore. that all sounded dear and warm as the eyes and hearts of the poeple who lived there. they were always there for me. whenever i needed her, i could sleep over, have money and whatever i needed. i never found such support from my christian freinds.
Rima took me to her village of Bint el Jbeil one day. Village that was under israeli occupation until 2000, when hizbullah freed it. I saw poeple proudly showing me their homes, their village where they were born! i saw tears in their eyes as they spoke of hizbullah who freed it for them. Rima was one of those poeple. Her father spent all of his money and built a castle house there in his village. He proudly showed it to me just two years ago. Now it is in riuns. As all Bint el Jbeil is. Rima married a man who was tortured in Israeli prison, after being kidnapped from lebanon "by mistake" and released 10 years later. He is a great guy. I respect him so much. He has nothing to do with hizbullah. but after spending 10 years of torture in israeli jail, he now supports it.
When the war started Rima was visiting her family in Bint elJbeil with her little baby. I never heard from her since then. I can;t contact her anywhere. She is lost, like so many others. Thousand of poeple call red cross everyday saying they are dying in the south without food and medication. Red cross can;t reach them. Israel is denying safe passage, threatening to hit any car that would be running there. "we are dying they say, but at least we are able to die in our homes!"

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#2 of 8 Old 08-09-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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This makes me think of my friend Rima who is here in the states, but has most of her family still in Lebanon. I hope that you hear from your Rima soon.

Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope that a peaceful resolution can be found somehow so that all innocent families-Christian, Jewish & Muslim-can live in peace.
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#3 of 8 Old 08-10-2006, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just wanted you to know that today another freind wrote to me from lebanon, she had found rima!!!! she was in south where the war was for 8 days but then was able to flee into the mountains, now she is safe there with her family. her house is completly distroyed though....

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#4 of 8 Old 08-10-2006, 09:57 PM
 
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Thank you for your story. I think when you watch things on the telly or hear about them, they become depersonalized. I am glad your friend is safe. I hope both sides of this conflict resolve this peacefully soon. The killing causes more anger and hatred...if your family or friends were killed, of course you would be angry. Both sides are losing in this.
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#5 of 8 Old 08-10-2006, 10:48 PM
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I'm so glad your friend is safe! How wonderful you were able to get word.


Your story is so sad. I'm so sorry. I wsi there was something we could do besides just wishing for peace.
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#6 of 8 Old 08-10-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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I'm so glad you know your friend is safe and I'm sorry about what is happening over there. Thank you for bringing a more personal side to all of this.
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#7 of 8 Old 08-18-2006, 10:24 PM
 
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Thank you for sharing.
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#8 of 8 Old 08-18-2006, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i wanted to post a little update. i called rima two days ago and she said after spending terrible days in the war in the south she managed to flee with her baby to beirut. she said they waved white flags out of the cars windows but felt that they were no use since israeli jets bombed cars around them setting them onfire. there was death and fire all around she said. her baby was screaming. when they reached beirut they started kissing each other, not being able to believe that they were safe. :

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