sad days in Lebanon
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 20, 2007
Yesterday was a beautiful late summer day – hot but not too humid, with a light breeze blowing fresh air through the streets. It was a beautiful day – until it wasn’t.
For the first half hour, the only television crew on the scene of the explosion was OTV. LBC and Future (and a bit later, Manar) played OTV’s footage; none of the networks’ commentators had much to say, beyond “we have no information and no details”. The footage was very stark – one set of cars burning on the left, and another burning across the way on the right.
For the first fifteen minutes, there wasn’t even the crowd that usually forms – just ten or twenty dazed men walking around singly or in groups of two or three. A few held their mobile phones up to take photographs; others moved semi-aimlessly between the burning cars. To me they all appeared to be at least somewhat in shock – not callously avoiding the wounded and dead, just unsure what to do.
As the camera panned from right to left, it dipped and – I think unintentionally, as the rest of OTV’s footage had no gratuitous victim shots – caught a man lying on his back on the ground. He was covered in blood – streams of it dripped down his face, his torso, and his arms – and he was waving his arms above his head. I don’t think he could get to his feet, and I hope that someone came out of his/her daze to help him.
And I hope that Lebanon’s politicians come out of their own dazes – or perhaps hazes is the better term – and build a stronger future for this country than it seems to have from today’s vantage point. Days like yesterday seem to both tear people apart and to make them harder – or maybe indifferent – and neither is healthy.
My friend M called this morning, asking whether I knew if all businesses are supposed to close today. Her husband is out of town and their employees are telling her that they should have today off. Banks are closed, and schools, but everyone else I know is working. And while their desire to mourn a fellow Phalangist might be touching, I remember that in June my office mates commemorated Walid Eido’s assassination by spending the ‘day of mourning’ at the beach.
As for me, I’ve spent the morning tidying up my apartment, emptying those massive suitcases and trying out a new bedspread – one of many from my parents’ nearly inexhaustible supply (thanks, Mom!).
And this afternoon I’m planning to tidy myself up, head (or at least eyes) to toes. Its another beautiful day here – one whose sunshine and warmth must feel barbaric to those whose families were torn apart by yesterday’s bombing.