and then there was one
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 9, 2007
The weekend started in what I consider a perfect manner: with a pedicure, a glass of wine, and lots of laughter over what turned out to be a trans-Atlantic dinner: two Brits, two Americans. Confusion over words (so its “UK” and not “the UK”, I noted for future reference), expressions (What does “on the pull” mean? I wondered), and comparative eating styles (I learned that I eat pizza inappropriately for an American – who knew!) ensued.
A & I headed to our respective homes after leaving the restaurant – “typical Americans”, M said, laughing, as she and Brit #2 headed further down Gemmayze towards 961, Lebanon’s new (and only) microbrewery. Apparently the owner has been over-chilling the stout, in deference to his Lebanese clientele’s under-developed beer-drinking palates. If M & J are in the mood for a stout, Mazen Hajjar is in for a long night.
As for me, I hopped into a cab and headed west, towards home and the cup of tea that awaited me. Its finally cool here – or cool-ish, with night-time temperatures in the mid-60s. Cool-ish is tea-ish in my book :).
We came out from the Hamra underpass and stopped at the Hariri (billboard and weapons depot, according to several people I know) intersection. Oddly enough, the stars were aligned: I had my camera in my handbag.
Do you love Hariri? my driver asked. When I didn’t answer, he tried again: You don’t love Hariri?
To be honest, I didn’t give Hariri much thought before he died – I recognized his name, vaguely, but he played an exceedingly minor role in the lives of the Lebanese I knew. I didn’t live here then, and the country’s politics interested me much less than its other aspects: history, food, nightlife.
I didn’t know him, I said, knowing how lame this would sound to a Lebanese citizen. Of course I didn’t know Hariri personally. But because I knew so little about him before his assassination, I still find it hard to settle on how I feel about him now: do I love him?
I don’t know, but I do know that 999 days is a long time to miss a father, a husband, a brother, or a friend. and I know that neither Hariri nor the others killed with him deserved the death that was forced upon them.