Thursday, May 8

present misery in Lebanon - a long rant

The Arabic name for Lebanon is Lubnan which means white - the colour of the Lebanese snow-covered mountains. Phoenician cities include Byblos, Baalbek and Tyre. Byblos, one of the world's oldest cities is inhabited since Neolithic times. Tyre is thought to be one of the oldest urban areas in the world.

Phoenicians who lived there were seafarers and traders. They were one of the first to use the Northen Star as a point of reference for navigation.
The Phoenician alphabet, which consisted of twenty-two consonants and vowels, provided the foundation of the alphabet used by us here today.

Part of Solomon's temple and palace were built using Lebanon's gorgeous cedar trees - and Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel, was a Princess of Sidon who became the Queen of Israel.

As you can see here on this skimpy overview of Lebanon, history is a meander and trail dug dirt deep, without any true recognition by the people of the present. People nowadays just don't care. They rather dance on superficial surfaces of given societies or retreat into religious ecstasy and violence. "History - teaches us nothing" ... to quote from a Sting song, the lead singer from the former pop group Police.
Why do I get into this train of thought? Maybe because it is my birthday today. I was born in Switzerland, a country comparable in size and population to Lebanon. And as Switzerland still enforces a law that prevents you to hang up laundry outside your house on Sundays, Lebanon has to deal with burning tires on roads, no matter what the day of week is. That is not fair.

The present situation in Lebanon is grave. I just talked to someone this morning living somewhat outside of Beirut. I called there because I just wanted to know if that person is safe. The report I got back was not that cheerful.
The streets are blocked, and most importantly the road leading to the airport and the seaports are strangulated, cutting off all commerce and necessary exchange to keep a small country rolling. On the other hand, a plane originating from Iran was allowed to land, spewing out a bunch of mercenaries, now hiding in certain sections of the capital city, waiting for the orders to be spelled out for them.

The incapacitates to form a formal government in Lebanon is beyond my reach. The misery experienced by the people there due to the lack of such formation is part of a larger regional problem.
I was going to book a flight there for September, now I am not so sure anymore.
I'd rather see my friend back in NYC....

In lieu, or parallel to the human catastrophe happening in Burma right now, this here in Lebanon seems to be a petty matter. But the cyclone, who hit the shores far east, was nature given. In Lebanon it is the doing of human will ... or the lack thereof, and perhaps also the endless fight for power of different entities, preventing unity to happen even whenever a temporary compromise had been carved out.
In the long run such tendencies have proven to be more destructive than any cyclone nature can produce.
UPDATE (May 10th):
It seems that tranquility has been achieved between the Sunni dominated people in West Beirut and Hezbollah (Shiah) who occupied it, and the government, thanks to the army from all peoples there is... The army demanded to go back in time, before the crisis started and established those parameters again.

UPDATE (May 11th)
unfortunately not all is solved as of yet...


♥nova-san said...

Firstly, Happy Birthday, Zee!

Your post is depressing. At times, I like to remain ignorant of the goings-on in other parts of the world. Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and knowledge of the horror in other parts of the world is just mentally debilitating.

Think cheery thoughts, at least for today.

AM said...

... you know, i didn't even know what is happening in my own country until i read your comment and then your post ... my parents are so disgusted that they didn't even call me to let me know ... my friend here is crying over the phone ... I am so sad Zee ... I have no idea what to think ...

susan said...

Many happy returns of the day, Zee.

So far as your post about the sadness and horror going on in Lebanon and the middle east in general, I couldn't agree more. We have become so many and have so much technological frippery but we are an ignorant careless race. Not all. Thank goodness many are kind even though they get sad. You are a very good man - no matter that you may protest - it's true.

Zee said...

Hey Nova-San and all you fine other friends - thank you!!! (...for reading also in between the lines)
As for Lebanon, the Cyprus trees there are known to be patient.
I wish I could be that way.

Mirvat said...

the headlines say HA had taken beirut down. beirut? they took it down against whom? from whom?
my mom made it out ok.
thank you for the post and hopefully you can still make it here. in any case, i miss new york!

Zee said...

glad to hear your mother made it to a safer place!

From afar it looks like this to me.
The headless Lebanese government prematurely cut off the HA phone network. That was a mistake.
Now the ball is in the other court and they roll it purposely into a fire of inferno.
No one is served by this, not even HA.
From here I understand that "only" West-Beirut so far is affected.

Before Sunrise said...

How did I miss this!! Happy (belated) Birthday, Zee!!

Zee said...

Hey, thanks - before you rise to the sun. (no offense, I am just kidding Sunrise).

_z. said...

Happy Birthday zee man... and thanks for looking out...

Seraphine said...

A Happy Birthday, somewhat belated, to you Zee.

It's sad reading about Lebanon. I only know what I read in the news. The country has so much potential, if the people could live in peace.
Perhaps, if other countries and outside interests would leave Lebanon alone?