It’s pretty tragic that I seem to only get inspired to write here when I watch the news…especially recently.
Unfortunately, I’m often so jaded I can’t figure out what I want to say. I want to scream and throw things and yell at people. I want to cry and hug those who would never fully heal from the atrocities they did nothing to deserve. I want to know why this always has to happen. At the same time, there’s a dull numbness, a void, a vat of emptiness where even hate or anger has no place.
To punctuate Christmas and start off the New Year, two explosions occurred in less than a week: December 27 in downtown Beirut (8 casualties and 70 injuries) and January 2nd in the South Beirut area (4 casualties and 77 injuries). Yesterday, a library in the northern city of Tripoli was torched to the ground by Islamist militants, resulting in the loss of 78,000 books and manuscripts—several of which have no duplicates.
I don’t think the madness will end anytime soon.
Parents mourn their children as houses are cleared of charred chunks of wall and shattered glass. Two days of indignation, anger and demands for justice will roll around. Politicians will point fingers and rehash the same talking points they’ve resorted to since the dawn of time. People will cry and yell into news cameras. Bodies will be buried and prayers uttered over their graves. They will be referred to as “martyrs”, though they died in vain and for a cause in which they had no part*. People will party in the pubs a couple of days later and it will all be back to normal.
We like to call it “resilience”.
I call it (albeit regularly accepted) lunacy. It’s not normal for people to die, to lose limbs and eyes, to bleed and suffer for no reason other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Since when was this something you should “get used to”? Why is it so easy to gloss over horrific crimes against humanity that cause your fellow brethren to lose parents, sisters, brothers, uncles? How do you go clubbing while women mourn the loss of their children and curse the day they ever said it was okay for them to walk out the door?
Lebanon drives me crazy whether I’m living there or not. It’s enough to make me wish I could stop caring so much about it.
*I want to leave some links to a few posts by Gino Raidy, a very well-known Lebanese blogger. He wrote an awesome post about our consistent use of the word “martyr” to refer to victims of these heartless attacks. I linked to it back in August when there were two car bomb attacks within a week of each other. It is worth another read. He also wrote this, about the December 27 bombing, which is definitely worth taking a look at.
These are posts that really struck me by Elie from A Separate State of Mind:
It’s Just a Bomb (August 16, 2013)
A Lebanese Tragedy: The Devaluation of a Life (November 19, 2013)
Hopes For A Better Lebanon: I Am Not a Martyr (December 30, 2013)
Lebanon Loses 78,000 Books to Terrorism (January 4, 2013)
The dates that these posts were written are scary enough.