Yet another massacre in Qana. 57 dead among them 27 children...and counting.
And if this is the story in the south, then the rest of Lebanon has many shattered dreams to gather and rebuild.
Many bygone and shattered dreams. This is what war does. Israel's war on Lebanon has impacted all of Lebanon and all of the Lebanese.
As there are fighters facing up to the Israeli war machine, there are also youth issuing their passports to head out, head out to the unknown, to save the day.
I'll recount some stories, close to home:
Ahmad was getting ready to enter college. He just finished high school. He helps in his family's business: a fashion retail store. His parents brought in a large shipment this summer; it was forecasted to be a busy summer indeed and their business was doing great. Until the war started and the country was blockaded by Israeli warships and the country isolated.
Ahmad had to do something, to help his parents pay back for the shipment purchased. He's leaving for the first time to the UAE to work at a restaurant. He needs to send the money back to his parents to save them from dire consequences.
Ahmad is leaving, when his parents never wished him to leave and could die if he does. No college for now, the dreams are postponed, put on hold.
Farah is married to someone who works in the cell phone industry. Since the cell phone transmittors were severely hit by Israeli warplanes last week, her husband is almost out of his job. No substantial income for now. Her husband renewed her passport and issued one for his baby son. She's leaving for a month to be with her family in a neighboring country, to reduce the pressure off of her husband and until he figures out a strategy to come back strong.
Abu Hassan, a grandfather, who is staying back in Lebanon, though all of his children live abroad. He's comforted by being close to where he buried his wife whom he loved and loves dearly. Now his children are calling him everyday so he could leave the country. The blockade will lead to medicine shortages and he needs his medicines on a daily basis. He's resisting, saying that it's all fine and things will get better, but his children do not want to lose yet another parent. And despite him carrying an American passport, he still did not agree to taking the ferry boat to Cyprus. But now his son is organizing his exit. I can understand his reluctance to leave; leaving behind memories and the house he raised his children in.
Abdallah lives abroad, has lived abroad for 30 years. After the Cedar Revolution he had hope for his country, a chance to retire in Lebanon, in a country that after the exit of the Syrian influence had hope of flourishing at last. He stopped reading the newspapers when the national dialogue dragged and completely stopped watching TV after the war on Lebanon.
In 1996 when Lebanon was flourishing and rebuilding itself, he returned with his family for a chance of taking part in his country's renewal. He left after 10 months, after Israel's Grapes of Wrath war on Lebanon and the Qana massacre. All the potential investors he was courting took their money out. He returned to where he came from, shattered dreams and a destiny to be always away. Perhaps this hope has been demolished completely now. He has asked his daughter to speed his immigration papers to the U.S.
These are some stories, not the universe of stories, but they are real stories.
The Lebanese are tired of war. My brother told me today that the Lebanese are not willing anymore to pay LL5,000 per a gallon of gas in the name of resistance. The northeners might not be fighting amongst their southern nationals, but they're housing the displaced and paying the electricity and water bills for the southerners. And this is not just something new.
All of Lebanon pays the price for war. Israel will not achieve much through its agression. Military solutions are old and tired solutions. They take away lives, shatter the dreams and make out of civilized people aggressors.
If PM Seniora does not quickly and swiftly move forward with blanketing the country with state sovereignty, then Lebanon will head to civil war and the exodus of dreams will continue.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."