Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wake me up when September ends....

Artwork: Al Mehdi magazine, July 2009 issue.

I was once speaking about the war in Lebanon with my students, bit by bit, I came to understand that we were not speaking of the same war. I was speaking of the 1975-1990 bit and they were speaking about the 33 days in July 2006. To each generation of Lebanese its own war(s) it seems. In 2006, I was attending the Tin House Magazine summer workshop in Portland - Oregan when the war broke out. Instead of spending just two weeks in the US, I got stranded there for two months.
Actually, the resulting writings can be viewed in my book "Getting the news from poems" specifically in the section called.... Beirut/NTSC. Yes, originally the name of this blog was the name of a manuscript - mostly poetic prose - which I started in the United States.
I am sure you have heard from more than one source, the Israeli spy witch hunt taking place in Lebanon. Anyone from army officers, to people responsible for your cell phone, to public officials are proving to have collaborated with Israel (most likely giving it info of how to better murder us in 2006). But as I was attending a wonderful lunch at the Fanar auberge and restaurant in Tyre on Saturday, when I brought the topic of the spies up someone nonchalantly replied: "Yes, so what?" It pains me that treason has become merely a point of view.
In the art poster above, Al Mahdi magazine (which focuses on Islamic teachings - mainly Chiite Islam) boldly proclaims: In July my people have won. I truly believe thety have. And again, it embarasses me this is just an opinion. I cannot recall who was the official dignitary who was visiting the governmental serail and when he was met with a dark faced then PM Fouad Siniora he said: "I go to all Arab nations and they have lost in front of Israel and they all boast of how they won, and you are the only nation that truly have won and you seem to be negating the fact instead of rejoicing."
Going back to that wonderful lunch in the south hosted graciously by Katia and Walid Salha (owners of Al Fanar), beneath the insouciance of the talks and the joie de vivre of the bathers there lurked the dark whispers of a new war coming on in September. Such news, or rumors - be they founded or just hearsay - sort of stop us from making long-term plans, living in the moment and not even enjoying it. And it doesn't matter if we won in July 2006 or not, for September is yet to come.
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