Friday, July 21, 2006

"I want to go home"

Conversations with refugees in Baysour, Mount Lebanon
Malak Khaled
July 19, 2006

Baysour is a small village in Mount Lebanon. Its area is around 6 square-km, just 20 km away from Beirut. The village is not considered to be touristic, but this July, unusually, it is over loaded with 2000 visitors. Yet, this number is not of tourists, it is of the refugees coming from the South and the southern suburb of Beirut.

The village has only 1800 houses for its 9000 dwellers, and it has opened all its doors to host the refugees that increase daily. The secondary school of the village, the center of the popular cultural and sportive committee of Baysour, and another newly opened center have all opened to absorb the growing number of refugees. The municipality itself is a center to register the refugees and distribute them into hosting homes. A very touching decision was made since the first day of the Israeli attack on Lebanon: No one in the village is allowed to rent their property to the refugees. All the refugees shall be hosted, and none will pay a penny. The head of the municipality, Amin Mlaayeb tells us, “We are not blackmailing our people; we are supporting their sommoud (fortitude) in the way we can.”

But this is not the only way this municipality is helping. Daily, 200 bread packages are being bought from “el Mrayjieh” and water is distributed to the three refugees centers in the village.

“Just today,” said Esmat Mlaayeb, a member in the municipality, “200 mattresses were bought to be distributed among the refugees.” He explains to us that the municipality is cooperating with the Communist Party, the Syrian Nationalist Social Party, and the Progressive Socialists Party to provide the refugees with their essential needs. A medical committee has been established to check on the refugees’ medical needs, especially the ones with chronic diseases. All cleaning materials are brought to them daily to prevent the spread of diseases.

As we leave the municipality building, a vehicle filled with mattresses stops at the entrance to begin the distribution to the needed families.

Fifty-five refugees are in the center of the popular cultural and sportive committee of Baysour. We visit them. At the door, we see an old woman, Nayfee Hassoun from the southern suburb of Beirut, sitting and crying. We ask her about her house.

“Before you ask me of my house, ask me about my family. I know nothing about my family. I had been visiting my brother’s house when the Israeli attack started. They had to leave and took me with them. Since then, I know nothing about the safety of my children and family.”

Halima Younes from Kfar Hatta in the south tells us that she came with her husband, her two sons and their families. She still has 4 children with their families living in the southern suburb of Beirut, in the area that has been totally destroyed by the Israeli bombings in the last five days.

Halima says she wouldn’t be so sad if her children were killed. “I know they would be martyrs for the freedom of our country.” But the mother’s heart overcomes her belief, and she starts crying loudly.

Her husband interferes with a tear in his eye. “We want Hezbollah to go on. We have no more to lose but our dignity, and this is something we won’t let anyone take from us.”

Their grand daughter, Marwa, looks at us with sad eyes.
“Why are you sad,” I ask her.
“I want to go home.”
“Why aren’t you home?”
“Israel is bombing a lot.”
“What do you feel when you hear the bombing,” I ask her.
“I feel so afraid. The sound is very very very loud.”
“And what do you do when you feel afraid?
“I cry, and I go to Mama”
“Do you feel afraid here?”
“No. Here, I am not afraid, but I was afraid at home.”
“You know, there are kids being bombed in Israel now, you know who bombs at them?
“Yes, the moqawamee (the national resistance)”
“Do you want the moqawamee to stop? They might be feeling afraid too?
“I want Israel to stop bombing at us first”
“You don’t want their kids to feel afraid like you?”
“No, being afraid is so bad. I feel like my heart is so big that it is coming out of my mouth. I don’t want anyone to feel this wary. Fear is bad, so bad, tell them to stop making us afraid.”
“Whom do you want me to tell?”
“Tell Israel, if they bomb at us. HezbAllah will defend us by attacking them. If Israel stops, HezbAllah stops, right?”

I don’t know what to answer this purity of logic, of viewing things with such accuracy from this 8 year-old girl.

I run to another question
“What shall you do first when you go back home?”
“I want to help mama, and I want to go back to school”

We go into the center. The rooms there are divided by pieces of clothes. Approximately 12 families are there. They are all using one bathroom.

We enter one “room.” The family is eating potato and bread. A woman, from Bourj Al Barajnee, a neighborhood within the southern suburb of Beirut, says, “We are ten here. We came on Thursday [a week ago]. We don’t know anything about our homes. We can’t call anyone to know. Ever since we came, [the volunteers] are trying to provide us everything we need, may God bless them, but we want to go back. We are most welcomed here, but a person doesn’t feel relief except at home.”

We leave her wishing that these bad times will end soon.

The refugees tell us that Ali, a 9-year old boy, from Bent Jbeil in the South has just stopped crying.

I ask Ali, “why were you crying?”
“I wanted to go with my dad.”
“Where is your dad?”
“He went to Sour [Tyre] to bring my uncle’s wife and her kids.”
“Are you afraid, ya Ali?”
“Yes. I don’t want my dad to die. They are killing people on the roads.”
“Were you afraid when you were at home?”
“No, I wasn’t. I used to go up the roof to see where the planes go to bomb and then we would see the fire, but dad was with us.”
“Do you want to go home?”
“Yes, I want to go home with my dad. I won’t be afraid from the bombing when he is with us.”
“Do you know why there is so much bombing?”
“Yes, Israel is crazy for its two soldiers that Hassan Nasrallah [secretary general of Hizballah] took to exchange them with our prisoners in Israel.”
I look at Ali in the eye. I tell him that I came from Sour yesterday. The road will be long, but your dad will come back, I promised.
His grandmother heard this, and she started asking about the road: how long it would take? Is it dangerous? Is there any bombing?

Later that night, I was told Ali’s Dad was back, safe and sound with the rest of his family.

There are also refugees from Sryfa, the village to the east of Sour, a village that was bombed severely and in which a new massacre was committed by the Israeli Army this morning. Almost 35 people from one family in this village are in Baysour’s secondary school with almost another 350 people from other villages in the south.

A member of the Sayed family speaks the words between her tears: “We have been thrown back 20 years. We see the bombing on our homes and we don’t know if there will be a ceiling to shelter us when we go back home. We have left every thing behind: our planting is gone this year; we don’t eat if we don’t sell the seasonal harvest.”

She stops to release her tears. She suddenly stops crying and sends her regards to Hassan Nasrallah. “Don’t stop the resistance until you get to all you want. We have lost so much and we don’t have much anymore.”

A lot of the people around make supportive gestures. A man asks me if I believe the “Sayed” and I can’t but agree with them that Hassan Nasrallah is a person whose word is trusted.

Fatima is from Kaferkella, the village just across the “blue line” that marks the borders with occupied Palestine. She speaks to us with a very sure tone: “We weren’t able to visit our village for more than 20 years, but the moqawamee made it possible for us to go back. Now Israel wants to take our lands back, but the moqawamee won’t let that happen.”

Her whole family came on Thursday, but they know nothing about her brother who lives in the southern suburb of Beirut.

As we go on to interview more people, we hear the refugees talking about the political solution. We come closer to them to listen. They ask for our opinion, but we prefer to listen, telling them we are interested to know their points of view to tell the world.

“We can’t accept the disarming of the moqawamee. It defends us against Israel. It is our dignity and our freedom. We can’t think of ourselves without the moqawamee”

“Even if Israel left [the occupied Sheba’a Farms] and released all our prisoners, we would still want the moqawamee because Israel doesn’t stick to any word or decision; only the moqawamee frightens Israel and stops it from interfering in Lebanon.”

“This war is no more about the two soldiers that the strongest army in the Middle East couldn’t protect, though Nasrallah had always been threatening to kidnap from this army to exchange with the rest of our prisoners still in Israel. It is about the glory of this coward army and all the lies of the state of Israel.”

As we leave, a young man comes by to tell us: “Tell the world. We are here because we want to be here, not because we are out of choices. I just came from Germany for the summer vacation and all this started.” I ask if he has the German nationality. He says he does and he could have left, but neither he, nor his German wife want to leave this country that they love in such circumstances. His voice was so proud when he told us that he asked his wife to leave to her country, but she refused preferring to stay with “our family in Lebanon that is now my country too”

We great them and say goodbye, hoping that the next time we see them will be in their villages in the free, strong Lebanon, protected by the resistance.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your site is on top of my favourites - Great work I like it.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your website. It has a lot of great pictures and is very informative.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[b]accounting office software, [url=]free acdsee 7.0 downlod[/url]
[url=][/url] best price adobe photoshop cs4 upgrade discount software for you review
microsoft office 2003 license [url=]nero 8[/url] discount software com
[url=]sale of software[/url] of software stores
[url=]shop 7 software[/url] pro discount software
cd cover - adobe acrobat pro 9 [url=]free nero[/b]

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

gay personals state college pa [url=]korean singles[/url] ct singles dances online dating emails

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
[url=]generic uk viagra[/url] rush limbaugh drug problem [url=]false advertising cymbalta[/url]
hugs not drugs myspace background
[url=]drugs pharmacy psychedelic[/url] fda turmeric drugs [url=]hemmoragic cystitis due to cytoxan[/url]
thai drug stores
[url=]levitra review yahoo[/url] cyclosporin pharmacy canada opthalmic ointment [url=]does diamox leave a bad taste in your mouth[/url] over the counter drugs that knock you out [url=]darby crestor[/url]

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...
[url=]garlic and erectile dysfunction[/url] missouri drug court [url=]accutane new topical cleanser[/url]
father using drugs
[url=]generic for cialis[/url] heartland research weightloss drug study [url=]cymbalta duloxetine hci[/url]
florida store pharmacy tampa florida
[url=]walmart pharmacy macedon ny[/url] cornbread mafia drugs [url=]epivir resistance hepatitis b[/url] alternative depression drugs [url=]side effects from aldactone[/url]

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mercedes benz ipod connection free mercedes benz repair manual
[url=]volkswagen tail light europe[/url] volkswagen dealers victoria australia [url=]ice chopper tool[/url]
best used automobile
[url=]chicago auto show ord[/url] mercedes benz m class for sale [url=]daihatsu tanto[/url]
mercedes rebuilt engines
[url=]used mercedes vans[/url] chrysler dodge dealers wisconsin [url=]oakland dodge troy mi[/url]

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

adult joke pic porno
[url=]music video sexy[/url] hot tub porn [url=]mature bbw lesbian[/url]
asian female dildo gallieries
[url=]striptease amateur free[/url] bdsm movies amateur [url=]gay male phone sex[/url]
lois griffen hentai
[url=]anal ebony big cock[/url] solo traveler 18 38 adult north carolina wilderness [url=]girl orgy photos[/url]
anal sex tales
[url=]wood thread lubricant[/url] free vidoe clips of adult porn [url=]mature bbw lesbian[/url]

2:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mindy kleinberg contact dc shoes cousa [url=]jack lily shoes[/url] outlet athletic shoes wet men showering in clothes [url=]discontinued ralph lauren bedding collections in red[/url]

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mary k shell mental health [url=]female viagra[/url] flashing breast video
herbal remedies for drug resistant staff [url=]Online Pharmacy - Safe, Secure, Prescriptions Guaranteed[/url] garden grove hospital and medical center [url= ]north carolina christian coffee and tea houses [/url] breast feeding equipment
generic paxil cr [url=]adalat[/url] adverse effects of smoking pot
schematic pathophysiology of asthma [url=]diclofenac gel[/url] carb diet low support [url= ]crazy penis [/url] shaking baby syndrome

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool baby clothes polish horseshoes [url=]bridget hall and ralph lauren and blue[/url] lauren elizabeth cribbs bomis ring dyanna lauren mpegs [url=]simple shoes[/url]

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tv chanel for videos fashion club heaven [url=]laurence harbor[/url] australian fashion how to get white clothes clean with rusty water [url=]fashion seal[/url]

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

travel shots sc integration between travel industry and airlines
[url=]senior travel to australia[/url] travel today [url=]plane tickets to the outback[/url]
illinois travel map
[url=]travel to ny for new years[/url] depth travel guides here [url=]around the world plane tickets[/url]
nonprofit groups travel discount htm total solar eclipse 2009 travel [url=]enterprise car rental kona[/url]

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ativan price ativan uses sleep - ativan yeast infections

12:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what is zolpidem side effects long term zolpidem use - zolpidem er 12.5 vs ambien cr

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy ambien ambien side effects next day - ambien 12.5 cost

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

diazepam 10 mg best online pharmacy diazepam - where to buy diazepam online

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy diazepam buy diazepam 10mg online - unterschied zwischen valium and diazepam

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy xanax online long does xanax overdose last - xanax pregnancy side effects

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy generic ativan ativan dosage status epilepticus - lorazepam 1 mg identification

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem buy zolpidem tartrate - ambien side effects next day

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ativan online ativan for alcohol shakes - ativan dosage by weight

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy cheap xanax reviews on buying xanax online - xanax dosage airplane

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ativan for anxiety ativan addiction dosage - side effects getting off ativan

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ativan no prescription generic for ativan lorazepam - ativan withdrawal wikipedia

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ativan price lorazepam 1 mg /ml - ativan addiction and withdrawal

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy ambien online generic ambien what it looks like - ambien cr what does it look like

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ambien sleep medication ambien side effects bladder - zolpidem vs ambien side effects

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy cheap soma soma 250 medication - buy soma online without

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

valium for sale valium 10mg nebenwirkungen - color valium medication

8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy ambien online overnight ambien overdose in cats - generic ambien online cheap

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

buy valium online buy generic valium online no prescription - buy generic valium no prescription

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

order soma carisoprodol pill identifier - carisoprodol liver damage

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hcg clomid | buy clomid 100mg - is it safe to buy clomid online, provera and clomid schedule

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

period after clomid cycle | - clomid without prescription, clomid and ovulation calculator

12:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

clomid success stories 2010 | [url=]200 mg clomid[/url] - buy clomid on line, zatd ovulation calculator on clomid

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keyword dating love poems dating site

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dating a crackhead [url=]social dating site[/url] arab penpal dating
dating love br [url=]dating in calhoun ga[/url] dating sities for bbw
dating chronic illness [url=]does dating at the job work[/url] internationl dating south africa

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, MoxoredapeTox generic strattera cost - strattera pills

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, effexor without prescription - order effexor online no prescription

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger: Siege of Lebanon - Post a Comment doxycycline for sale without prescription - doxycycline chlamydia , [url= ]price of doxycycline [/url]

3:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drug Free Safety Slogans generic diflucan online - purchase diflucan online , [url= ]purchase diflucan no prescription [/url]

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psiocybin Drugs lexapro medication - lexapro no prescription , [url= ]lexapro online [/url]

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Towson Sports Medicine buy reductil online no prescription - meridia diet pills , [url= ]buy sibutramine [/url]

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friends, buy fluoxetine online no prescription - buy prozac online no prescription , [url= ]fluoxetine online no prescription [/url]

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lick of frost ebook business directory clickbank ebook article directory [url=]sony ebook vs amazon kindle[/url] adobe ebook create

2:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hdr photo ebook torrents sony ebook has no sound [url=]advertising a forex ebook[/url] learning sql ebook full version torrent

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ebook reader ebook and dr seuss [url=]math mental ability ebook[/url] interpretation of murder ebook download free

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tmd zoloft no prescription - buy zoloft online, [url=]buy sertraline online no prescription [/url]

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alan farley ebook download rules for radicals ebook [url=]arriba ebook[/url] ebook c

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, propecia no prescription - finasteride 5mg , [url= ]finasteride for sale [/url]

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4 Cymbalta Without Prescription - buy cymbalta online without prescription, [url=]Buy Duloxetine[/url]

4:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

best workforce management software forecasting best voice record software [url=]gen x software[/url] best text aloud software
[url=]Desktop Lunar Calendar 1.6 - Cheap Legal OEM Software, Software Sale, Download OEM[/url] writting lisp program software

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3. discount topamax - topamax sale , [url= ]generic topamax cost [/url]

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wood pole inspection software blackberry sales software [url=]technical software educational companies[/url] computer aided design software windows
[url=]3herosoft DVD to BlackBerry Converter 3.5 MacOSX - Download OEM, Software Sale, OEM Software[/url] system software for omron n620c

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3, cheap adipex 37.5 mg - adipex online no rx, [url=]adipex generic[/url]

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3, no prescription klonopin - klonopin for sale, [url=]order klonopin[/url]

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

slow down music pich software practice gps street map software hp ipaq [url=]blag proprietary software[/url] what is software functional description
[url=]EASEUS Todo Backup Server 2.0 - Software Store[/url] bookkeeping software from pakistan

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooo!!! Topamax No Prescription - purchase topamax, [url=]Topamax For Sale[/url]

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

c, lasix sale - furosemide 40 mg, [url=]lasix sale[/url]

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1, [url=] Discount Rizatriptan [/url] - Buy Maxalt - cheap maxalt online

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who ae the sprouse twins dating indian dating in new zealand
husband separated dating [url=]stories for women internet dating[/url] ashley monroe country singer dating who
single online dating [url=]speed dating florida[/url] adult dating or extramartial affairs personals [url=]maryam[/url] vampire dating

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

married men gay dating gay dating number
free red head dating [url=]are hayden and milo dating[/url] interracial dating free
love dating free [url=]cannibas dating[/url] dating bhm [url=]nadiusa[/url] rode serial number dating

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

free telephone dating in indiana brandy00uk dating
hentai dating sim game [url=]dating kinky older[/url] many dating magazine
is ryan gosling dating anyone [url=]singles dating in us[/url] married man dating divorcee [url=]honesty[/url] frequency of sex in dating couples

8:09 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home