Friday, July 21, 2006

After the silence...

So my partner finally decided to voice his views on what's happening in what turned out to be quite a compelling piece:

Till today I have resisted voicing my opinions about the escalating violence in the Middle East out of a fear that I would merely spew more emotional and thus unproductive words onto a landscape already littered with the debris of hope, democracy, and innocent lives.

Naively, I had hoped to find the words that directed at selected leaders here in the US would spark results. I had hoped to appeal to their own rhetoric to motivate them to see clearly the nature of this conflict. Its horrible injustice, outrageous futility, and destructive force. Like a newborn suckling on propaganda from Uncle Sam’s tit, I wanted to believe that the “West” wouldn’t let this insanity continue. Despite evidence to the contrary, I wanted to believe that this time around our foreign policy would be driven by long-term goals, peaceful ideals, and an understanding of fairness.

Reluctantly, what I have come to feel as well as understand is that the world around us operates only on selfish short-term goals. The US Congress passed a vote of confidence in Israel because many of its members want to capture the Jewish vote. Hezbollah provoked the conflict to prove their importance as the only force capable of defending Lebanon. And Israel, well their PM must prove to his people that despite his lack of military background he too can show an iron fist. The list goes on . . . Syria, Iran . . . and all the rest of us benignly watching from afar.

And although I am no populist I cannot stand to watch the destruction of people’s dreams and hopes. I’ve been to Lebanon and although I don’t think Beirut can be compared to Paris and although I couldn’t wait to get out of the Dahyeh because of the stench that inhabits those streets and although I wanted to hurl every time I was in a car because of the roads as well as the drivers and although I couldn’t live down the destruction of the landscape by uncontrolled building and development and although I don’t share the same fascination with eating constantly and then eating some more . . . I carry with me a glimpse of the destruction still being wrought down on the country.

He sleeps next to me at night and sometimes, sometimes I wish that I had dated and married Swiss, just to not have to sleep next to the weight of all these shattered lives. Just breathing the same air as one of you is enough to send me reeling into depths that I would rather muse over. Where once I saw glimpses of pride and a hesitant belief that the future may be bright, I now see confusion and such an unbelievable chasm of pain that I too resort to opiates, anxiolytics and alcohol.

Everyday I wake up hoping to hear good news. Till then I have to be his rock. That day I’ll have a very, very long cry.


Erin said...

compelling indeed - sounds like a good guy you've got there Ashraf. Beautiful write-up, and I can only imagine what it means to you.

pepektheassassin said...

I will be glad when children can play safely again, and people can go about their business. I hope for a restoration of Lebanese pride and a bright future for Lebanon. And for all the beautiful children and good people everywhere.