Friday, July 28, 2006

Writing from Beruit

Weblog of Abdelkader Benali (in Dutch)

An excellent and insightful personal account of events from this Moroccan-Dutch writer from within the war-zone. Really evocative writing, expressing the torments of a healthy mind trying to deal with the unhealthy chaos taking place.

14 July

“Children play on the streets, in this way they escape from the business of their parents and the violence above their heads, they release their energy and linger for a moment in a self-made world.”

15 July

“Peace is pointless, but war is even more pointless. War may have no name, it does not deserve one.”

16 July

“Time and space were changed by the situation. That sounds crazy, but come down here and you will understand it immediately. An example: toothbrush and razor, very simple things for a man. Now, that toothbrush has gotten a special meaning because he came to become part of my survival baggage. I brush my teeth, and am crazy about my toothbrush. My adoration for the toothbrush knows no limits.”

17 July

“More death, more infrastructure struck and [there is] the growing realisation that Israel is busy with a campaign of revenge lacking in any kind of logica, and that pays respects to nothing and no-one. Up till now, only Lebanese have bee hit, and no one of the Hebollah-faction yet. This is ‘shock and awe’.”

“Refugees are the dead who are still breathing.”

18 July

“The BBC, CNN, they hang onto the lips [words] of my friends here, if they are in the mood to speak. But they have become a little tired from the repeated stories that Hezbollah is a peculiar movement which does the country more bad than good. What they say about Israel is later cut out. The audience would find that [only too] confusing.”

“You see people [who are] excited and people who cannot take the tension and nerves and seize at every opportunity to leave. Then you have people who are dangling in between, back and forth, to and fro, like a star that makes the passage through space every night. I belong to that group.”

“Every time if I want to get myself laughing, I do something ridiculous: I say Hezbollah in the way that the Israelis say it: the Arabic s’s become sharp z’s and it shorts short, as if Hezbollah is one word instead of three: Party of Go. I break out laughing, thanks to the Israelis specialists. I am afraid, thanks to the Israeli army and the population, half of whom according to me do not know they are being deceived (but who am I to say that from here) by their leaders. Leaders who do not want to exchange soldiers for Lebanese prisoners, leaders who want to speak the language of war. They have found a partner in the conflict: Hassan Nasrallah [Hezbollah leader].”

22 July

“The Middle East stands in flame and the Dutch reader is sedulously searching for the hero and the bad guy. The bad guy, Hezbollah, would quickly be found if Israel did not cause so much destruction and death with so much men and force. Is Israel not also a bad guy in this insane story? In collective memory the [average] Netherlander [has been prepared] to see Israel as the possible bad guy—evens now [as] the Dutch media is carefully sketching a more critical image. Israel is the land of milk and honey, the land that proliferates itself as a western country and sometimes, if it suits her, as an exotic fruit in the perverted Middle East, a bastion of enlightenment and reason. That image is now being tainted, by it will revive itself, because the collective memory is more difficult to bombard than a residential district.”

No comments: