Adonis Diaries

Diary of a war in Lebanon: July 15 to August 15, 2006

Posted on: September 23, 2008

I started writing my diary consistently after Israel invaded Lebanon on July 12, 2006.  I figured that this manuscript covering 30 days might aid in comprehending the emotions and state of mind of a population far from the vicinity of the battle fields but dreading the immediate and far-reaching outcome and consequences.

July 15. 2006

The sixth war between Israel and Lebanon, as our news media labeled it, started on June 12, 2006. For 3 days Israel has been pounding all of Lebanon for the lame excuses that the Islamic Lebanese Resistance of Hezbollah was successful in taking two Israeli soldiers as prisoners.  Hezbollah had warned everyone for many months and at several occasions that it is in the process of planning to capture Israeli soldiers in order to exchange them with Lebanese prisoners. The problem is that the well planned “adventure” did not go as smoothly and as expected and it resulted in the destruction of two Israeli tanks and many Israeli deaths. Apparently, Israel’s Olmert PM is not now in the mood of negotiating with Hezbollah for the mutual release of prisoners as former Sharon PM has done last year.

Israel has the total backing of George W Bush to punish Lebanon with extreme vengeance for failing to promptly satisfying his strategic plans in the Greater Middle East; Bush also wants to revenge the more than 200 US soldiers who perished in 1983 by a Hezbollah suicide car bombing around the airport.  Hezbollah has just been created to resist Israeli occupation of Lebanon:  Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 for no reasons acceptable to the UN and and Israel and entered our Capital Beirut for two weeks before lethal local resistance demonstrated the danger of staying in this hot city.

Yesterday, my mother started to speak to herself, at my ear shot, that we need to withdraw some cash for emergency and secure supplies for a protracted war. Within an hour I drove and withdrew more than my usual amount of cash and stopped at the Wooden Bakery around 11: 15 am for bread: there was none left with promises that more supplies would be forthcoming by noon. I continued and parked on the street instead of the overflowing parking lot of Storiom’s supermarket.  There were no carriages left and I picked up a hand-held basket instead just for a loaf of bread:  the supermarket was jammed with customers in the cashiers lines, their carriages filled with two months supplies.  I felt a wave of disgust and left immediately.  On my way out a lady told me that there is no milk on the shelves and certainly no bread of any kind.

I resumed my trip to the village of Bekfaya to a shop that sells purely Lebanese food ingredients at affordable prices and bought three bags of white bread because brown breads were scarce, cheap olive, small white beans because the large beans were three times more expensive, two kilo of sugar, a kilo of “kishk”, some white-hot pepper.  I continued to the vegetable and fruit market where on Sundays I usually buy in bulk for our extended family of eleven persons; the market was jammed and no price tags were attached to the stands; prices have at least doubled and no one was asking for prices anymore.  I refused to wait and did not buy anything.  The road to Bekfaya coming from Antelias was unusually busy: streams of cars driving fast were heading up to the mountain and was told that they were going to Zahle and Chtoura toward the Syrian border at Masna3.  Israel has finally decided to bomb the main highway to the Syrian border through Sawfar and fleeing people were borrowing the next best route.

On the first day of war Cedric (my nephew) came home mightily upset:  he is graduating in hotel management and the tourism season was completely shot and the tourists were evacuating Lebanon in drove.  He initially blamed Hezbollah for that catastrophe but as Israel was decidedly going ahead with its destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure he relented.  It is a common behavior for people to blame the weaker party in any conflict for mass destruction as if Hezbollah is the one party who destroyed the airport, the electrical utilities, the maritime ports and the main highways.

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September 2008

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