Adonis Diaries

Testimonials of a civil war in Lebanon: How East Saida fared?

Posted on: October 22, 2008

Testimonials of a civil war in Lebanon: How East Saida fared?

The issue of the daily Al Balad, April 24, 2005

Salem is the son of an army soldier, and his family relocated to various regions of Lebanon during his father assignments. Thus, Salem acquired many local dialects and could converse easily with people wherever he was.

Salem’s father is from a Christian village in East Sidon and his mother is from the Chouf region. It was a rather large family of six brothers and two sisters and will expand greatly later on.

Between the years 1975-77, nothing happened in their hometown. The Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 upset the stability of the community by creating new militias that resisted Israel incursion, and encouraging other militias to take advantage and moving in to regions they had no foot hold; that was also the case with the Chouf region.

In the case of villages in East Saida, many of Christian majority, the Israeli forces allowed the “Lebanese forces” to enter in these villages.  Atrocities were committed.  As Israel troops vacated Saida, counter-offensives  dislodged the “Lebanese forces” and forced the Christian communities to seek refuge in East Beirut.

The family had to move to the shantytown of Ruwisat Jdidi in East Beirut and thus, began the vicissitudes of Salem as a fighting member of the “Lebanese Forces”:  Salem needed to earn a living to help his extended family.  He fought many battles; once, when defending the television station LBC, on Junieh Highway at the time, against other Christian factions that wanted that piece of the pie he was wounded, hospitalized for four months.  After eight months of recuperation he rejoined the militia.

Salem was confined into several barracks of Don Bosco, an old missionary school, in the region of Byblos and the monastery of Mar Chalita in Gosta.  Life in the barracks was comfortable with plenty of excellent food.

The family relocated again to Ftuh Kesurwan and Salem had difficulty with the mentality of the people there because they had not much respect for ladies as in his original region.

Salem is forty years now and lost track of his war time companions as if Earth has swallowed them all.  Many have emigrated and those who remained are trying to scratch a living with menial jobs.

He does not know if anyone secured a job with the government as they were promised.  Salem borrowed money and bought a truck to haul all kind of stuffs for a living.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2008
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