Adonis Diaries

Testimonials of a civil war in Lebanon: The case of a girl fighter from East Saida

Posted on: October 22, 2008

Testimonials of a civil war in Lebanon: The case of a girl fighter from East Saida
From the issue of the daily Al Balad April 20, 2005

This is the testimony of an anonymous Christian girl from a village in the region of East Sidon.  She was 10 years old when the war started and she recalls that her grand father used to curse the Palestinians very often, but he kept a façade of civility whenever they passed by the house.  Her grand father would occasionally invite the passing Palestinian fighters to have a drink with him. The Palestinian resistance factions controlled the area and the Lebanese authority was non existent then there.

The situation changed as the Israeli forces invaded Lebanon in 1982.  The Palestinian fighters had to vacate their positions in the villages of East Sidon and seek temporary refuge in the Palestinian camps of Mieh-Mieh and Ain Helwy around Sidon.

An eye witness girl was 17 years when the Christian inhabitants welcomed the Israeli tanks passing through their villages and sprinkling rice on the soldiers, as they previously sprinkled rice on the Syrian forces when they entered in 1976 for relieving them of the Palestinian presence. Her joy of the bombing of the Israeli fighter jets of the Palestinian camps and positions was tempered by the mass killing of the civilians during these air raids.

The “Lebanese Forces” militias entered the Christian villages under Israel protection and were welcomed by the population with songs and blowing the car horns. All the unemployed men promptly joined the militias and filled applications in the newly established barracks.

The girls joined the female military organization in the militias with logistical tasks and communication functions with headquarter in Karantina in East Beirut. They were around 30 girls and worked hard for several days a shift, sleeping and eating in the barracks.

The anonymous girl stated that she felt relieved from the traditional pressures on girls, and befriended a lover among the fighters.  There role model was their leader Jocelyn Khoweiry who wore a black beret covering her long hair.   The anonymous girl felt that she was set free to pursue her life as she desired, away from the rules and regulations forced upon her by a traditional and conservative society.

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October 2008

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