Your zeitgeist 2013 was supposed to be my last blog post for 2013 where I invited people to share their happy stories and the lessons learned during this year. But, unfortunately, one day after the post, the Starco explosion came and changed many things.
I was talking to my sister-in-law over the phone when she suddenly said in Arabic:”Infijar”! So I said no…She said again in Arabic: “Akid, infijar!” I couldn’t believe. I denied it until I saw the worried and scared faces of my colleagues.
The explosion was at Starco and very close to Al Ahlieh School where my sister Yara was preparing for the scout camp along with her friends. Do I have to explain what I felt and how scared I was when I knew about the exact location? What if my little sister was still there? But thanks God, It was the voice of her chieftain Sara who calmed me down. They left the area before the explosion and they were all safe.
My brother-in-law works there as well. We couldn't reach him by phone due to the bad network but finally he answered and again, thanks God, he was fine. After I made sure all my beloved were safe, I cried for almost one hour. I believe this was the reaction of many of us.
Oh my God! It’s in Starco, one of the safest areas in Beirut, exactly where I park my car almost every weekend to go either to Beirut Souks or Zaitunay Bay. I sometimes give driving lessons to my sister there as well.
I still can’t believe what happened. What if I was parking my car there? What if my father was passing by this area just like the taxi driver who died? What if my sister and her friends were still there preparing to enjoy their holidays peacefully just like the innocent Mohamad El Chaar and his friends?
At that time, when everyone in the office was shocked, scared and reading the news, my Facebook was opened as usual. I think we all know what the Facebook news feeds look like after an explosion. We all know the comments, shares and statuses we are going to read. We even know the coming ones! I personally couldn’t handle reading these statuses or seeing the same pictures for the 6th time this year: 6 explosions from July 2013 till December 2013. I shared exactly 2 posts then I decided to log out until I feel better. Facebook was giving me negative vibes lately anyway, and it was the right time to stay away.
Honestly, I am tired from reading the same “extremely creative” Lebanese statuses again.
I am tired from “14 March” supporters who usually write: “They are killing us”
I am tried from “8 Mach” supporters who usually write: “Allah yer7am kel el Chohada”
Or vice versa! It depends on the explosion's location, UNFORTUNATELY!
I am even tired from the neutral humanitarian people who share the call for Blood donations, just like I usually do.
I am tired from seeing the same pictures of people crying, shouting and rescuing each other.
I am tired from the lazy people who don’t do anything but nagging on Facebook.
I am just tired.
When I reached home, I turned on the TV. And of course, here it is the déjà vu. I saw another mother mourning her son and another son mourning his dad. People were mourning their beloved; the same stories again, only the innocent heroes changed. TV turned off as well. I preferred to stay away, read a book and dream about a life outside Lebanon.
Don’t get me wrong. No I don’t hate my country. I love Lebanon. I love the south and the lovely villages there. I even love the villages that I've never visited before. I love Saida and Ghazieh that remind me of my grandfather and the yummi Lahm Baajin. I love Deir el Kamar, Beit el Dine and Moussa Castle that remind me of my childhood. I love Dahieh and its humble and popular streets. There’s something different there who makes me attached not detached. I love Jbeil and its amazing festival. I love Batroun and Tripoli. I love my city, Beirut. I love my whole country but I just need to live in peace. It’s a human’s right. Isn’t it?
I love Lebanon but I am extremely sorry to tell you that, this time, I won’t pray for it. No. I believe we prayed enough and I think we should change the prayer. It’s not Lebanon and all these amazing places that need our prayers. Our minds and souls need them. This time, I am not going to ask God to protect us from those who are using weak young guys and paying them from our money to kill us.
I will ask God to protect us from our weak hearts, our unstable minds and our own thoughts. I will ask God to protect us from ourselves. At the end, Prayer & worship without love turns you into an egotist-unknown
Let’s pray together!