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News :: Human Rights : International : War and Militarism
First-person Account from Lebanon
24 Jul 2006
hi all,

thank you so much for all your emails and words of support. i can't tell you how much me and my family appreciate it.

my family and i are physically ok, but i will not start describing the emotional, psychological and mental state we, or any one in lebanon is in. Many of you have asked me to write updates whenever i can, and so i write this the night before i venture with my sister to jordan, through syria, on the tripoli road, the last one that hasn't been destroyed yet.
r4187590326.jpg
Lebanese child hurt during the Israeli artillery attacks.
242 civilians have died so far, hundreds more wounded... israeli planes haven't left lebanese skies to rest... over 25 bridges have been destroyed, and today, the army department responsible of reconstructing roads and bridges was bombarded twice. half an hour later, when paramedics and soldiers were evacuating the dead and wounded, israeli planes hit with 4 more bombs, 11 people died and 41 were wounded.

over 50,000 people have been displaced from the south running from the chemical and phosphoric weapons as well as the more legal butot less lethal ones. Over 100,000 have left the country through syria. The british, french, italian and other embassies have started to get their citizens out by guarded ferries or helicopters. the american, canadian and some others are starting tomorrow. The real fear on the streets is that once all the foreigners are out of the country, the bloodshed against civilians will "really"start.

yesterday, taanayel and candia factories of milk and dairy were bombarded, and a procter and gamble wearhouse with 15 millon dollars worth of food, cleaning products, baby products etc was destroyed. my sister, who is pregnant and has a new born is sadly counting the number of pampers she has left for her baby as most suppliers tell her they have run out.

i went down from the mountains to beirut yesterday to pack up my things. i've never dreamt of seeing such emptiness in the streets, or hearing such a horrible silence, only a week after the city was as loud, happy and vibrant as ever. when i got home, the silence was broken several times by israeli planes bombarding the nearby suburb of dahieh. my sister and i continued packing calmly, as we (and everyone else) have become accustomed to the horrific sounds.

i had to go to several pharmacies before i could find headache medicine. employees in supermarkets looked at me apologetically whehn they pointed to empty shelves where bread, rice and milk used to be. i got an sms from a friend of mine telling me to rush to a gas station nearby because they had just gotten some fuel.

jordan and the united arab emirates have been trying to send food supplies through trucks for days, but can't get through. and today, an ambulance sent from the emirates was bombarded.

for people who rightfully feel that international news is not doing the situation any justice, you can read:
the english lebanese daily: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/home2.asp
or the english version of the leading newspaper annahar: http://web.naharnet.com/default.asp

Many of you have asked me what you can do. All i can suggest is look for reality, not distortion in the news, and help spread the word.

i hope none of you, or your loved ones, ever have to go through anything remotely close to this experience,

love,

-Ayah

[Ayah is a local Boston artist who was visiting Lebanon before the bombing began. BIMC Editor]
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