Monday, August 07, 2006

Kleenex shortage & an Israeli war trophy

I was awakened at 5.30 AM this morning by a deafening crash, the kind that haplessly tears you out of your sleep, and out onto the balcony before you gain full consciousness. I am often very confused in the morning and thought perhaps my phone rang, or the unhinged kitchen cabinets came crashing down, until another bomb --they usually come in pairs-- dropped. Even after 27 days, I invent excuses for the rude awakening. Since it was dawn, I could see the smoke rising from the general vicinity of the south-eastern suburbs, and heard dogs barking; but I don’t know why they were so much louder than usual. And there was no electricity to watch TV to find out.

Arab foreign ministers have gathered in Beirut today to discuss the current crisis. For the occasion, the Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat honored the democratic regimes of Saudi Arabia and Egypt by placing a ban on public demonstrations for the day. There was a protest planned against the pro-American Arab regimes outside the UN, near the Grand Serail where the meeting is being held; about 20 people showed up, only to be chased up the street by the army.

There is a 1km line of cars waiting to get gas on Hamra Street. Some of the drivers are pushing their cars, others leave and go for coffee or a sandwich while they wait. Hospitals announced yesterday that they have less than a week’s supply of fuel. The owner of Cafe Younes only has a ten day supply of coffee left. Water is scarce, and Sukleen is paying Lebanese the handsome wage of $25 per day to clean their streets, in lieu of the Syrian and other low-wage workers.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saniora is crying on TV again. Somebody tell him there's an acute Kleenex shortage, and that we're expecting many more grieving mothers, who should have first dibs on the scant supply.

To compensate for the relative ease of my life in besieged Beirut, I mutilate my senses every night --electricity willing-- with a dose of CNN. Last night's highlight was the riveting special, the "Arab Anger Edition". Fifteen minutes of coverage for the 12 IDF reservists who were killed after they failed to heed a warning that rockets were about to descend on their location, was followed-- not by an account of the 17 Lebanese civilian casualties-- but by a segment on how Arabs are, by nature, angry. CNN should merge with National Geographic, or at least call upon an anthropologist or two to elucidate this phenomenon.

News update: Not only did Israel threaten to liquidate Nasrallah today (which makes it sound so easy; just drop him in a jar of sulfuric acid) but they even "captured" a portrait of him. That's dash cunning of them. There’s only like 30 portraits of Nasrallah in every village in southern Lebanon. What will they demand in exchange for the portrait? Will Nasrallah surrender to secure its release? Stay tuned to CNN to find out.

12 comments:

copy editor said...

They will demand the release of a Shimon Peres drawing!

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Hi Lily,

Yes, but “sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words” as some icon-worshipping gentile Kaffir savage famously said!

The Thirdworldist man Scottish girls call “Gorgeous George” strikes back at Bushmert and Olush on Murdoch TV:

Click here

Gorgeous is the word!

Stay safe.

El Doktor V.

Anonymous said...

u r no longer funny . As always u try to come up with something funny almost like a todays specail in a restaurant.

D. Ghirlandaio said...

anonymous anomalous,
The specials are the best thing on the menu.

daily customer said...

you're not just funny. you're clever, astute and vindicating. i'd like two of the special, please.

euroarabe said...

hilarious, especially seniora kleenex...

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing ... I just found this blog, courtesy of Juan Cole. Here in the US of A, where, yes, the news is all from israel and is all about Israel, it's so hard to get any information directly from Lebanon... please keep writing. We need you. I will be reading every day from now on.

Anonymous said...

I also found you in a link from Professor Juan Cole's blog. You will NEVER read or hear these perspectives in U.S. papers ANYWHERE. The closest I've gotten to neutral, unbiased perspective on the ground in the Middle East was reading American Chef Anthony Bourdain's struggles on his blog as they tried to get his show out of Beirut shortly after the bombing started. Good read. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

good job, keep in on and all the best for you and lebanese people.

sincerely shocked,

r

Merva G said...

You're a hilarious person. I love it. I'm a Lebanese beseiged outside of Lebanon and look forward to reading your blog everyday. And by the way, what's up with the anonymous with no sense of humour. Lebanese strive on humour, cigarettes and cocktails, don't you know?

janinsanfran said...

Like the cigarette in the soldier's hand. How those guys hope to run as fast as they probably have to?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your inciteful, comical and intelligent writing.