Friday, August 11, 2006

Pamphleteering & career advice

Israel has dropped 100,000 bombs and missiles over Lebanon since the beginning of the war. That's a generous ratio of 1 bomb for every 40 or so people on the ground.

My newsticker says that Ariel Sharon's son has been called up to serve in Lebanon. Maybe Nasrallah's son who is also fighting on the front will battle it out with him. If Sharon Jr. resembles his daddy in bulk, he'll make an easy target for capture; the ultimate war trophy. But Beirut is in his genes, so maybe that'll inspire confidence in the knackered Israeli troops. He's been hearing stories of the delicious falafel they serve here since he was a newborn babe. Except that falafel is no longer tasty; it tastes drab, like everything else. We talk about food all the time-- about cheesecake, and sweet fried plantains, and Sashimi, and Vermicelli, and salmon steaks.

I was at a cafe yesterday evening with my a few of my friends drinking flat beer; R. noted that the poster on the wall still advertised a conference on "Conflict Prevention and Transformation", which was scheduled for the first week of the war and cancelled. All over the city are posters and billboards advertising concerts and events that were postponed indefinitely.

Anaconda Rice has said from the beginning that there can be no return to the "status quo ante". And that includes Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. I suggest he take up stage acting, to further exploit his penchant for verbose melodramatic statements. What did he say? They "martyred our flowers", all the while leaping up to kiss the leathery cheeks of the enemy.

That line would just as well work in a TV soap opera. "Marianne, I can't believe you martyred the flowers I gave you for our anniversary." "No, Fuad, honey, I'm just trimming the stems. Please stop crying. Oh, dear..."
He could also open a candy store, and be a tragic, dopey, uncharismatic Willy Wonka, of sorts.

The Daily Star-- the biggest English-language daily newspaper in the Middle East-- has gone from a meager 12-pages during peace time, to an 8-page spread during the first weeks of the war, down to four pages. Four pages means one big page folded in half. They've run out of paper, not out of news to copy and paste from the wires. That's the good news.

The bad news is that there's no food in Tyre. They bombed southern Beirut from 4 am until 5.30 am continuously. When I dragged myself out of bed this morning having not caught a wink for most of the night, I saw pamphlets fluttering down from the sky. People were rushing to pick them up. I was terrified that they would say, "We are giving you 10 minutes to evacuate. Don't say we didn't warn you. 10,9, 8.... Signed: The State of Israel". Instead it was a list of 80-something names of Hezbollah fighters that have been killed. I counted at least 20 Hassan's, as well as one Mr. T, a Hussein Doubtfire, Divine Brown, Jihad F. Kennedy, Bobby Sue Nasrallah, Kim El-Sung, and Moishe Abou Ali. Maybe the Daily Star can start printing its drivel on the back of Israeli pamphlets and evacuation orders.


Pierre/Candide's Notebooks said...

Some terrific writing here--the kind of details we don't read about on our side of America's selective media.

Anonymous said...

Dear Emily,

basically, my personal political leanings in the middle east conflicts are quite opposite from yours in almost every respect. Still, I have become pretty addicted to your blog, checking for new entries half a dozen times a day.

For one reason, this is because I experienced the summer of the first "intifada" in 1988 down there with every side and was fascinated to find an environment that touches quite every aspect of human aspiration. But in particular, this is because with your texts I read a delight of authenticity, or rather, as Fuad Saniora might put it, I feel the flower of your heart speaking.

I am not used to use this phrase, but here I mean it: Take care.

Stay as true to yourself as you are.

With kindest regards from Berlin, Germany,

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing.

Anonymous said...

best regards Emily.looks like you are a good german girl

Anonymous said...

itz very nise to zee that you are Geram .what elz could be expected from a Nassaralh symphetizer.
Good to zee that germany still have the same old same old type.
Little ali unt you can make a nice couple

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog. I'm reading it here in Nashville, Tennessee. I really value your perspective and insight. Best wishes and peace to you and your neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Question for you. The world knows that many many Hezlablahh fighters are being killed. Tell me why no one with that fighting machine bunch of killers and murderes will say how many have died.
The truth will set them free.
Have you any information on this subject?

EDB said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diaspora said...

Emily's Fallinnn...fallinn..OOOWOOOWWOOOWW
Emily, wouldn't be better if you interacted with some comments on our comments...i mean i would love see some bad writing or let us say more conversation like responces from blondie herslef.
yalla..just a thought!!

Diaspora said...

I was 3 minuts LATE...WAIN ALI!!!!! said...

Are there any "tabouleh" parsely
parsely salad left in Beirut?
Col Patrick Lang loves it
If I were FS I would refuse to take any trans-atlantic call from GWB!