Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Post-war fears & Olmert's wet dream

The demographics and atmosphere of Ras Beirut changed when people with means and foreign passports fled, starting with the sex & shopping tourists from the Gulf countries, and thousands of displaced persons from the Dahieyeh and the south took their place.

Hamra street, which used to be mostly commercial with an ever increasing number of multinational chainstores, now has a familial small town spirit to it, with families hanging out on the sidewalk-- smoking, watching their kids play, bumping into other displaced neighbors from their suburbs and villages. Local businesses that survived no longer face competition from Starbucks and the Body Shop, which remain closed since the beginning of the war. They must have strict policies on not catering to their combat-zone clientele. But I don't miss the demographic that regularly consumed $6 mocca-flappa-poopachinos. And maybe my favorite coffeeshop, Cafe Younes, can borrow some coffeebeans when push comes to shove. I haven't heard any reports or evidence of looting until now, but we feel the shortages more and more every day. Soon the water- and fuel wars will errupt. Buy your Evian stocks now. I'll be using it to wash my clothes.

There are reports of skin diseases and epidemics in the overcrowded schools housing the displaced. A friend who works on the relief effort reports that her boss (a man) told her to distribute a single sanitary pad to every family. You get the picture.

But today was an especially glum day in Hamra. With the remote prospect that the Israelis might accept the presence of the hapless Lebanese Army in the south in exchange for their withdrawal, people seem increasingly anxious about their futures-- how they will house and feed their families, if they will find work, what the political consequences of this war will be, and what types of cancer and birth defects their unborn children will have.

The Russian UN Ambassador got it right when he said, that the UN resolution currently in play offers nothing "useful" to the Lebanese. No, it offers Israel everything it has demanded from the very beginning, including the exclusive right to "self-defense" in the name of which they can pretty much continue bombing until their heart's content. I'm waiting for them to claim that Hezbollah has managed to manipulate the physical laws of the speed of light (with the help of Iran and Syria, of course), creating mirages all across the country. They already mistook a well-digging rig in the unlikely Christian neighborhood of Achrafiyeh in Beirut for a missile launcher. What's next, in the name of self-defense? That kindergarden we just "liquidated" remarkably resembled a terror tyke training camp. We were sure Nasrallah's uncle's gardner's niece was playing hopscotch there. She had a beard. She resembled him. Not our fault.

Someone tell Olmert that "liquidate" isn't a nice word. It's just a tad too Stalinesque. Perhaps that term is part of his every day vocabulary, as in "I nearly liquidated myself laughing, when Anaconda Rice was in town. We had such a jolly time plotting the new Middle East over a meal of 'tasty fishes'."

5 comments:

euroarabe said...

loved it! she had a beard! anaconda rice! hilarious!

Indigomoonshine said...

Keep up ur writing. And give us your view of the horror thats is called war.
Keep save,
Indigomoonshine.


http:indigomoonshine.blogspot.com

randah said...

"I nearly liquidated myself laughing"

LOL!!

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