I’m here and not here

(This is a translation of another touching post in Arabic by our dear friend, Eve, who is blogging from Lebanon, braving the terror of the Israeli offensive there... She wrote to me in an e-mail today: "i'm at a coffee shop, the connection at home seems to have surrendered at last. . . i dont know when i'll check my inbox again...")

I’m here now. From the other side of the sea, from the second face of the moon. Where everything is sweet, and calm, even if always cold.

I had to leave, you know.
Everyone was taking a bite off this land. And I… couldn’t stand it anymore.
The scene at the border was painful.
They all wanted to stay; they all had to leave.
I wanted to call out to them, I was about to hold their shoulders, shake them like this, and yell at them: “How could you? Aren’t you ashamed of yourselves?” I forgot that I, too, with the departing am departing.

The worst way for one to travel is by boat, you know? The plane, a few minutes and you’re flying. The car, a step on the fuel and you go. But on the boat, you stay standing, contemplating the marina, against your will… Looking at the land getting further away, at the people getting smaller, at a hand waving, and a hand, choked, that couldn’t wave. At a bag flying in the air, at a girl pinning laundry on a clothesline, at shuttered houses with no girl pinning laundry or clotheslines. Looking at your dream that they lost… At your dream that, maybe, you let get lost.

He didn’t understand me, my friend at the airport, when my head fell onto his shoulder, and I started to sob.

No, I’m not glad to be safe now. I am upset, I am crestfallen, I am choked from the inside…I am here in safety, and you are still over there. I am here a living illusion, no more, but you are at least alive. I am here but not worth more than five minutes of the news. I am a number. We are all numbers. Our identity is corpses and the stone that is shattering… Here were are barbarians, we don’t know how to live together, don’t know how to love. We don’t know that a homeland comes, always, before religion…

I’m here and not there
Here and not here
Here forgetting myself there
Never here
Always, with you, there

I’m starting to ramble. You take care of yourself. Do sing me that song from time to time… if you still sing.


At Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:35:00 PM, Blogger kassper said...

Back in Lebanon, I was applying for a course in Italy, but I was two weeks late due to some troubles with my passport where I finally succeeded to join the course although late. This course ends by the end of July. Since we had a stay of four months, we were offered to send 20 kg of luggage to our country. Few days before the date of the attack, 24 boxes were piled ready for shipment except for my box. I decided to send them on the last day of the course...and now the boxes are still empty, not going anywhere or not knowing where to go. People think that I am lucky to be away from home, yes maybe I am lucky not to be there facing death, but my heart is dead, my brain is blocked, my stomach cant digest and my breath is suffocating. Now, it is our generation's turn to struggle either inside or outside Lebanon, struggle for our lives to be able to breath with the echo of the fear of the hidden future.

At Saturday, July 22, 2006 7:54:00 PM, Blogger overandout said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Saturday, July 22, 2006 8:00:00 PM, Blogger overandout said...

I don't know what's better: leaving the country days before the war like I did and not having to be evacuated in this way and to leave behind loved ones in despair OR staying a few more days and becoming prisoners in our own homes but knowing that the ones we love and care about are around, and then, only then, could this burden of guilt be lifted? I wish I could go back. Being safe hasn't helped me get any sleep at night, I know it won't help me go on with my life if anything happens to my family.

At Saturday, July 22, 2006 9:19:00 PM, Blogger Philip I said...

New Post:

And on the 12th day of bombing..


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