On Mariam, Mirvat, and Hussein's mother

Hussein’s mother was finally found, so were fifteen other women, children and elderly who have been missing from Ainata. He had to remove the rubble with his own hands to find her. When Hussein went to bury her today, he found that his father’s tomb was destroyed by the shelling. His father was also killed by the Israeli army, back in 1978. I leave it for you to think of what lessons he will chose to teach his children about their grandparents.

Mirvat is fine. She is upset I didn’t pass by to see her when she was in Sidon. Says she needed somebody, anybody, to ask about her, to show concern. I am really sorry Mervat. People who went up to Zibqeen tell her that the two month and two days she has lived since the start of the attack on 12/7 are nothing compared to what she will be through once she is in the village. Maybe she is already in the village, I don’t know.

Mariam did go to Siddiqinne. All the usual places are gone. Her house is half destroyed, doing much better than other houses in the village, The school she teaches at in Bint Jbeil is rubble. Her sister’s house in southern suburbs is the same. She couldn’t stay. After what she has seen, smelled, and felt in the south since yesterday, she chose to come back to Beirut. I try to push her to cry, few tears come out.

I met a guy called Hassan today, by the hospital bed of his 14 year old sister. He lost both his parents, a sister and almost all his aunts and uncles in Shiyah. He is in his early 20s, with no home or family except for Israa his sister and on aunt. I am almost ashamed I still have my family.

.. and I? I don’t know. I can’t bear the images nor the stories. I work for 15 or 16 hours a day; maybe to escape. My house is half empty now. Alas, soon all my visitors will be leaving, and trying to reconstruct a life out of all of this. I don't wnat to be at home without them anymore. I want to go down south, I am not sure I can handle it; I am not sure I want to be that close again to death. Yet I am too close anyway, and I want to be close to the people too.

All of this for what? I wonder.. I know the answer. I know people in the south endure because they want their dignity, and because they know too well the logic of out next door neighbor.

Yet the south is no longer the south we know. We are no longer the enthusiastic spirited women of July 11. In our space and spirit the destruction is so massive, What will restore it? What will help us stay sane, and if possible humane after this? What, at least, will help me go to sleep tonight, away from all images?


Nas said...

a touching post. thank you for writing it.

Maha said...

I had been checking your blog to see what news there may be of Hussein's mother, and Mirvat, and Mariam's family. I was secretly hoping that Hussein's mother would be fine, that Mariam's family and home would have survived... I was hoping, secretly, for a miracle of our own.
To those of us that think the worst is behind us, let us think again.

Thank you for writing this Muzna...