Monday, July 24, 2006

there is a very strong smell in the air tonight. i have smelled it before.

i was in NYC during the 9-11 attacks. For two months after the attacks, NYC smelled like Beirut smells like tonight.

it is a mixture of burnt buildings, electric fires, and charred bodies.

it is a putrid and nauseating smell.

i closed all the windows in the apartment, but now we are choking from this sweltering heat.

i went to see Maya today and she commented on how everyday in Beirut these days is like a Sunday... no one on the streets... all the shops closed... but really, it is a lot worse than that. tonight the electricity was out... beirut was so dark and silent.

today i thought about my students in the Burj Al Barajni Palestinian Refugee Camp. They are caught in the middle of it all. Located right between the airport and Dahiye, i cannot imagine what they are going through. they already had water, medical and electrical shortages.. it must be so bad right now. my heart is breaking...

my sister, Lana, and I had started a class to economically empower young women of the camp. Lana organized it so that each month an artist would come in and teach the women of the camp a craft or artisan skill, so they could make crafts they could sell in order to help support their families. at the end of the classes we were going to have an exhibition of the works made. my month was july. i was only able to give two classes until this madness erupted. we were making objects out of paper mache. the last time i saw them, we were making mini people that represented different people of the camps. we used balloons to make the head, and chicken wire for the bodies... then we covered them with newspaper and glue.

today i also thought about world domination. about how a few people control so much of what goes on today. it was too scary to continue the thought. so, i stopped.

9 Comments:

Blogger friendsofbrookpark said...

Peace and Love from NYC... friend of Rob's here, we emailed vis a vis the art from recycled items... health and blessings to all... tolerance, freedom, sharing, non patriarchy ways of life
saalam shalom shanti aho mitakyusin

4:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zena, I am so sorry for you, but it looks like the world has deserted Lebanon.

4:40 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

The madness will end, the classes will again commence hopefully this time in a lasting peace.

My hope for peace goes out to you and all others caught between the chest beaters.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This conflict is based on religious fundamentalism and hardliners' politics on both sides. The people of Lebanon are innocent victims of it. We only can hope that there will be a solution soon, before this senseless war will destroy the complete structure of civilization in your country.
Best wishes for you and your friends and family and all peaceful men in Lebanon ... from Germany

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This conflict is based on religious fundamentalism and hardliners' politics on both sides. The people of Lebanon are innocent victims of it. We only can hope that there will be a solution soon, before this senseless war will destroy the complete structure of civilization in your country.
Best wishes for you and your friends and family and all peaceful men in Lebanon ... from Germany

5:33 PM  
Anonymous don said...

Zena, i look forward to reading your emaisl and now blogs. i havent heard usa is sending weapons to isreal. I dont put anything past the bush regime. but isreal has weapons already. i hate this conmflict its terrorism and the world has run amok with religious zealots who all believe there way is right i believe all religions are crap. I wish i could fly over and do something but i am powerless except in forwarding your on line writings to journalist her e . there are alot of lebanese people here in dallas. my soul aches for all of us . I DO THINK YOU SHOULD STOCK UP ON ALL TYPES OF SUPPLIES , IF NOT FOR YOUR SAKE , YPUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. ITS JUST PRUDENT. BYE , YOU ARE NOT ALONE , DON, DALLAS, TEXAS/USA

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Nicole said...

photos of destruction trying to depict the unimaginable dead children bombs exploding people's faces nothing but fear and pain watching all these atrocities still unable to grasp what it means... what it means to a people... a war zone that not long ago came back to life flowers beauty love... my heart aches reaching out to you sending love and strength... the world is watching you are not forgotten

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are your students in the Burj al Barajneh refugee camp? What do you teach them? Do you do this as voluntary work? I'd be interested to know. Thanks. From Jaximou in Lebanon

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dearest Zena, this week I’ve read about and from you in a German newspaper. I told my husband about this and both of us had to cry. This morning I went to church and read to the community this entry that everybody knows about the horror going on in your country (of course we get information through TV and radio and so on but it is different to be able to get in touch with somebody herself). After that we prayed for peace and love and freedom in the world as a whole but for Lebanon and Israel especial. Your entry went straight into my heart. I know from my father and my grandmother what it means to be a refugee in war. In our family and in our community there are so many traumatised people because of the 2. world war and its horror. After the service many old people came to me and told me about their experiences. And they promised to pray for you and the whole region. The biggest wish in our community is to build up peace and friendship, because of the experience of war and killing and deep mourning. It is not forgotten. It is still in our hearts and minds and in the hearts and minds of our children and grandchildren. I am touched deep inside because you did not write about hate but about senselessness of war and killing.
So please know that we are thinking of you, praying for you and trying to do anything to affect the public opinion. Please keep on writing!
With love
Anne

6:34 PM  

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