April 2, 2011

Journal Entry : Beirut I forgive you

Today, I will be posting something different, something personal for me, something I wrote a while ago and hesitated to share on my blog.
But now I am comfortable to share it.

Journal Entry
Saturday, January 29, 2011
10:23 PM
Today , it was the first day I took a TAXI and crossed beirut after the events that happened this week.
Today, it was the first day I left the “security zone” I was living in for the past days.
It was the first day, I left western Beirut , to its other parts.

It was sunny, warm with a cold breeze playing with my hair in the cab . Just a typical Beiruti weather in this time of the year.
Traffic Jam as usual,  grumbling Taxi drivers, along with vulgar drivers with their posh cars.

I watched people faces from the window of the cab.
There was melancholy. People looked disheartened.
I smiled to an old woman walking, holding lots of grocery bags in her hands. She smiled back at me.
I saw an old guy with rotten cloth. He looked homeless. He was screaming in the street.He was screaming out of pain, out of craziness perhaps.I lumped. I am sitting here with my cloth , my money , I have a good health and an old man almost dying in front of me. What am I doing here? How I can even call myself a human?
Where is my action?

The traffic jam infront moved. The taxi had to move on too.
We passed by a beggar. At least I can give pass him some money. But even the traffic was fast, as if no one waits . There are no stops in this world. We are semi-robots. Working on the clock and ignoring what we see and what we hear.
Perhaps am not the first to watch these things, or to record them or even to write about them.
But what I felt today is nothing to be disregarded. I felt my heart ripped out of my chest.

Let me continue this semi journey in Beirut.
The taxi dropped me after taking two other people aboard. The signs of fatigue was all over them . Their weary looks, made me lump again.

I walked two blocks to reach my grandma's house. I passed by a place where international domestic workers go to call their families. I always pass by their and hear them shouting with their foreign language and talking to their families with passion. I usually hear  voices of nostalgia.
But this time I heard a different voice. I saw one of the domestic workers, had red eyes and  was full of tears.
It wasn’t just the voice of missing someone, it was the voice of pain, the voice of wretchedness.
I couldn’t help but join her in her own misery and shed tears as I passed by.
But what have I done to lessen this misery? Nothing. I am just a hypocrite.

I reached my grandma's house. Atleast I will find some hope their. Some bubble of joy lost so that I can catch and let me forget all this miserable life I had seen in just one hour!
But even when I saw my grandma , it was the same story. She heard my voice as I entered the house and she thought it was the voice of her daughter( my mom ). And when she realized it wasn’t her, she cried. I hugged her, kissed her forehead and cried …She whispered to me crying,: “Everyone is agonized. Everyone has something to be anxious about. Noone is resting. Noone is happy ya teta.”

True, there were no bubbles of joy but a flood of sadness.

Beirut, how can I love you? Beirut tell me how to love you when you hide all this misery under your silk beauty!
How can you not let us see what are people feeling and going through.
Until when , you want to deny this pain soaring through your skin.
Until when , you want to live with a fake smile drawn to let people love you.
Until When , you want this virus of sorrow to seep into your veins.
Beirut, tell me.
Today, you broke my heart.
Yes, I want to let the world that you broke my heart.

 You told me people are happy. You told me people are enjoying their lives despite all what is happening to them. You told me I am the most beautiful city.

You told me , my streets are spirited. My houses hold charming fables inside them.
But your truth was not convincing. 

 Like a lover cheating on his love, you cheated on me.
Will you give me a  bona fide justification for what you said?

Perhaps  like the lovers who forgive each other  at the end of each fight,  Beirut, I  will forgive you.

I forgive you. Because it is not your fault. It is ours.


  1. i love it,,i teared while i was reading it ...

    i do agree with u a lot. since i feel that Beirut is becoming a plastic barbie. her real face is hidden under the make up , even though we deny it.
    a lot of us travel running away from it ,,but we always ended up coming back. its our place that we call home, but i do believe that maybe one day we will remove the fake make up and return it to its nature ( the real beauty ) .

  2. N.C! Thank you for reading my post::)
    It means alot to me :)
    I like your analysis of the part" alot of us travel running away from it" then come back!!
    As if Beirut has a sort of Magnetic Attraction to it :):)

    Perhaps the make up is not because Beirut wants to wear it , it is because people there want to wear it! :/ .. the hurting truth!