When I went to India to study abroad two and a half years ago, one of our advisors was a Lebanese woman originally from Beirut. I remember hearing stories she would say making anologies between our experiences in India with her memories of Lebanon. She’s a smart, strong, creative woman, that I had befriended through our trip to India together. After Israel started bombing Lebanon, I sent her an e-mail lettering her know I was thinking of her, and she was in my thoughts and prayers. She sent me a short reply of a copy of an e-mail she sent a group of friends a few days prior letting every know how she was doing, and only then did I realize she was currently in lebanon…

_sorry my writing has been so sporadic. can’t seem to get myself to write what is going around me…don’t seem to have words…and now it is all sound bytes…bombing, destruction, deaths, counts, types of explosions, what they have destroyed next, how many children, how many children, how many children…was at a vigil yesterday to say they should stop killing children…lots of press, no people—exhausted and fearful already….and they haven’t even started on us randomly…the southern suburbs are getting flatter and flatter by the day as the death toll rises…hospitals to capacity with shortages on everything already…more refugees flooding in every day and no way to accommodate them in the schools anymore…they are being painfully relocated yet again to schools in outlying cities and towns…and now Sidon…terrorizing with leaflets and flyovers all day as mass graves are dug out and filled in…84 yesterday in Tyr…the Bekaa valley is being raised, all these places still unreachable via the ‘humanitarian corridor’ that is supposed to up and running by today…no food water, medicine, supplies to all outlying villages in the south and the southern mountain range…at least a 200 more dead that cannot be reached since they bombed vans leaving towns they forced to evacuate and even hit a red cross team and one of the poor fellows died… so they are not willing to risk their lives to go dig out corpses. can’t blame them really—and Bekaa is unreachable—roads are bombed out…

Meanwhile we get news clips of tearful folks leaving as families are ripped apart again…and still the US says [as it RUSHES new patriot ‘protective missiles’ to Israel] it feels for the people and will do everything they can to move the humanitarian aid along…which cannot be distributed duty to Israeli bombs…so bloody convoluted…and now Condi has come and made more mess…the only good news we have is that Hezbollah is willing to give the two soldier hostages to the Lebanese govt. it seems that much behind closed door diplomacy is underway, but not fast enough to stop the murder and destruction…too little too late as ever…

last night was quiet…except for a few huge ones in the south suburbs to last us the night…but no electricity—thus the sporadic writing—and thus no water and now half the phones are out due to a tower being hit in the mountains. I slept well.

we need a ceasefire desperately…we need the US to listen carefully to the chief humanitarian officer sent by the UN…to the voices of the screaming relatives who are now avowing to avenge their dead…the US and Israel have just succeeded in 12 days to create more hatred than they did in 3 years in Iraq…and there are those internally who are trying to separate the factions again and drive wedges further between Sunni and Shiite and between Moslems and Christians in general…and then saner voices who are calling for the Lebanese to stay united…

I saw refugees on almost every street corner of Beirut today…they are looking for food housing shelter…the crisis will continue as floods more are arriving daily from the south in any way they can. they are being offered places in schools in outlying towns but feel they want to stay in Beirut…800,000 displaced and counting…

I saw jasmine in bloom on the wall of my building. I played with my roommate, a gorgeous 3 1/2 month old kitten named fistouk, which means nuts which he is, the sea is sparkling and blue, the breezes are delicious and warm, I ate knefe bi jibn with friends, I did laundry…and I am glued to the TV like everyone else…

dad fell yesterday and broke his shoulder and is in a sling for 6 weeks and is in bad pain. am in the village for the day and night with him…thus the electricity to write this post…we expect that after the evacuations are done, the shit will really fly…inshallah that is not true.

I miss you so….my regression is complete, but I am well over all. this is madness. it will also be survived…as ever before…I had an interview with NBC which will air on nightly news tonight your time…I miss normalcy which is what I told them. but then, so does everyone else here…

please pass my posts on. don’t have the energy or the wherewithall to repeat myself over and over…the bombs doing that enough…and now with Condi arriving all smiles and pledging aid ### 12 DAYS LATER WHILE THEY RUSH A SHIPMENT OF LASER AND BUNKER BUSTER MISSILES TO ISRAEL TOMORROW…MAKES ME SO ANGRY AND SICK TO MY STOMACH…LOVE THE USE OF MY 28 % TAX $

inshallah the next few crucial days will prove fruitful…despite the continuing murder and destruction…

love and salaam L_”