Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Beirut Mon Amour, redux

Ahhh. I took down the last post because I inadvertently wrote about my new friends in ways they didn't appreciate.. Sorry y'all! So, here's a re-creation of that post.

Our 'last supper' in Beirut was strangely anti-climatic. We were all so tired and worn down. It hadn't been so obvious durint our birthday parties but it just felt harder at this dinner. Maybe because there were more of us. Maybe because it was three weeks later. It just felt like we were all drained and exhausted. I think many of us had just seen too much or were at the edge of burnout. the usually lively political discussions were not as carefree. We ate too much and barely drank any wine. Everyone wanted to go home early. No Malcolm Lowry's were consumed.

SO I got home, had indigestion from trying to out eat Nir with the hummous. Fell asleep and woke up at 2:30 am where I then sat and watched the sun slowly come up over Lebanon before i left. I felt very sad. I felt like I made intense attachments in that short period of time. Maybe it was due to the fact that I was fully engaged in this misison , unlike others where I was teetering on burnout myself. I'm feeling obsessed with the injustices in this part of the world. I"m reading Robert Fisk's "Pity the Nation" and I'm so angry - at Israel, at the Palestinians, at the many different factions of Lebanon. Its' probably good that I didn't read it before I came. I had almost a naive, innocent appreciation of everyone.

Now, I feel rather helpless and hopeless. How does one act as a humanitarian in such a context? I push forward my pathetic points about what the international community should be doing, knowing now, that its just the latest installment of a long, bloody, pathetic history.

Okay. That's it. Happy One year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Listen to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Listen to Tom Waits. Listen to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Sidney Bechet. Remember the people and the beauty of the music, and mourn the passing of this beautiful, dirty, awful, American city.

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