Friday, August 11, 2006

Down in the Beqaa valley

Today we went down into the Beqaa valley. Lebanon is truly lovely but its eerie to travel over the highway passing brave truck drivers toting watermelons with big white flags tied to their trucks to alert Israeli planes that they are benign.

We interviewed a woman who had been displaced four times. She was originally from the southern suburbs of Beirut but had gone down to live with her mother in the south for the summer to get out of the city with her three children. On the second day of the war, her house was hit and her mother and brother killed. "It was a miracle that we survived," she told us. She and her sons fled to Tyre (also known here as Sur). When that city was bombed, her husband came to get her and brought her to Dahiyeh - the suburbs that have been targeted repeatedly. There, they stayed with her sister until the night before last when they coldn't take the bombing and near misses anymore. THey came to Zahle, a town in the Beqaa valley where they are now living with 100 other people in a secondary school.

"There's only three toilets here and you have to wait three hours for the bathroom," she said "but we have everything we need. They have brought us food, water, and soap. They took our clothing sizes and will bring us some clothes tomorrow, they said." "I just want to go back to what life was like before the war," she said.

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