I DIED TODAY: A Message From A Lebanese Martyr
I died today, but I didn’t think I was in danger.
I passed by the church around the corner, went to the grocery store under my building, and I was going back up when I heard a huge explosion. I didn’t get what was going on, everything went grey, and I couldn’t feel my legs. The weight I was carrying completely disappeared, and I felt myself in a white space.
Then came my dear husband carrying my grocery bags. I couldn’t believe my eyes, my dear Samir is giving me a hand after 30 years of waiting for him to return from the Syrian prisons. They finally let go off my innocent husband! A sudden joy rushed through my veins as I caressed his cheeks, a feeling I haven’t felt for SO LONG!
Samir looked so handsome, so young, so happy to see me as well! Finally, we were joined again, lovers of the past.
But where did my building disappear? Why’s everything so white? I couldn’t get it. My body was so light. I haven’t been able to move so freely in such a long time!
That’s when it hit me: I am no longer alive. My handsome Samir wasn’t alive as well. All this hope I lived for has been for no use, they’ve killed him… He was already dead waiting for me to rejoin him in this white space, waiting to give me a hand with my grocery bags.
I was happy because I was with him again, after all this wait. But I wasn’t happy for what we lived.
My life was a hard one. I had 4 daughters, and 5 sons. I lost two of my daughters during the Lebanese civil war. In 1981, my husband was taken as a hostage because he was expressing his sorrow to our neighbor and blaming the powers for my daughters’ death; was that a crime? It never made sense to me.
My husband’s kidnap led all my sons to participate in the war, and fight for Lebanon. I pleaded that they don’t go. I begged them one by one. I didn’t want to lose them, too. I couldn’t lose them. But they didn’t listen, they didn’t care about risking their lives for their beloved country. They wanted to get their father back. They wanted to be free; they persisted to fight.
I guess this is not what only my sons did. This is what most of the youth did during the war. I understood that, being a citizen. But the mother in me could never digest it. My only children, the children I fed ever since day one, my vulnerable kids, my BABIES, joining the war…
WAR. What a selfish word; the word that destructed my home, the word that tormented my soul, and left me in despair.
One by one, they joined the war and one by one I lost them, my four baby boys. Yes, Habibi Rami made it. He was lucky. He was shot in the leg (that later got paralyzed) but he was alive. My other two daughters got married and traveled to Canada with their husbands scared from the situation. They wanted to take me with them, but I wanted to be here when my husband returns home.
Plus, I couldn’t leave Rami. He wanted to stay in Achrafieh, he wanted to prove to the powers that he will stay in Lebanon, that he will never give up. That’s what we did. That’s what we’ve been doing since 1992.
But life didn’t treat us right. All I had was my house, at Sassine’s Square. My husband lost all his money in the late 60s when Bank Intra went bankrupt. My two daughters sent me some money every now and then, but I could never ask for more, they have their own lives over there. They have a family. They needed the money more than a woman my age needed money. Rami changed a lot of jobs till he settled at an office in Fern El Chebbek, working as an accountant. But you know Lebanese salaries; I don’t want to get into details.
Public transportation is very messy in Beirut. Electricity and water is not so promising. But I could live with it. However, there was no healthcare, and I was getting older.
I soon realized that the country all my babies lost their lives for had no responsibility towards me, a mother of martyrs and a wife of a kidnapped innocent gorgeous man. My dear Rami did his best to take care of me, but he didn’t really have to, he deserved to be a bit happy in his life.
I wrote endless letters to the Ministry of Health, to the MPs, to journalists, and to anyone that I thought could assist me. They all described my case as a Cliché Lebanese family story and told me I should stop begging.
Begging? I lost 4 healthy boys and 2 lovely girls for a country. I got detached from the love of my life for a nation that labels me as a beggar and a Cliché Lebanese woman?
Ironically today, I realized that I am no longer a fighter but a martyr as well.
And as I promised, I stayed here. I stayed to welcome my husband back, exactly where he left me.
Ironically today, as I move freely between the Lebanese households I still see the youth hating. I see people pointing fingers. I see handsome gals wanting to risk their lives for yet another time. I see dirty minds preparing schemes to bomb, to kill, and to destroy.
Ironically today, I understand that all that blood that was shed by my kids and other young souls didn’t solve anything. It’s all the same… same as 1975. Same as 1989. Same as 2005 and what follows… and it’s all a shame.
Why don’t you get it? Why don’t you wake up? Why can’t you change the way you perceive things? You can make a change! Change Lebanon! Stop breaking the hearts of your parents and of your nation. The elections are soon. Think rationally. Think as a citizen. Love your parents. Cherish your lives. Do not let all those people who died for Lebanon regret that they did. Do not let the powers and the media brainwash you! You hold the power with your unity. The government is nothing without YOU.
Sadly, this will remain a cry from a mother who doesn’t know what she’s talking about because YOU KNOW BETTER; YOU KNOW POLITICS. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND AND FEEL ANYTHING. I am pathetic to you. I nag too much. I should only clean the house and cook you good meals.
As for Rami, I’m right next to you. We are all watching over you. I hope life treats you better than it treated us and you witness a better Lebanon.
When you get home from work you will find our house broken down in pieces. Be the boy I’ve always known you for. Be strong.
Your salary can get you a descent home close to your work, and hopefully the Lebanese government and your sisters will help. Now you do not have me as burden, you can spend your money as you please. I am sorry I brought you to a country such as Lebanon. I am sorry for all the troubles you’ve faced and you’re about to face. You will never cease to be my inspiration. I love you, Mum.
also found on : http://www.mayaakra.blogspot.com