i'm having a problem gettting my emails out. this is actually from a few days ago - some of my emails are not getting through apparently.
you're probably wondering how the hell i have time to write these emails - 1) i need to be on computers parts of the day to mobilize support 2) my early morning activity during Israeli symphony time is to write updates to you.
I think the pictures speak for themselves so I will say little. I'm trying to upload them.
We got permission to enter Dahiya. It is one of the south Beirut suburds that you hear about on the news that continues to be bombed. We went on Saturday. I said little while i was there. It was twillight, we entered the abandoned town - it was silent, spare, hollow. we drove down a main street with a concrete divide, the streets were covered in dust. We saw a little rubble, some men motioned to us to park and follow them. they flanked us from the front and back and informed us to be quick, they were expecting israeli planes to revisit soon.
We walked, we turned a corner, we stopped.
The distruction was unimaginable. Buildings, tall buildings - 10, 12, 15 stories or more had come crashing down, spilling into the streets. Wires hung everywhere. The colors were of the dull greys and tans of dirt, dust, concrete - everything was covered in grey ash. They buildings had massive, gapping holes from where they were hit. Others were simply reduced to rubble, not a single identifiable story remained. Some were even holes in the ground, sucked into the madness of war, closer to this supposed hell - if it can get any worse that what already exsists on Earth.
It had been a fully breathing city - there were clothes hanging out to dry, grocery stores, clothing shops - everything was frozen in erry horror. Said to be a strong hold of Hezbollah, what remained was the blown up loves of people, thousands of them - pieces of clothes, shoes, books, beds, phones, charis, shutters, pillows, tables, unidentifiable objects....
ashes of lives
ashes of death
The only sounds were our feet cruching the debris below as we tried to navigate the destruction building after building, block after block. It smelled of burning and decay, yet my eyes won the sensory war of this overwhleming scene - grey. grey, black, grey. And just when I thought there couldn't be anymore - it kept going.
Some of the guys came after me, please don't linger Huweida translated and the man pointed to the sky and ushered me on. Hurry, he motioned with his hands.
I turned a corner and saw a giantic pile of rumble that didn't make any sense - where did it come from? it was so immense.
"This used to be an 11 story building, " a man said. A suction bomb leveled the entire thing. I gasped. Not a single structure remained that remotely resembled a building - in it's place was a hole in the ground. I stood in disbelief.
I looked down and there was a little yellow and black toy truck that had survived better than the building - probably blown from somewhere else. Suddenly my eyes scanned the ground all around me and the remains of children's toys were everywhere - torn apart, buried, crushed, burned, or lying in debris. My eyes darted in different directions and I became desparate to find them - these remains. Their remains. And then i froze in my tracks. I heard something - a ringing. I knew instantly that it wasn't a cell phone from our group. My eyes followed the sound with dread and found it's source in a blown out 3rd story apartment blackened on the outside.
i don't know what it was about that moment, a phone ringing, a sign of life echoing through a place of death. Please don't ask me to describe it.
I heard something foggily in the distance, it became clearer as my head cleared and i tore my eyes away from the apartment. Someone roughly 20 feet away was warning me to step away from the live wire i was near.
The phone was still ringing, echoing. I stepped away.
A Lebanese activist was crying, she was displaced from the south and was overwhelmed by this destruction in the north. She cried. The guys ordered us to leave as they scanned the skies. everyone made their way to the road, but i lingered for just a bit - scanning for remains, watching, photographing, remembering.
We were covered in dust. Israel did not bomb that Saturday but on Sunday.
Why was that person calling? Didn't they know?