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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Living in Hell

  • Syrian airplanes bombed Lebanese Christian strongholds in Zahlé and East Beirut, renewing a war that had been on hiatus since 1976. http://en.wikipedia.org
  • Syrian artillery suddenly and furiously bombarded East Beirut at a time when students were leaving schools to head home on April 2, 1981. Casualties and injuries were in the Hundreds http://www.lgic.org
  • 4-2-1981. Syrian artillery basis located in Mount Lebanon shells East Beirut killing 100 innocent civilians, including school students,      and without any warning. http://www.gotc-se.org

 That is war! They say it's over, but I know it's not. War is not limited to one country, to one population. War is not only destroying buildings and places, it is killing humanity, and destroying souls.

I have been thinking of that day with a lot of anxiety since yesterday ... trying to push the memory away or turn it into a positive one. It's hard, and I know all of you have memories that are hard to ignore.
Before trying to write about it, I tried to find information on Google about that specific day, and I gathered the three statements I mentioned above.

That's it? Bombs, missiles that killed 100 innocent civilians? They talk about it as if it was an insignificant incident.
Does anyone know or think about what that day represented for us who lived it? I am not able to talk about my emotions now, so I will just state the facts as they occurred.

It was a calm day in early April. I was at school as usual. Since Teta (my grandmother) had died, I used to walk almost 3 km to give my grand father his lunch. My youngest sister left school that day with her friend to spend the afternoon, and Mama and my other sister were to visit my father at his new office for a surprise. On their way, Mama asked my sister to wait for her in the entrance of a building while she wanted to buy some food from the grocery shop. Everyone was in a different place when it started.
I was still walking, on my way. Suddenly, it all began. Bombs and explosions resonated all around me, windows were broken, people were panicking, cars driving crazily, trying to escape and I was walking. Strangers were calling me to come and hide, asking what would a 13 years old girl do on the streets alone, but I just accelerated focusing on Jeddo, my grandfather, and him waiting for me to cook his lunch.
    When I arrived, I found Jeddo's neighbors waiting for me and scared as Mami, my mama, had called to check if I had arrived safely. 
    Jeddo was living on the 5th floor, the top floor of the building ... which is always the most dangerous. I argued with them all because I wanted to go upstairs to Jeddo. They tried hard, but no one managed to stop me. Sounds became closer and louder. The cement strong building was shaking. Electricity went off, telephone lines went off, people were now all yelling at me and at Jeddo to force me to leave and go down with them to the shelter in the basement.
    Rockets reached our street, our building. All windows in the apartment were broken. I was worried about my parents, my sisters, my aunt. I didn't know where they were. All I wanted is for them to be safe. I wasn't afraid of dying. Nor was I frightened of the sounds as much as I was scared of any of them being hurt. I know I prayed. I remember asking God to protect them for me, to bring them back home safe, and I begged him to choose me if in His plans, one of us was to get hurt. I would gladly give my own life in exchange for one of theirs.
I'm not able to say more about it now. We were all reunited almost 48 hours later, homeless as our own apartment had been completely destroyed ... we had nothing, but we were alive. We were all safe.

That is war for whoever didn't experience it, not the breaking news we see briefly on TV. That is real, and it is still happening. Isn't it ENOUGH? Isn't it easier to love each other and make PEACE?












28 comments:

  1. Patricia EastwoodApril 3, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    Nikky ... This is a post which paints very strong images for your readers.
    Congratulations, dear friend, for a wonderful piece of writing which packs a strong punch for us.
    I know that you are still living in a war-torn country with the ever-present chance of missiles. You still have power cuts for many hours out of every twenty four. You still have shortages.
    ...
    And yet ... and yet ... you still smile and you still send love out to the world.
    ...
    Thank you, Nikky, for being YOU.
    With love, Pat. <3

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    1. Thank you Pat for encouraging me to write this post in order to let this bad anxiety out! It worked!!
      Power cut, car bombs, snipers,assassination, that is our daily life.
      I should be the one to say thank you Pat, as you accept me just the way I am. Love you <3

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  2. Nikky, this is a powerful piece of writing. You gave me a view of war that I have no way, at this point in my life, of knowing. Your courage and fortitude to keep going, to think of others' safety, to strive for peace--all just amazing and so inspirational. Yes, there has been enough war, and it's voices like yours speaking out for peace that will change things. I absolutely believe that.

    Tina

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    1. Thank you Tina. That is a description of one day, just one day of a war that started when I was 7 years old, and that is still ongoing with just short breaks!The last episode was 2 years ago.

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  3. We need these accounts to remind us how awful it is, how we need to stop the senselessness. Thankfully you all were safe, but effected forever. It is truly a time for peace.

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    1. True Jodi. It has last TOO long to be something we can forget. I know i will never forget all that has happened. I know I will never be able to "enjoy" fireworks like others. I maybe say I wasn't scared, and I still do, but I also know that deep down inside I must have been terrified.

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  4. I have no words.
    You just grabbed my hand and plopped me in the middle of that day.
    This is just raw and vivid.
    I can't believe that you went through that.

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    1. Sometimes I wonder if everything I remember of the war has really happened, so I check with my father, and I get confirmation. Sometimes I can't believe it is all true.

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  5. Nikky, It didn't save my last response so here's a second attempt.

    No one should experience what you experienced. If anything good came out of it it is You. You are so strong and have so much love to give! I'm convinced that's why you're here. I wish we could all see each other as brothers and sisters. Then and only then will there be peace in the world and you are playing an important role in just that. <3

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    1. Thank you Stan for your sweet words :)
      We ARE all brothers and sisters, but people refuse to see it. I really don't get it!! when we know that life is just a short passage in our eternal life, why do we fight for some material benefits, for things that won't last with us more than a short moment in time.

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  6. Oh my!I just read Living in Hell!How terrifying!I am glad you survived.God wants you alive for a reason!I am amazed at how you describe what happened with detail that transports me to that day and other times in your life.I am honoured that you trust me enough to share such tremendous monumental moments in your life.I also read April fools day,and you know what?Just FORGET those people who were supossed to be your friends and turned on you!I am your friend and I can promise with ALL MY HEART that I would NEVER EVER hurt you or turn on you!Shame on them!...I can relate to you having to "prove" to people stuff.I do that all the time.I lived my life too being called a liar(I am not!)an exaggerator etc.I nowadays dont go out of my way to "prove"things anymore.Just to my mom,2brothers&2sisters.They believe me and thats all that matters.They saw the abuse and what was done to me at home.And to them.They are scarred too even if it doesnt show...I believe you Nicole...LataMyFriend...Jeanne : )

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    1. Thank you very much Jeanne!!! Life hasn't been nice to you either, but i guess we are strong enough to handle it!

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  7. I can't imagine what you went through as a child and I'm sure it's all so real and raw to this day, Nikky. Let us pray that our world finds a way towards peace ♥

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    1. Thank you Corinne. Thank you for joining in Prayers. If everyone could make peace with himself, his family would find peace too. When families are living in peace, the whole country would be at peace too, and if each country lives in peace, the whole world would be paradise.

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  8. this is a very strong piece of writing, you took me into that day and made me feel how horrible it could be, i pray for peace to find us and save our souls from the cruelty of war, God bless you and keep you safe always, you and your loved ones :)

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    1. Thank you very much! I was talking to my friend and telling her how anxious I was, so she suggested I write about it. It helped. War is cruel, I'm sure you know about it too. I hope things won't deteriorate again. I think we have had enough.

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  9. You are amazing, Nikky. I read this with my heart in my throat. Being one who has only experienced war as you say, briefly in breaking news on TV, the thought of it terrifies me but also fills me with guilt, that others have had to live through it. I have been wondering what your experience was during those days, though I would never have dreamt of asking. Now that you have spoken, I admire your strength even more than before. Do you think you will keep writing about this? Your story is so compelling and important.

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    1. Thank you so much Lisa for your encouraging words. Before writing that post, I had the idea of making one post per week relating an experience of war, then I thought it might be boring to others. I don't know if i will do it later, but for now I think i will keep posting what comes out as it comes with no preparations or plans. Much love!

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  10. Those of us who have never gone through what you described in this blog, can't even imagine what you and your counrymen suffered. Your words are powerful and descriptive and I felt like I was in the middle of your life.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting Brenda. War is an awful experience that has last really long. I don't know if sharing my experiences can help in anyway, but at least, I hope it validates what others are suffering from now.

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  11. I've been a pacifist for all my life, but I've rarely read a description of war that is as powerful as yours. Confronting the fear as a child and writing about it now took amazing strength of character. I hope the writing set some of your fears free. Be well and thank you for such an uplifting post.

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    1. Thank you very much Betsy for reading my post and commenting. I was told many times that writing down things is very helpful, and now that I started to write just one month ago, I realize how true it is.

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  12. ~~~Nikki,
    it is amazing how you survive
    every. single. day.

    You are so much more (((POWERFUL))) than you know.

    Love flowing to your THIS VERY MOMENT. xx

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    1. Thank you Kim. I need as much Love as I can get, especially now in that very moment. Much love.

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  13. You would think that it would be easier to live in love? Sadly that is not always the case. Thanks for sharing & God Bless!

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    1. I agree, it is not always the case, but It still is the best solution available.

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  14. Nikky, I am awestruck by the raw emotion of this post! I'm so sorry you had to endure this as a child. I truly am but this points to the fact that you are a survivor. Much as you may doubt it some days, you are a survivor. You have what it takes to triumph over adversity. This story is proof of that! Beautifully delivered, lady! :)

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    1. That was just one day, and there were plenty of them, much more than what I can write about. A lifelong experience! I am trying to look at myself through your eyes and see myself as a survivor. It doesn't always work

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