Saturday, August 05, 2006

Letter from Maha Al Azar in Beirut

I received the following letter from an old friend, Maha Al Azar. A longtime resident of Beirut, Maha trained at the Washington Post and has worked at the Daily Star in Lebanon. She hails from a Lebanese Christian family; he father is a distinguished jurist.

Here's the text of Maha's letter:

Of course we are really starting to feel the effects of the blockade. Supermarket shelves are emptying out, gas stations are shutting down and those who remain open have 70-car long lines queuing up at the pump, power rationing is increasing... The Israelis were supposed to allow fuel in today, but the ships are still waiting in the sea. In any case, there is fear that they would allow the ships in [to look good before the international community] and then hit fuel tanks and gas stations as they have been doing up till now.
I hope this madness will end soon. Unfortunately only the US can end it, and neither Bush nor Bolton nor Rice are "ready" for a ceasefire. You should read Fisk's interview with Amy Goodman. It will tell you things as is.
You should also see the extent of destruction that has happened. It sounds like a cliche to say it looks like WW II Europe. But it really does. And I'm talking of Hamburg, here. It's unbelievably sad. You should also see the sea. It has turned black and gooey from a fuel oil spill which resulted from a power plant being repeatedly bombed by the IDF . The sea looks as though an evil sorcerer has cast a spell on it, turning it black. Really surreal. No matter how I describe it, I cannot capture the pain I felt when I saw our beautiful Mediterranean black, dark, ugly like the times we live in.

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