Yesterday was a bad day for Gaza. And prior to that a bad day for Israel, when the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who had been kidnapped were found. A bad day, a bad week indeed for all of us, for the world and especially for the Middle East. My heart and prayers go out to the families and all those who lost a loved one.
As always, news like that triggers old memories in me. Memories that I have tried throughout the years to forget. And yet at times like this, old incidents keep creeping into my mind. And I get angry. Because innocent people are being killed every day and we just sit and watch. I get angry because we are first and foremost human beings and as such we are different than animals because we can think and talk. We can communicate! Molière wrote:
“It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we don’t do.”
And I keep asking why. Why? Why? Why in God’s name do innocent people have to die in the most advanced century of our time. Why can’t we as human beings resolve our conflicts in a more civilized manner? Why? What is happening to us? What’s wrong with us?
In Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières writes:
“The ultimate truth is that history ought to consist only of the anecdotes of the little people who are caught up in it.”
And so I wonder… If we had history books written by the people caught up in war, could things have been different for us? Would we have behaved differently now? Just like I wonder about what happened to most of the people I left behind when I left war torn Beirut seeking refuge in a safer place. I wonder what happened to my friends and acquaintances. I wonder where they are, if they are alive, or if they are anywhere safe or not. I wonder if they lost loved ones in yesterday’s bombings.
My family is still in the Middle East. In Lebanon, in a small village near the border with Syria. My mother, brother, uncles and aunts, cousins and friends, all with their families, live there. The place I sometimes become so nostalgic about that it hurts. And with all the talk of ISIS declaring war I cannot help but feel terrified.
Anton Chekhov wrote:
“We are accustomed to live in hopes of good weather, a good harvest, a nice love-affair, hopes of becoming rich or getting the office of chief of police, but I’ve never noticed anyone hoping to get wiser. We say to ourselves: it’ll be better under a new tsar, and in two hundred years it’ll still be better, and nobody tries to make this good time come tomorrow.”