Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tripoli, the forgotten city.

The past few days were full of bad news in The Arab World; threat of using chemical weapons in Syria, the new revolution in Egypt, but worst of all the regretful clashes taking place in the city where I reside: Tripoli.
Here's a brief introduction about the history of this wonderful city; it is the home of the largest fortress in Lebanon, but it couldn't protect itself from the violence. It is the second largest Mamluk City in architectural heritage, but yet homes and buildings are being distorted and destroyed because of the bullets and shells. It was ruled by almost all the civilizations; the Phenicians, Assyrians, Persians, Romans, Byzantians, Caliphates, Suljukians, Crusadors, Mamluks, Ottomans and France. Those civilizations brought important breakthroughs to this city and made it a very important spot in the Middle East.
Today, politicians (Lebanese, Arab and Western) are supplying the poorest percentage of the Tripolitan population with arms, and are paying the illiterate and uneducated to sabotage the peace that we longed and are still longing for for so long. Note that Bab El Tebbaneh and Jabal Mohsen were once brothers and sisters and lived together in peace for a long period of time. Fifty years ago they were the home of the richest and most educated families. Why are they shooting, throwing bombs, and depriving their children and our children from stability? From peace? Why are they sending their children off to die and denying them their right of education, their chance of becoming good citizens who might actually make our "land" a better place to live? I insist on the term "land" because this is not a country, like Ziyad El Rahbany said "This is not a country, this is a group of people put together." Even the word "put together" doesn't suit us because we are not united, we are divided.
"United we stand, divided we fall." Well this looks pretty much like falling. We haven't slept in days. Bullets, shells, bombs, snipers.. They invaded the streets, got out of the hot spots and took over the center of the city. 3 bombs hit Azmi and Nadim El Jisr streets, which are the dynamic spots of Tripoli's economy. Some people ran away, some went to hide at their neighbours, some went down to the parkings to hide in fear of a missile breaking through our helpless walls and windows.
As I am writing this, sounds of bullets are being heard. They numbed us with them, we actually think it's normal if we only hear sounds of bullets.
90% of the Tripolitans don't want this to happen, they are victims of dumb people who want to deliver regional messages on our depend. And the worst is that the media abandoned our case and is completely ignoring the deteriorating situation here. No breaking news, no nothing, just a bunch of citizens tweeting and facebooking what is happening around them, and I thank them cause otherwise I wouldn't know what was happening. Aren't we Lebanese? Or did you erase us from the map? You are choosing to show silly commercials and series instead of facts happening because you are paid for it. If we don't pay you, do you choose to go against all the principles of journalism, against the promise you made to the world, against the interest of the country? What is more precious than the blood of our people being shed? Isn't that a price too expensive to be paid? Soumal TV was showing at 4AM what was happening here, while you were asleep or chose to show stupid Mexican, Turkish drama. If it were for another city all the media would have covered what was happening for the past 5 nights. During Ashrafiyeh bombing we were all in front of our TVs watching every single detail of what was occurring. SHAME ON YOU LEBANESE MEDIA.
I am not saying they shouldn't cover other things, and I am definitely not wishing the expansion of this crisis to other Lebanese cities. All that I want is for the media to cover this "war" as it is, and not to picture it as sectarian clashes while we all know it is way bigger than this.
We do exist, we are alive for now, we are as Lebanese as someone from Beirut, South, Mount Lebanon or Bekaa. We want to live, and we want the world to know what is going on. Don't ignore us.
God bless our beloved city.

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