Monday, May 12, 2008

Only on a Friday ...

Beirut .... that unfathomable yet beautiful city, home to my son for the 
time being, is driving me crazy.  

Just when things were going so well for son at uni; he's evacuated by 
the Jordanian Embassy along with two hundred other Jordanian students, 
as chaos runs riot, loud and menacing, through the streets of this beloved 
of cities. 

He ducked and dived his way from Hamra to the AUB campus on Bliss, 
on that fateful Friday, as the sound of gunfire and loud explosions ricocheted 
from building to building.  He chatted with friendly masked gunmen along 
the way who guided their passage to safety, as bullet casings crunched underfoot.  
He would have to wait a whole day along with a crowd of Jordanians that had 
swelled to nearly two hundred, some anxious, some panicked, some blase, 
some sleeping and still others just enjoying the fleeting moment of freedom 
from academic toil and the stress of exams.  Nightfall, and the all clear was 
given to board the four buses that would leave in convoy northwards towards 
Tripoli; ironically the scene of some of the worst clashes in this current bout 
of political bullying, and then a long drive from one end of Syria to the other, 
homeward bound.

Twenty four hours later, starving, worn out but safe, son arrives home with 
a story to tell, leaving behind unfinished end of year exams, and starlit nights 
playing guitar on the veranda.  No-one knows what the outcome will be .... 
this never ending story that is Lebanon.   

Bellapais Abbey

So I shall put those thoughts on hold for a while and think of pleasant 
memories of a recent trip to northern Cyprus, another divided land, dotted 
with a rich cultural heritage of monasteries, castles, abbeys and mosques 
.... so calm and tranquil ... and ponder about the madness of men and their 
creative genius so easily destroyed by a flick of a pen, a remote control or a 
wagging tongue ... J

Bellapais Abbey

St. Hilarion Castle, Kyrenia

outside the courtyard of the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, Famagusta


Blogger joladies said...

Lovely thoughts and photos mixed in with the worry and pain of having your son's life so cruelly disrupted in Beirut. Hope life there will return to normal soon.

Monday, May 12, 2008  

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