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Lebanon: Blogging Back to Normality

This week the Lebanese blogosphere witnessed a sluggish move away from posts about destruction and death caused by the war to posts that reflect patriotic passions, politics and personal accounts. Photos of how ads, weddings and cartoons were affected by the war can also be found. Life in the blogosphere seems to be trying hard to go back to the way it was.

Graphics can convey messages more efficiently than words, in most cases to say the least. In the light of this, Ahmad posted images of some war inspired ads while EDB has a photo of a wedding with the rubbles of Beirut’s suburbs as a backdrop. And then we also have Mazen Kerbaj who uses his blog to post updates of drawings, comics and free improvised music with Beirut in mind.

If you like to see facts and data displayed in numbers then go to Lazarus. He posted recent results of post-war opinion poll survey about public support for Hezbollah and compared them with the results from a similar opinion poll done two years ago. The comparison is quite interesting.

This week Anarchistian continues the story that she started of her friend“the terrorist” with a post about a conversation they had while he was in his hospital bed recovering from injuries sustained from the war:

“Imagine.. Imagine.. I never imagined it myself.. that I will be a father. And I can’t leave. I will be there for him always, until he grows up. God willing. But do you blame me for doing what I did? I did not kill babies. I’m not a baby killer. No. I might’ve hurt some people, but they should understand, it’s our land. They killed our children. They want our land. They don’t want peace. They want to have it all for themselves, they want us to disappear. But we won’t. We won’t. Why don’t they want to let us live, too? We’re not terrorists. We love life, too. But we will also die for our beliefs, for our way of life, for our children. They should leave. That’s the only way there will be peace.”

The city of Beirut had its share of posts this week. Mirvet posted number of opinions, feelings and reflections about Beirut expressed by Lebanese bloggers in what she called Lebanese Whispers:

In these difficult times, the collective human psyche tends to clench up in an almost regressive state of extreme nationalism and social identity. I have never seen an overt celebration of Lebanon and a severe state of nostalgia and longing and belonging as I have seen since June 12. As we religiously reminisce about details and feelings and memories that we cherish and share, we might be mistaken to be living a sentimental bourgeois dream that only remains in our consciousness and that does not reflect the reality.
[…]Lebanon is and will remain the Levant of cultures, humanity, arts, love and our identity. It is heaven on earth but mostly it is the heaven in our hearts. Lebanon is my father. Tough, old and dignified. Beirut is my mother. Warm, ageless and beautiful.

She also has her own definition of what the real Beirut is.

Jamal witnessed how the situation in Lebanon is crashing back to normalcy.

Mustapha came to the defense of his home-city, Tripoli, which was accused of being a breeding ground for terrorists.

Politics also had its share in the Lebanese blogosphere this week. Some bloggers saw new internal divisions rising as a result of the war and others referred to old ones that were hidden, because of the war, making a comeback.

At July06WarOnLebanon Samer’s view of the situation goes like this:

Two recurrent motifs structure the debate on the future of Lebanon. The first is the series of opposition used to characterize the situation: Hong Kong or Hanoi, Paris or Mogadishu, Riviera or Citadel, International Community or Iran, etc. This series of opposition is grafted on the problem of the state-in-the-state, used to describe Hezbollah’s apparatus and monopoly on vital functions of the state.

Nadim Shehadi at Ms Levantine had this to say about the divisions:

[…]two competing projects have been running in parallel in Lebanon. One aims at building a Riviera, a Monaco of the eastern Mediterranean; the other a Citadel or bunker, at the frontline of confrontation with Israel and the United States.

Charles Malik discusses divisions within the “Future Movement” which heads the majority bloc in the Lebanese parliament:

Lots of bloviating about Lebanon is going on right now, and none of it matters.
There are no trends. There are few plans. The plans that are already in the works have not propelled far enough for them to become apparent enough to talk about.
There is a power vacuum, and many parties are trying to fill the void.
At the moment, some figures have increased their power, but that could be destroyed quickly.
For months I wrote about divisions within the Future Movement noting that three general strains exist: […]

Finally, Sophia takes a hit at the thorny issue of the definition of terrorism and war on terror:

The problem is what do we do when the alleged terrorists are those who resist Israel and represent the majority of citizen in Arab countries? This is more than half the population in Lebanon for Hezbollah and more than half the population in Palestine for Hamas. Israel and the US are waging war on both organizations in the name of the ‘War on Terror’.
There are two logical possibilities here when so many people correspond to the definition of terrorists or terrorists supporters:
We are wrong and our definition of terrorism is not correct;
We are not wrong and our definition of terrorism is correct; […]

And Pierre Tristam discusses the explosive issue of the hypocrisy involved in the States department’s investigation of whether Israel used cluster bombs to bomb South Lebanon.

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