went something like this..
I was at work,,doing some research.. when all of a sudden I got a message from a friend asking me if I had registered at the US Embassy..
“Yes, I have..but why? Has a war broken out or something,” I said sarcastically.
“There is fighting in the south..aren’t you on twitter? Haven’t you been reading the updates?”
and just then, I switched back to twitter..and sure enough..the timeline had exploded into frenzy of ‘border clash updates.’ Just as I was reading through the tweets to catch up on the latest news, my colleague walks in and shouts…“WAR WAR! There is going to be WAR!” I felt a chill run down my spine as I tried not to show the panic on my face..
“What? Are you serious?” I said to him..
“No no..” he said..lauging..”Relax Dani..”
“Dude..that’s really not funny..I’m not used to this..please don’t joke around about things like that..” I said..
I turned back to my computer, and within 30 seconds I had opened up Al Jazeera, BBC, Naharnet, CNN..and was copying and pasting links into my twitter timeline for everyone to read..My colleagues joked that I was using up all of the bandwidth (which, in Leb, is easier than you might think)..as I looked around the office and imagined where I would seek shelter should a bomb hit downtown. Would I hide under my desk, would I stand underneath a doorframe.. (wait, isn’t that what they told us to do in elementary school if there ever was an earthquake?) I couldn’t believe these thoughts were coming back to me now..fifteen years later..
My colleagues could sense my panic..
“There is nothing to be worried about Danielle! This happens all of the time!”
“Don’t worry Danielle, your an American, you’ll be on the first boat out of here!”
“Stop posting links on Twitter! It’s people like you that make everyone panic!”
And with that..I stopped..and instead.. resorted to refreshing my email waiting for a message from my family..One hour went by, then another, then another..finally I decided to send them an email informing them of what had happened..Why? I don’t know..A part of me wanted them to be worried for me..I even sent them a link to BritinBeirut’s blog where he wrote about his evacuation in 2006..
Finally the emails started coming in..
My family’s responses?
“I posted a comment on his blog.” (from my Mom..so of course, I went to read the comment and realized it wasn’t there…she probably forgot to type in the security letters before she closed the page..I wrote her back telling her of her mistake, and asking her to post the comment again. She didn’t.)
“Interesting. I wish you had your Passport.” (from my Grandfather..apparently he was under the assumption that my passport was at General Security..)
I assume these clashes happen quite regularly between the two countries.
Hopefully nothing more serious will come out of it. Just as Lebanon is recovering after the major war with Israel in 2006 the last thing they need is another incident. This would definitely be a blow to tourism and business in general. Unfortunately it is the innocent civilians that usually end up paying the price for these types of conflicts.
I guess all you can do is keep updated to developments which hopefully will not escalate.
Love You My Darling.
(Obviously this last one being from my Dad)..
“Well, I’ll be damned..my colleagues aren’t worried..my family isn’t worried..people on twitter are telling me “Mabrouk” for experiencing my first border clash..so what exactly am I worried about?” I thought to myself..
I looked around the office one more time..everything was so calm..too calm…
“Bahhh! This is so bizarre!” I thought to myself..
Before I knew it, the day had passed, and I was sipping on a strawberry margarita at a Mexican restaurant in Hamra, and having a talk with a friend of mine about the days events..The manager overheard us and joined our conversation, “I was working at Prague during the 2006 war..I never made more money than during the war..it was great!”
I guess that made sense. Alcohol consumption goes up during times of war,,as does the sale of lipstick apparently..but still, I couldn’t help but think that something was wrong about all of this. This clash was serious, was it not? People died..and I’m here drinking a strawberry margarita and talking about how women still want to feel attractive during times of war? wtf.
My roommate and her friends joined me at the bar soon after..I asked them if they had watched Nasrallah’s speech..
My roommate’s friend turned to me and said, “Well, I left during the middle of it, but from what I understood there is nothing to be worried about..Nasrallah was calm..but let me call my Dad just in case and ask him if we’re going to war..”
Just like that..
He called, spoke to his parents in Arabic..turned back to me and said, “Nope! Nothing to worry about..Now let’s take a look at the menu..I’m starved!!..”
And that was it..my first border clash in Lebanon..