This email has been sent by Hanady Salman, an editor at As-Safir newspaper in Beirut, on the 26th of July 2006. (Source)

“Boum Boum Ha Ha”

"This “boum boum ha ha” technique doesn’t seem to work all the time; not with me at least. After 24 hours of “nothing” in Beirut, I was almost getting ready to bid you farewell, and thank you for your support during 14 long days. Everything in Beirut was so calm I even went home for lunch. There were ongoing air strikes on the South but no reports of causalities yet. Kinda [Hanady's 2 years old daughter] wanted to come with me to the office when she saw that I was going back there. The minute we reached the street, we heard the sounds of four huge consecutive explosions. I don’t remember what I did, maybe I jumped, but when I looked at Kinda she was pale. It took her two seconds to get back on earth and say the magic words “boum boum ha ha”. And she kept repeating that for five minutes, automatically. She was not smiling. She was asking: Boum boum ha ha? Four people were killed, others were seriously wounded in that air strike on the southern suburb. Yes, the suburb again. I sent the pictures of the rubbles, of people searching for their homes in streets that were completely wiped off, didn’t I? Well, it seems that was not enough. I wonder what they’re looking for... It must be something really important. Seven raids hit the suburb today, dropped ten shells on an area that’s already almost completely destroyed. They spared it for a while, so people went to check on their belongings and then... BOUM It killed four people; I know one of them. He’s my best friend’s young cousin. He went there with his brother, without telling their family, to check on their home that they’d left five days ago under the shelling. Mohamad is Palestinian. He was staying at his cousin’s house, Salim, my friend. At the moment he died, the moment Kinda and I had reached the street and heard the explosions, his mom and Salim were on Salim’s balcony, trying to locate were the shelling was falling. They did not know it hit a building that fell on four people and killed them. They did not know it was falling on Mohamad. Now they do.

Counting the dead: Twenty people were killed today. It brings it up to 411 since July the 12th. Zeinab Mounes, 9, her brother Mohamad, 11, and their uncle were found under the rubbles of their house in Halloussiyeh where 6 air raids had destroyed 3 apartment buildings. Nine other people were injured. No one knows how many people are still under the rubble. One other civilian from the same village was killed in a morning raid. Two civilians were killed in Ma’lyeh, west of Tyre. One Palestinian was killed, 5 others wounded, one of them is a child, in Rashidiyeh refugees camp. Eight people were found under the rubbles of their house in Qana. Seven people, the members of one family were killed when their house was destryed by a shell in Nabatiyeh. Six Red Cross paramedics were injured on their way to Qana, IN AN AMBULANCE. You want more? There’s plenty, but I just can’t keep doing this. You were right Linda, writing was therapeutic, but I’m just totally fed up. Who cares? They’re dead. Killed. Chidren, women, men, oh yeah some are men… unfortunately, their pictures, dead, aren’t as sensational as those of toddlers’. The UN “peace” keeping forces evacuated today a number of civilians from some villages in the south. Only those who hold a western nationality were evacuated. The filthy holders of Lebanese passports were begging them to take them along. THEY DID NOT. They just left them there to die. Do they tell you about this in your newspapers? Do they tell you that the UN “humanitarian” envoy who came and toured MY country was lecturing the refugees with that patriarchal “arrogant - knows it all \ seen it all - trying to look sweet and companionate with other species” look in his eyes? Do they tell you that this same guy, whose monthly wage is most probably higher then the yearly revenues of all those who died today, had concluded that MY country needs 150 million dollars in humanitarian aid, and that once he reached Cyprus, he concluded all this was Hezbollah’s fault? Do they tell you we’re not beggars? Do they tell you we don’t need charity? Do they tell you we work for a living? That we earn whatever we have? That we sweat, we sing, we read, we learn, we breath, we love and we hate. That woman, Hweiyda’s aunt, is not a beggar. She’s all alone with her burnt niece in a Beirut hospital. Four days ago , she had a house and a family. Four days ago she had a life. Yesterday, when I gave her the hundred dollars Rola had given me for the people in need, she cried so hard it made me want to die. Dignity. That’s what it’s all about. Dignity.___________________No more pictures, that’s it. Showing their pictures will not “open the West’s eyes”. Showing their pictures will not bring them back. It will merely deprive them whatever is left from their dignity. Those pictures are never published anywhere, there are laws that ban it. No laws ban killing people like this. These people are not dying so we get to see their pictures. Let them die, tens of them each everyday. Don’t pity them. I bet you they pity us. They pity us. They’re somewhere where nothing worse could happen to them. We’re left here, dealing with our consciences, debating whose fault it is, what’s wrong and what’s right. Pity us, pity those who did not get killed. Pity us who will be living in the New Middle East the US is tailoring for us. Pity the days to come. Does Hweiyda know that there’s a bunch of people who will decide her fate in a conference in Rome?


Updated: 01 August 2006