Friday, July 21, 2006

Life in a bag

When I wondered aloud whether the Feds' tardiness (and sloppiness, it turns out) in evacuating Lebanese-Australians from the war zone in Lebanon was motivated by a distrust of their being Arabic, their being non-Anglo, I certainly did not imagine anyone would openly suggest that these Australians stuck in Lebanon did not deserve Australian help in evacuation because they were not true Australians.

Apparently, right-wing culture-assassin Piers Ackerman dares do just that. He drags out that old "dual-citizenship holders aren't loyal - if you are really Australian, why live in Lebanon" crap.

Barista takes on that pretty scarry stuff very well. He also links to this amazing blogger in Lebanon, Mazen (Kerblog), who posts observations, lovely drawings and more as the siege continues. He has also posted 'Starry night', an mp3 of his trumpet improvisation to the sound of shelling in Beirut. It's excellent – and hair-raising. [Mp3 link]

In a post called 'My life in a bag', Mazen says:
each time i leave my flat, i take with me:
my passport and evan's one
a mini-disc recorder + microphone
2 t-shirts
2 underwear
2 pairs of socks
a notebook and pens
my trumpet
a book
a small camera
a lighter
a usb key
a toothbrush
4 batteries
I imagine that means if he were to return to a bombed out flat, or need to flee for safety while on the street, he will be prepared. My mind boggles. I can't imagine having to be so prepared each time I leave my home, not knowing what may happen when I walk out the door.

His son, evan, is 5 years old – the same as my eldest boy. It nearly breaks my heart to read this
evan is 5 years old and didn't live any war.
"we play karate?"
I know what he means, but I hope that I never have to know what he means.

[Update: I've fixed the main link to Mazen's blog, Kerblog. He also reports that he has helped set up a blog for another Lebanese artist/poet,
Laure Ghorayeb, who lived and created art through previous wars, and who is also his mum! Her work is amazing. Check out Witnessing (again). Updated 5 pm, Sunday 23 July.]

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