Posted by: sean | October 5, 2008

War on the corner

Mohamad Bazzi has a nice little piece about last May and his memories from the civil war in the Times Magazine today:

In the civil war, people developed routines. At first, they peek out of their windows. When they see that things are quiet, they go out on their balconies. Then other people join them, and soon you have entire families on the balconies, pointing, discussing, analyzing the situation. Some pull up chairs and light cigarettes, or even water pipes. In our case, by noon, a few women were on the sidewalk. Some, braving possible snipers, even made forays into the street. Another lesson: women are often the first to venture out because they’re less likely to be mistaken for combatants. When the call to prayer warbled out, people started filtering down the block, in ones and twos, toward the mosque.

Over the next few days, Hezbollah pulled its fighters off the streets, and leaders of the various factions headed to Qatar to negotiate. The country had been saved. Just as after the civil war, people made a silent pact to submerge their fear and distrust of one another. But the events of that week reminded me how quickly those feelings can rise up again — how easily we can settle back into the familiar, almost comfortable rhythms of civil war.

As is the case with everything else Bazzi and Annia write, it’s worth reading the article in its entirety.


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