E-mail Regarding War
Between Israel and Lebanon ...
(This turned out to be longer than I intended but please try to read it until the end. Thank

Hi everyone,

I am currently going into my third week out here in South Africa. I am still in Oudtshoorn
where I am volunteering and this will wrap up on Wednesday night at which point we head
back to Cape Town.

South Africa has been great but one of the downfalls to traveling is how out of touch I have
become with the rest of the world. I don't know the last time I have seen a newspaper (as
there is no opportunity during the day to go into town). At the place I am staying people opt
to watch movies versus BBC or CNN. And while there is internet has been available, I didn't
see any reason to use as there was nothing I really needed to book, etc.

I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when I went to check my email a couple days ago and
had emails from at least 10 people expressing their concerns/peace of mind that I was no
longer in the Middle East due to what was happening in Israel and Beirut. All I could think
was 'What!?!'

I immediately pulled up a news site and was trying to get information on stuff that had
already been going on for days. Since then, I have been trying to read a bit on it everyday
online and I was able to have control of the tv here for a little bit yesterday and got some
info from BBC. I still can't fully understand the extent. Obviously. If I hadn't checked my
email, I would
still not know about any of this as not one thing has been mentioned about it
around here at all.
Not at all.  

I have to realize that this kind of stuff seems 'foreign' to so many people. Nobody I am
around right now can relate to the places that are being affected. I will admit that it is almost
frustrating because I want to talk and discuss it yet it feels as if I am almost boring people
each time I bring it up.

I made it no secret to any of you while I was out there about my views on Beirut/Lebanon. I
absolutely loved it and thought it was fabulous about all of the progress that has been made
out there since the war. It was beautiful, lively and a place I would go back to in a heartbeat.

Today I checked my email from work as I had to print some attachments out. I had emailed
a couple of people I became friends with while I was in Beirut who are from Beirut and
currently live there. I expressed how sorry I was about what was going on there and that I
was thinking of them. In my inbox were emails from both of them. One of them wrote an
email that nearly brought tears to my eyes as I was able to fathom the severity of everything
much more than just reading a few articles online. These wonderful people are stuck in
their homes listening to bombs. How is this right??? She also said that all of the rebuilding
of Beirut that has been done over the past 10+ years to get their city to what it once used to
be has been ruined in just 4 days. I simply can't believe it. The other email I received from
Beirut expressed that he would evacuate to Cyprus if the need arises. But in the meantime
he would appreciate receiving emails with kind thoughts and any help that could be given,
etc. He also included an email from one of his friends. I didn't have a chance to read it at
work but I read it now and am including it at the close of this email.

After reading these emails I could barely concentrate at work. Working with animals felt so
insignificant while learning about tragic things going on in the world in places that have a
special place in my heart.  

I know a lot of you have family in Israel, have lived in Israel, live there currently or have
friends out there...but I urge you to read the following email. Try to put biases aside and
listen to what is going on out there from an actual person (actually, a friend of a friend)
versus a form of media.

I'm still so sad about this yet feel so disconnected. I hope no more major news regarding
this occurs. Sadly, I have a feeling this won't be the case. If anything does happen, if you
could just send me a quick email just to keep me posted, I would totally appreciate it.
Otherwise, I have no idea of knowing what is going on as I don't have much time to check
the internet.

Thank you for listening to my thoughts about this as I just really needed to get it out.


In the meantime, here is the email I said I was going to attach...

Dear all,

Many thanks to all of you who asked about me and showed their support. I really appreciate it and
need it to cope with all the destruction and death surrounding me. I need your support to stop the
mass massacre that my people are facing as a result of the Israeli attacks on my country that have
been non-stop for 4 days.

My country is under attack with a level of aggression that I have not seen in my entire life. Barbaric
acts against civilians, with no attention paid to the difference between children, women, elderly, and
the handicapped on one hand, and fighters on the other. Everybody is a target for the bombs that
are falling on us like black rain, like fire balls, from military planes that have not left our air since
Wednesday July 12  th, 2006. Their horrific noises have deafened our ears. Children's cries of horror
are tearing our hearts. We asked for the international community's help to broker a cease fire. They
did not care. All they care about are their regional interests. Israelis did not stop the bombs! Did not
stop deaths! Continued their mass destruction! We are under attack without hope for an end $B!D (J

The aggression is not only against people, but against infrastructure. All the bridges, tunnels, roads,
electricity plants, fuel tanks, IT networks, water dams, and every other aspect of infrastructure has
been or is being destroyed. Thousands of people have been displaced. We are currently helping
people to settle in schools and other public facilities, and trying to supply them with minimum
survival amenities. The entire relief effort is through personal initiatives since there is not yet an aid
organization helping with the crisis.

It all started 4 days ago, when Hezbollah took two Israeli soldiers as hostages. We as Lebanese
citizens condemned this act. We were surprised by this military operation. We did not want war, but
they did not ask us. We Lebanese people are tired of war, we want peace. Too many loved ones have
died over 20 years of wars. I was born in war, grew up in war, lived through wars, through Israeli
occupation, through assassinations, through horror, through displacements, and I had enough, we
had enough, Lebanese people had enough, Lebanon had enough! Enough Destruction $B!D (

Unfortunately, two Israeli hostages were taken and three were killed, an operation which I am
deeply sorry that we could not stop. But does this justify a barbaric attack that has up until now
killed at least 160 people, injured hundreds, displaced thousands, and ruined an entire country?
Israel bombed today a bus with 21 women and children fleeing from their village. Innocent people,
running for their lives, not terrorists, not military people but women and children were burnt. Today
Israel bombed three such buses! The international community remains silent $B!D (J  

This summer was our summer. We were happy to show our beautiful small country to the entire
world after we have been rebuilding it for 15 years. We invited friends, family, business people and
promised them a lovely time. We were so proud of what we accomplished. In four days Israel
shattered our dreams in an unbalanced, crazy, sad, barbaric act of aggression; high-tech military
planes high in the air bombing unarmed and defenseless people on the ground. In 4 days, Israel
destroyed our country, killed our people $B!D (J Blind Unjustified Aggression!

We are under siege! We are under attack from the air, from the water, and from land. We are cut off
from the entire world, without any form of aid or support. Medical and food supplies are limited.   
Hunger is already creeping into those villages that have been isolated from the rest of the country.
Injured people are stuck under ruins. Lebanon is officially facing a humanitarian crisis. Please help us
in spreading the word. I and all Lebanese people need your support.

Thank you very much for your help!"