Stories from Afar & Up Close

Here we go

And so it is war. I just left my 8th floor (rooftop) apartment when I saw two armed men on the abandoned building across the street, pointing their weapons to the road, and when I realised there is not one room in the house without windows. The people who were outside were running across the intersections, staying close to the walls and closed shops.

In the afternoon, I went to the supermarket and saw people with panic-stricken faces, throwing 20 packets of one-minute noodles in their shopping carts. There were no vegetables left, no bread, no eggs even. In a half-hearted attempt to follow their example I bought some cans of beans and a pack of toilet paper, which are now sitting on the table in an empty house.

After Nasrallah’s speech, in which he didn’t say he would tell his people to stop fighting, this side of Beirut went crazy: incessant gunfire, the sound of explosions so close that the windows were shaking, people screaming at each other to GET OFF THE STREETS! I am now with some friends who live on the second floor around the corner. We have closed the curtains and cracked open the windows in case the fighting gets closer and the glass breaks.

The government is meeting to decide whether they will declare a state of emergency. Meanwhile, we are doing our cardio-exercises sitting on the couch: our hearts are racing at an unimaginable speed, and we smile crazily at each other every time the explosions seem to come closer. No reason to panic, if it’s not even a state of emergency yet.