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       Tuesday, July 25, 2006

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Ziggydoodle from Beirut

[Unless there are two Lebanese women artists staying on in Lebanon, I happened to catch a fragment of an interview with Zena on the BBC. A check of her bio discloses that she has an exhibit in Beirut which she does not want to leave and also exhibits in Greenwich Village where she was apparently living on 9/11. I find the personal comments of individuals on the scene frequently more informative than those of professional commentators. I read widely each morning about things in the Middle East (and elsewhere) and then think about things and look for the connections and implications. Things that I would observe today are:

1) Israel is in a bad place and with it the Bush administration. They are in a Peter-Rabbit-in-the-Briar-Patch situation:

Peter Rabbit is always making a fool out of some would be predator. This is not to say that Hezbollah is the good guy, but it does look to have snookered both the Israelis and the Bush administration into engaging in a hopeless battle to extricate well embedded and suicidal fighters who are winning THE STORY -- and it is THE STORY that is the important thing here. Israel and the U.S. are now both on the defensive and our own energizer bunny looks to be far over her head in figuring what to do next. What national leader in his/her right mind is going to send its troops into Lebanon to try to root out/disarm Hezbollah? Who is kidding whom? "No way!" I can hear, national leaders muttering under their breath -- from here to Turkey:

No Troop Commitments for Lebanon
Support is building for an international military force in
southern Lebanon, but there are concerns that soldiers
would be seen as allied to Israel.

2) Iraq is blowing up in the face of our designated leaders there and they are desperately trying to dissociate themselves from us -- while supporting Hezbollah? Will this put a chill on the notorious Bush smirk? We shall see:

Top Iraqi’s White House Visit Shows Gaps With U.S.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is expected to make
requests that clash sharply with President Bush’s foreign


With this background I send along Zena's latest. One can see her incurable energy here in her ziggydoodle artwork. Enjoy:

Ed Kent]


Beirut Update from Zena
(for pics, etc.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
israeli flyer

a few days ago, flyers were dropped down on us from the sky. this is one of them. we have deciphered it as a pic of nasrallah coming out of a vase saying "any services?" around him are the president of syria, the leader of hamas, and the iranian president. on the bottom of the vase it says "beirut". oh, and they are all sitting on a map of lebanon. i found this near the Phoenicia Hotel.

i finally went to the supermarket.

i have been dreading it... didn't want to see empty shelves. didn't want to see people queuing.

what i did see... shelves beginning to empty. a priest buying a lot of beer. long lines..

i have never been so self conscious buying food before. my pride would not let me overstock. i saw long life milk... my hand reached out for a bottle, and then another, and then a third. as soon as i saw them in my trolly, i took one out and put it back on the shelf, and then the second, and finally the third. i did not buy milk. i was so self conscious about it. i thought to myself, better leave it for a mother who has kids to buy it.

i ended up buying strange things. things i was worried i may not find in the country again. i bought a bottle of triple sec. so that i can make cosmopolitans for my friends when they eventually do start coming over to visit again.

i bought pesto in a jar. i know it will soon become a luxury item. i bought two small jars.

i bought sanitary napkins. the ones i like. i never want to get stuck with those really thick 1980s bulky ones. i always used to see them in my cousin's bathroom when we used to visit Beirut in the 80s. they remind me of war.

i bought the shampoo i like. i don't want to end up using that crappy generic kind that comes in huge plastic bottles and is either fluorescent pink or green. looks radioactive. it reminds me of Beirut in the 80s.

i bought smoked almonds. two cans.

i bought more pasta. yuck.


i have been getting some beautiful emails... about love and compassion. thank you so much... people i have never met before... new friends... so, i got to wondering... if there are so many beautiful people out there, why is there war?

how can this equation be possible? that there are so many beautiful people out there, but yet, there is so much war.


it is so hot. now that our "refugees" have gone, my husband keeps walking around the house in his boxers. i tell him to put some clothes on and his reply is, "what for? we don't have any neighbors anymore. they are all gone. who is going to see me??"

hehe. he's right. so, i let him off the hook.


beirut in the 80s. i feel like i am 10 and 30 all at the same time.


we are almost up to 1 million refugees now.
israel invaded the south of lebanon. they are on lebanese soil now. they are attacking villages, one after the other.
hizuballah continues to fire into israel.
israel continues to fire into lebanon.
civilian targets are still being hit. today a hospital was hit. so were ambulances.
what is this war? why is this war?

posted by zena at 12:55 AM 4 comments
"A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope." (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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posted by Ed Kent at 6:17 AM  


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