I am reading a collection of essays, stories, poems, and visual images about the war this past summer in Lebanon. The title is Lebanon, Lebanon by Saqui Books.
One group of essays and poems in the collection is about another war that was happening at the same time only a few miles away. In fact, this war has been going on for a long time and is still going on today. It is a war that is largely forgotten and gets very slanted media coverage in the United States when it does.
Mahmoud Darwish is an amazing Palestinian poet. His words are so powerful. I found a great many of his writings included in Lebanon, Lebanon and in the winter 2007 edition of the Poets Against War newsletter. I copied and pasted one that I thought readers could relate to in terms of so many wars, Gaza, Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur,...
Please do not forget those affected by war.
Today, the twenty sixth of July, twenty one murdered/martyred in Gaza, among them two newborns, were able to bypass the military checkpoints and the barbed wires . . . and they snuck into the news hour. They did not make a comment, because pain fell from them before they could reach the word. And they did not state their names that are so poor and ordinary. And they did not raise their arms in victory sign to the camera, since the camera was crammed with more thrilling images. War is excitement, a series where the new episode obliterates the previous one, a massacre copying another. And when death becomes daily it becomes ordinary and the murdered become numbers, and death routine, the temperature not higher than thirty degrees Celsius. Routine causes boredom. And boredom distances the viewer from the screen, and prohibits the correspondent from doing his work. And when the viewers become fewer, the commercials dry up and the image industry goes bust. Not to mention the sites in Gaza have become familiar, their connotation weakened: a leaden sky over narrow alleys in camps that don't overlook the sea. No hill there, no natural scenes to please the viewer. Everything is ordinary. Murder is ordinary and the funeral is ordinary and the streets are ashen. But what is extraordinary today: twenty one murdered/martyred were able to courageously infiltrate, without the help of informants, the evening news.