Blogging from Beirut

'I like that people I do not know take the time and effort to read what I have written and actually can be bothered to answer or write a comment," writes Rena [not her real name] in an email interview with The Jerusalem Post from Beirut. "I hope there are a lot of people like that because then I might regain some of the loss I felt about humanity during this war." Saturday, August 5, 2006 I woke up I woke up to the sound of a strong wind. It is a strange sound to explain. It kept getting louder and louder. But this was no wind. The sound of the F-16s as they approach is like one single gust of wind. Only a lot louder. And louder. And louder. Then. Silence. And then. BOOM BOOM. This was a lot closer to me than anything they had bombed before. BOOM BOOM. I switched the TV on thinking I was lucky that we had electricity. BOOM BOOM. Oozaii . This area was a few minutes away from my house by car. BOOM BOOM. Then the wind again. I thought of all those poor people under the fire. BOOM BOOM. I could see the fires but it was too dark to see the smoke. BOOM BOOM. Do you think they bomb at night so the TVs will be unable to really show how bad it is? Just a thought. I stood on my balcony looking up. Trying to see. To find them. BOOM BOOM. Do you know when you sit next to a speaker in a club and its sound makes your heart beat at the same rhythm? This is how it felt. BOOM BOOM. More deaths. BOOM BOOM. More refugees. BOOM BOOM. More livelihoods lost. BOOM BOOM. No sleep tonight. BOOM BOOM. The sound intermingled with the call for morning prayer. BOOM BOOM. BOOM BOOM. BOOM BOOM. And then it stopped. And I drifted back to sleep feeling lucky that I was sleeping in my own house. And what is the worst feeling in the world? When you wake up in the morning... and think twice about switching the TV on... because you do not want to see how bad it really was last night. "This is my first time keeping a blog," she writes, concealing her identity for fear of being accused of treason. "I didn't even know what blogs were until I began this one." And just as many on Israel's side of the border claim that the international media is not showing the "real" battles of this war, so, Rena writes, "the news channels do not really show this part of the war, what is happening to 'normal' life and 'normal' people, the people who are indirectly involved and who are affected indirectly by it." MAZAN KERBAJ is another Lebanese blogger who could not be interviewed directly. A cartoonist from Beirut, he writes in his latest post that he fears his work may become censored by the Arab world. He has asked that as many people as possible view and download his drawings from his blog: He answered the interview on his blog. [The following is the response printed in its original format.] Saturday, August 5 To an israeli interviewer You have called me today to request an interview for an Israeli newspaper. Here is my answer: you want to interview me about the music we are keeping going in beirut today. in other times, i would have liked to be interviewed by an israeli newspaper to talk about my music and my drawings. i would have probably said for a start that i never imagined the israeli people like green people with antennas. i would have talked about the free jazz and the improvised and experimental music scene in lebanon. i would have said that beirut is most probably the closest city in the world to tel aviv and that the musicians and artists of both cities have a lot in common. at least the weather, not to speak about the mediterranean way of life and the high concentration of intellectuals, artists, thinkers and free men in both cities. today that i have the occasion to say whatever i want, i do not wish to do so. today, instead of playing music with my friends musicians in Beirut and in the whole world, i am playing with the israeli air force. and this, i do not accept. today, i sadly do not feel we have the same weather anymore. beirut is getting hotter every day. and this, i do not accept. today, i am beginning to believe that there is not so much free men in israel. i tend to think more and more that the majority of the israelis are really green with antennas on their heads. and this, you shouldn't accept. today, i do not wish to speak anymore. thank you for listening to this "nothing" i ended up by saying.