"Oh... I live in Lebanon..."

This has been a week of “Oh… I live in Lebanon.” To be clear, that’s not often a negative. Often I’ll be running errands or walking to work in the morning with views of the sea, pines, jacaranda, and palms, and that reality will hit me in the most profound and exciting way. It’s one of those places that seems to get under folks’ skin and have an almost addictive quality. This week though has been the darker side of that reality.

Last Sunday night two Sunni clerics were shot in the north, near Akkar, by military (the accounts are all conflicting but it would seem the clerics’ car ran a check point in some manner and was fired upon; whether the guards knew who was in the car or not is a point of contention). Dynamics have been tense. While many sectarian leaders seem to be calling for restraint and non-violence, there have still been multiple cases of road closures, fighting in neighborhoods to the south of Beirut as well as in the north closer to where the incident occurred, and at least one incident of a building a few neighborhoods over from me being occupied by several men for the sake of shooting at a military post below it; fire fight through the night but resolved relatively quickly.

We called school at noon on Monday but otherwise have been open.  It hasn’t felt unsafe for me and my “barometers” (older, local colleagues who have lived here through the various wars and who I have, almost unconsciously, relied on as a gauge of how worried to get about various incidents) have been steady, calm, but it’s re-emphasized the potential instability of this place.

{And dear readers, it’s important to remember that I offer no concrete truths in this blog. I know that this is a simplistic account of a more layered incident and larger reality. I don’t pretend to understand the nuances nor will I try to give an accurate account of these or other politically-related events as I honestly don’t know that such accuracy is entirely attainable.}