the interrogations of shamshouma

Cheap living and the continuous erasure of death and suffering in lebanon

b5c6785ec962cc0c40157c91196df32c4ea09585  As all politicians & leaders are cleaning up behind yesterday’s massacre so diligently today, cleaning the streets, the blood, putting up flags, talking about conspiracy theories, national unity, martyrdom as if being blown up in the street while walking with your daughter r home is a meaningful death, a good death; as they try both ideologically and materially to wipe out every memory of last’s night massacre, of scattered flesh, of screaming people, of the sound of the second explosion that I cant shake off, as they seem to have been waiting for an explosion to reconvene into politics again, elect things and people and reshuffle the same political structure, as all this work is being done, I can’t seem to shake off one question that keeps coming back to me since yesterday: Is there life before death in Lebanon?

I have to be very quick to mourn, cry and think about the dead. I have to do it very quickly, I have to process all this very consciously and intentionally. It takes a lot of work, it is not obvious nor impulsive or instinctive. Soon we will all forget. The state machine is working so hard and efficiently, probably more than I have ever seen before. So quick at erasing. I have to race it and mourn, and find my words, my  feelings and articulate them, try and find a space to grief and be angry. Reflect, think and remember.


Hurry up, mourn and remember before it is too late. Ask questions like how did we become so used to the possibility of being blown up to pieces by other humans? How can this become a habit? Hurry up, mourn and remember. Remember all the other explosions we have been instructed to forget, all the other massacres we had no space, ways, words to talk about and discuss. Hurry up. today is the last day to remember. No words, no music, nothing to say. Not even anger, not even surprise. What emotions to feel?  What to say? How to console one another? Just exhaustion. This is not living and this death is not meaningful, there is no meaning in this kind of death and no room for us to mourn it. Hurry up and gather your feelings and your thoughts.

Is there life before death?

We’re always at the edge of livability in Lebanon. Is this living? No electricity, garbage everywhere and dirty water. No health insurance, only bombs and guns. A cheap living and an even cheaper way to die.

Hurry up, mourn and remember. Mourn and remember before streets are completely cleaned up and the dead are buried. Before conspiracy theories, ‘the region’, ‘Al Midan’, WE, national unity, dialogue, the army, terrorism, condemnations, all hospitals will receive the wounded for free, the martyrs, it is the syrians’ fault, it’s the Palestinians’ fault.

I was walking here one minute before the blast happened…I felt it in my back

Hurry up, sit and remember.


Is there life before death?

How do we live like this. Is this living?  did we get used to it? Hurry up and mourn. They are wiping out the blood today. Soon we will all forget, we will laugh it off, be “resilient”. We are “used to it”.

memory is courage and mourning is love.


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