Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Part IX: Confined to Quarters

This is a brief update since some of you might think, erroneously, of course, that I know anything at all about what is going on in Lebanese politics these days.  The more I hear, the less I know!  The situation is so complex and when I think I understand, I get completely conflicting information from someone else.  

But because I have heard it twice, from completely different sources, I will tell you:  I have been advised not to leave campus.  Up here, on the Balamand mountain, we are safe but apparently, down in Tripoli, things are not very happy.  Hezbollah has  proposed the new prime minister who is not everyone's favorite (big surprise) and so now people are trying to stay quietly out of the way and out of trouble, well at least some of us are!

It's actually good news, I think, that there is no one person telling the same story. When that happens it will be all good or all bad and I don't expect things to get "all bad."

Tuesday, "A Day of Rage"
Some nut case in this political upheaval declared today "A Day of Rage," which is just what we need right now--more cause to riot, burn, and shoot!  Now I am having my own personal day of rage that someone   in power, with a loud voice could be so very irresponsible.  And, not surprisingly, people have responded appropriately--full of rage.

Our ranks on campus were very thin today, both in the faculty offices and in the classrooms.  In my last class, 4 in attendance, a student received a call which, under the circumstances, I allowed him to leave the room to take.  It turns out that there are no buses or taxis going down into Tripoli, the area of greatest unrest at the moment, and he lives off-campus.  When I asked him if he had a friend in the dorms he said, "I will manage.  I'm Lebanese.  We always manage."  We were told by administration this morning not to mark anyone absent, keep things light and easy.  That was easy to do--there was hardly anyone in class. 

Those of you who laugh at my connectedness will not be surprised to know that I keep Twitter hashtag #Lebanon  on my screen so I know fairly well what is going on moment by moment, even if I don't understand the politics.  Given the fact that the campus is so very quiet, the news and tweets are the only indication, well, not the only indication of trouble.  There are little groups of teachers talking quietly with each other too.  One Twitter account I'm following is  the NOW Lebanon blog, here: NOW Lebanon Bloggers
They post pictures, video, and text.

Do not worry for me.  I am quite safe.  We have a Fulbright family here and they have not been told anything by the embassy.  Furthermore, they have promised not to leave me, whatever they do. 

Love and Hugs,


  1. Josh Hansen4:53 AM

    I pray you stay safe. Sounds like quite the time there. Someday you will look back at this and...well maybe not laugh, but at least when you look back at it you won't be involved in it anymore and you can take comfort knowing that. :)

    Love, Josh

  2. Thank you Josh! Yes, getting through this will allow me to look back--the best part!

  3. Always an adventure! I will pray that you and your campus stay safe...and that the "rage" will dissipate.

  4. Thank you Laura. I really cannot conceive of responsible adults promoting and condoning these sorts of activities. Words matter!