jon lee anderson in lebanon


A middle-aged woman in a black chador came over. When I asked if she minded living underground, she smiled and said, in a gravelly voice, “It’s all the same to me. If Israel and America want to do this to us, all we can do is to bear the situation, so if we have to stay underground we will. We don’t mind staying here as long as the boys are O.K.”—a reference to Hezbollah’s fighters—“and as long as Sheikh Nasrallah is fine. We can bear anything. Death is normal to us, and, anyway, it means we’ll go to heaven.” She told us that four children had been born in the underground garage. Two were boys, and they had been named Waaed, which means “the promising one,” and Sadeq, which means “the truthful one,” “because Sheikh Nasrallah says, ‘We have the promise of liberating the south.’ ” She added, “We don’t think the Israelis will come to Beirut, but, if they do, we know what to do with them.” A young pregnant woman standing next to her laughed and made lunging, stabbing motions with her hand.

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