First published as a book chapter in Indivisible: Global Leaders on Shared Security by Interlink on December 6, 2018
Excerpt: We watched our impending doom live on a couple of TV screens in the basement as the pounding and breaking noises shook the ceiling above our heads. I called several TV stations. We are over 100 humans still in the building that angry protesters seem to be setting fire to, I said. Our death would not return to life the hundreds of Lebanese who have been killed by ceaseless, indiscriminate and disproportionate Israeli air raids and bombardment in the past couple of weeks. “We are not the enemy … there is no sense in taking revenge against an institution because it could not help you and because you cannot retaliate against a powerful opponent”. My fear was mixed up inextricably with anger and disgust at all parties including the protesters. It was like for some few minutes I gave up on it all or even trying to make sense of it. Maybe it was my repeated indignant pleas but more probably interventions by senior officials and top Hizbollah politicians, one of them coming himself to the building, that finally calmed down what could have turned into the last day of my life, together with that of many others. Such a possible “last day” had gone by several times in my life, and it might have contributed to a sense of false security at times, but at most other times it caused in me an abiding anxiety that led to an obsession with security while continuously drawing me toward insecure places.