The death toll of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was 11,500. In West Beirut alone, it was 4,000. That is a huge figure for a nation whose total population is three million, many of whom had already emigrated due to the civil war, which started in 1975.
I saw my nation falling and rising, I saw pain and heroism, I saw cowardice and courage, I saw humiliation and happiness—these are all etched in my mind. For me, those left much more gruesome wounds than those which scar the body. Fortunately, I was spared the latter, together with any of my loved ones.
While many might suppress their memories, as the soldier in ‘Waltzing with Bashir,’ or choose only the easier, lighter moments to recall, other survivors of 1982, like me, feel compelled to tell what they saw and felt—to describe those moments of intensity so starkly different from the ordinary course of events, for the sake of the truth.