A Day to Remember

“The Lebanese Civil War, 1975–1990, spanned four World Cups. It would have been a more symmetrical five had the Lebanese begun in 1974, but you know, we’re Mediterranean, and timing isn’t our forte.” -Rabih Alameddine

Teaser: The Lebanese Civil War was both an internal Lebanese affair and a regional conflict involving a host of regional and international actors. It revolved around some of the issues that dominated regional politics in the Middle East in the latter part of the 20th century, including the Palestine-Israel conflict, Cold War competition, Arab nationalism and political Islam. Conflicts over these issues intersected with longstanding disagreements in the Lebanese political elite, and in parts of the population, over the sectarian division of power, national identity, social justice and Lebanon’s strategic alliances. During 15 years of fighting, around 90,000 people lost their lives, according to the most reliable statisticians, Labaki and Abou Rjeily (1994). In addition to the large number of dead, much of Lebanon’s infrastructure was shattered, as was Lebanon’s reputation as an example of cross-sectarian coexistence in the Arab Middle East. The Lebanese Civil War was one of the most devastating conflicts of the late 20th century. It left a number of political and social legacies that make it paramount to understand why it involved so many instances of mass violence. The question of Civil War memory is acute for many Lebanese, who have come together in the post-war period to debate the war and create public commemoration. In their view, the war has continued through other means in the post-war period, and the periodic rounds of violent conflict plaguing Lebanon since 1990 are directly related to the Civil War. Remembering, analysing and understanding mass violence in Lebanon, therefore, is not just an academic exercise, but for many Lebanese an urgent task directly linked to political reform and reconciliation. Non of the citizens were satisfied with this war, they all were obeying leaders who were the only ones who needed such a war to reach their benefits and advantages. However, it is very surprising and shaking to see people who passed through the war afraid to tell what happened with them in front of a camera! The pain they lived is still existing and most of them feel so upset and disappointed to remember that and tell about it. The person I interviewed is a 59 years old man who passed through the war and still have the signs of the injuries of the gun shots in his head and his leg. This project shows the story map of the civil war in Lebanon from the day in began till the day it ended passing through some important stages of the war. Hoping that Lebanon will become a safe country and enjoy freedom is somehow a dream, but a dream may come true. “For Lebanon to truly be the Lebanon that we want, it is the nation of liberties, it is the nation of civilisation.” -Bachir Gemayel

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