Lebanon II – Bekan Valley

November 14. – 16. 2015

Sunrise today is nearly impossible to describe. The blue sky and the red soil, sun rising over the hills of the border to Syria where smoke is rising. Gunshots woke me up and little later I sit in the gently warming sun on the roof top listening to the birds and about 2 or 3 shots every 10 seconds.

“They hunting”, Ali, my host and by now good friend tells me. I look in disbelieve as he had told me yesterday the Syrian border being 120km away. If you looked at the Map link in the last post and as I see on my GPS its not more than 20….
However nobody seems to mind the noise so I don’t mind either. Its just too far from what I call reality to do more than go with the flow. Most of the time I spend with Ali Abu Hussein, my 62 year old friend. He knows maybe 200 words in English and I knew maybe 20 in Arabic when I came. Still there is some kind of understanding between us which doesn’t demand words. Sometimes I look in his eyes and his face just becomes 20 again. We spend hours having fun together and we can even though our limited vocabulary philosophy together!

Whatever we do I always carry a note book and a pen with me to learn Arabic. Every new word I use in the right moment makes us laugh together a lot. We both feel like little children and the time passes very quickly.

Well, where was I? The noisy morning…. Well later that morning friends of Ali came to hunt too. His house is a little out of town and surrounded by fields so it’s a good meeting point I guess. The crowd arrives just in a moment when Ali is shopping and nobody else is here so the guys are quite surprised to find me. Ali did not tell me they are coming now so I am surprised too. 5 minutes later we are all sitting in the garden sharing breakfast and tea (like in turkey – more sugar than water). They have quite beautiful shotguns and whenever they see a bird at the horizon one of them would stand up and scare it away with a shot long before they would come in range. After breakfast we sit in the shadow smoking shishas following the same ritual. It seems pretty senseless in a way…
But in between the BOOM BOOM sounds of the shotguns you would here a sudden RADADADAD every now and then – one time Ali looks at me very seriously when this happens and says “Daesh!”

So they are up in the hills. I already noticed friends of Ali last evening and I will again tonight. They point out to the hills in the east obviously describing what happens in the fights there. In the evening he shows me “Daesh TV”. We agree that these people can never be Muslims and what they do is haram (a sin) because “Kulul Arab – Allah uached!” (All people – one god!)

Sounds a little exciting now but most of the time we just sit together in the living room, he teaching me arab, joking and philosophizing together drinking tea and smoking apple flavoured shishas.

When I came to Lebanon two days ago the most important thing I had to do was to change some money. Now, 48 hours later I still don’t even know the name of their currency, neither have I touched it since I got it. Today when Ali buys cigarettes for me I want to give him money and it is the first time I see a tiny flash of anger for a small part of a second on his face. “NO PAY! GUEST!“, he says and gives me enough cigarettes for all week.

Sunday evening my friend Tomas arrives and is just as welcome (Achlanuasachlan in Arabic) as I am. We leave direction Bcharre next morning not without promising to come back on Friday before we leave.

If you like this story, please link it – share it on facebook, publish and twitter it and send the link to your friends by email, pm, sms and whatsapp!

There are too many stories of the bad things that happen here, lets tell one about the good people who live here!