Today near Saida, two raids destroyed a business center in Gazziyeh and another building. A truck in Achrafieh Beirut (in the heart of Beirut) was also bombed.
As we drove around the city collecting clothes and other items to deliver to the displaced and refugees, we could see a stream of cars from the South coming to Saida and going beyond. Thousands of people passed by in cars, buses, cabs. Cars filled with people to the maximum, without any luggage or other items which means they fled. Destroyed and mangled cars that still could work and that was brining people who were fleeing. Everyone put white items, a tissue paper, a t-shirt, a sheet of paper on the top or side of the car assuming that if the Israelis see them, they will not bomb or shoot. Several cabs went to Marjeoun and picked up loads of people all holding the German flags as they are German citizens. They were trying to evacuate to Beirut to get to the embassy. (It is a good thing the country had so many flags during the World Cup; not sure other flags are going to help them in any significant way).
Today, the Russians evacuated about 20 buses through Syria. Most other countries have been evacuating all of their citizens. Many through the water via major ships and many others through the Syrian borders at various check points. But what are the Lebanese going to do and those with only Lebanese citizenship? Where would they run to?
Today, the bombings in the south continued. A major massacre took place in Sriefa (a small town) near Tyre where more than 25 people were killed. There are wounded and dead under the rubbles in most villages and towns. They have been bombing Nabbatiyeh non-stop among other areas. It seems that Israel tried to come into Lebanon and clashes continued with the resistance until they retreated. Just an indication of the inutility of the Israeli war machine in terms of targeting or really causing damage among the ranks of the resistance is that in a week of bombing all those killed have been civilians. Four fighters of the resistance have died. No weapons' basis, no headquarters, no political or military leader of Hizbullah has been reached or touched. This is an indication of the strength of the resistance and of the fact that Israel at this point may be at a standstill in terms of its advances. It has bombed most obvious sites that had offices or homes of Hizbullah, airports, roads, bridges, ports, etc...so what is next. Sadly enough, what has been next is our people as they destroy homes and villages in the south and in the Biqaa on a daily basis. Today they re-bombed the airport which is really not clear why as the airport is out of business and there is no work and no fuel, etc..
Yet all this is does not seem to be enough for the US that still sees no need for a cease fire as Hizbullah is still resisting strong.
If you would like to help with relief efforts, you can use the following reliable entities that I know well.
1) In Saida, the Municipality is coordinating all efforts with the various civil society organizations and all resources we are asking to go through the municipality.
Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon, SAL
Account no: 0100021820073492016
Account holder: Dr. Abdul Rahman Nazih Al-Bizri (Head of the Municipality)
Swift Code: -INLELBBE
(If interested in sending money via other means directly to individuals that are involved in this effort, please let me know).
2) Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action (www.crtd.org) (Are working in Beirut but also coordinating with several groups in the Saida and other areas).
1. Bank Address: Audi Bank SAL, Sodeco Branch, Sodeco, Beirut - Lebanon
2. Bank telephone number: + 961 1 612792
3. Bank fax number: + 961 1 612793
4. Post address: P.O.BOX: 11-2560, RIAD EL SOLH, 1107-2808, BEIRUT
5. Account Name: CRTD-A
6. Account number: 832593-461-002-044-01 (US$)
7. ABA/SWIFT number: AUDBLBBX
8. Name and address of corresponding US bank (in case needed):
Audi Bank -USA
19 East 54th Street,
New York, N.Y 10022
Phone: +1 212 833 1000
Swift Code: AUS AUS 33
3) Helem, a progressive NGO which normally does sexual minority human rights work and women's rights work (see helem.net),
has shifted its center to a refugee intake point, providing blankets, food, etc for the refugees from the dahyieh and south Lebanon.
Information is below on how to donate both online through paypal or wire transfer. You can contribute online using PAYAPL at
http://www.helem.net/donations.znttp://www.helem.net/donations.zn or you can send payments to the accounts below
Credit Libanais S.A.L Beyrouth
SWIFT CODE: CLIBLBBX
Client Name: Al Azzi Georges
Account number: 043.001.208.0006817.35.6
SGBL Hamra Branch
SWIFT CODE: SGLILBBX
Client Name: CHIT Bassem
Zeina M.B. Zaatari, PhD