Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Frankln Lamb: Choufeit's Bloody Pentacost
Street Notes from Lebanon
Choufeit's Bloody Pentacost


Choufeit, Lebanon

In the lower Chouf village of Choufeit with its panoramic view of Beirut's closed airport (which will likely stay closed for 4 or 5 more days as a Hezbollah pressure point on the Bush administration to achieve a settlement that it views as fair and just), Dahiyeh, Sabra, Shatila and Burj Baragneh Palestinian Refugee Camps; Pentecost Sunday started in a somber mood for the few remaining Christians and dominant Druze population of this picturesque, rugged, hilly and ancient village.

The reason was that virtually the whole village was in attendance at a 9 a.m. memorial service for two supporters of the Druze Lebanese Democratic Party, 18 year old ____ and 22 year old _____ (names withheld at the request of family pending notification of family members living outside Lebanon) who were probably shot as they drove too fast through a newly setup check-point on May 10th. (The exact circumstances and who exactly was responsible are not clear given the myriad explanations one receives depending on who one talks to in this tight-knit village.

Perhaps only in American black communities has this observer witnessed such a large turnout by the local population at funerals for a neighborhood member who was felled by violence. Parked cars snaked for nearly one mile in all directions alongside the winding roads. Hundreds of Druze women dressed in black with white scarves around their necks and some men in traditional black baggy Druze garb with knitted white caps mournfully gathered along their former enemies, the Christian population...

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