من شطبَ وجهكِ بالسّكّين
وألقى ماءَ النارِ على شفتيكِ الرائعتينْ؟
وفي عينيكِ خلاصةُ حزنِ البشريّهْ
وعلى نهديكِ المحترقين
Rafik Hariri's mororcade was bombed on the next to the st George hotel...between 6-9 dead...including Hariri, although some reports first suggested he was alive in hospital...here are some updates...The news is on all the channels..
"The front of the famous St George Hotel was devastated in the blast, with several balconies blown off. Along the Mediterranean corniche, at least 20 cars were in flames or destroyed, and the fronts of several other buildings were heavily damaged, including a British bank and the landmark Phoenicia Hotel". Scotsman
"The explosion near Beirut's Saint George Hotel set half a dozen cars ablaze and severely damaged several buildings.
The blast caused a large crater in the street, which was thickly carpeted with debris. The facades of neighboring buildings were reduced to rubble.
The explosion was heard outside Beirut and it shattered windows in buildings hundreds of meters away" Reuters
"Witnesses report nine people killed in the blast, and more than 10 injured."BBC
over 20 cars were set on fire and 100 people were injured according to the Herald Tribune---the explosive material found seems to be high grade and advanced, according to the tv channels now--- Hariri's supporters are out in the streets and protesting in front of the American hospital ---Saida (Hariri's home town) is also witness to protests and tire burning and barricades..
Spokesman for a group claiming responsibility for the blast has just been screened on Al-Jazeera--they call themselves 'Jama3at al nusra waljihad fi bilad ilSham' and they claim that Hariri's connections to Saudia Arabia were reason for the attack and that this is the first of many such attacks to come. ---Their attack was in response to the Saudi Security forces attacks on militants apparently---commentators are doubtful that an unknown group could have carried out such a large and delicate operation on their own..
The Day After
The streets are empty, shops closed for the three day strike after the murder of at least 14 people along with Hariri...a huge crater marks the spot where murderous hands set a bomb that they can somehow find space in their minds to justify...I hope I never know how they can do that...posters of Hariri are on every shop window, hanging from every balcony, plastered on every car...most people pass through the streets in black, others are sitting in groups too stunned to talk, or else weeping and saying that the 'father of all the poor is dead'...these are the scenes on our televisions here in Kuwait...and all over the Arab world...his sons are receiving thousands of mourners...his son saying that 'there is no grief here, Rafik Al-Hariri is with us..I don't want to see any crying in this house'...crowds of people come out in spontaneous rallies shouting their support for Hariri and his son Baha' ilDeen who it seems they hope will take his place...grown men and women are shown weeping as they speak about how 'the hope of the nation' has died..how he had helped people in need, how he had rebuilt Beirut...the people who died with him had children and families and lives greater than the aims of criminals who use death as a tool in their selfish political games... Candles filled the empty streets in the silence of last night..and white flowers were taken by hundreds of young people to be laid at the spot of the assassination...many flowers were given to the guards at the site who wouldn't let anyone near the crater..
Wednesday 16th, The Funeral
The streets are full, just full of people following the body of former PM Hariri's funeral procession---lebanese flags in the hundreds are carried by the people---many in tears---hundreds of thousands of people---Huge posters of him are carried above the crowds---the Church officials have asked that all the church bells in the city are to ring at the same time today in his memory. That is something that is rarely done..let alone for a Sunni Muslim---a man who was human, both good, active and controversial, imperfect as is everyone... has now been catapulted to semi-sainthood in death...may he and those who died with him rest in peace .
The Hariri Foundation
Profile on Al-Jazeera
RIME ALLAF, MIDDLE EAST ANALYST AT LONDON'S ROYAL INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS:
"This is the work of an intelligence service, not a small group. Whoever did it aimed at creating chaos in Lebanon and pointing the finger at Syria. I can't believe anyone in Syria could be naive enough to think that this would help them." Reuters
Chronology of assassinations in Lebanon---Documentaries and films about lebanon at Arab Film Distribution---Books: Pity the Nation, Beirut Blues, Beirut City Center Recovery: The Foch-Allenby and Etoile Conservation Area, Transit Beirut, Hizbullah: The Story from Within ...
Goodwill work in Lebanon: