Clashes in the Tayouneh area of the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, have left new holes in buildings that witnessed the 1975 civil war. These bullet holes come to warn of what awaits Lebanon if the course of things does not change.
What stands out is that the clashes erupted in the very same area that witnessed the event that sparked the civil war a few decades back.
Unidentified shooters fired at a rally of demonstrators, an assault that prompted a retaliation in kind. The gunfire was so heavy that even the army took a while before it could intervene and contain the violence.
The clashes reinforced the symbolism of the Christian area of Ain El Remmaneh and the Shiite suburb of Chiyah. After transforming the two areas into a war zone for hours, the clashes exhausted the memory of the elderly, who were forced to relive a glimpse of the civil war once again.
“We thought we buried the war forever, but it’s coming back,” said Abu George, a shop owner in Ain El Remmaneh.
“This is not a passing problem, it is a prelude to a new war, and we will defend ourselves once again and will not allow them to violate our territories,” he added as he closed his shop under heavy gunfire.
“We resisted all campaigns aimed at eliminating our existence, and this is no different from others since the days of the Ottomans,” noted Abu Geroge’s neighbor.
The streets of Ain El Remmaneh were almost empty during the clashes as the army had cordoned the area and set up mobile checkpoints to prevent violence with neighboring Chiyah.
After the clashes ended, flocks of residents rushed to escape the scene as they feared the fighting would renew in the evening.
One of the residents recites an old Lebanese proverb: “Do not sleep among the graves so that you do not see nightmares.”
“I will go back to my village in Kesrouan for a few days, and then we will see,” the resident noted.
“We are full. They kill us and use us to fight, then we elect them again,” they added with a sigh.
A Lebanese security reference told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army is now taking the lead in the area that witnessed the clashes. Still, the main fear is that some will take advantage of the matter to do something similar in other parts of the country.
For the time being, the Lebanese will sleep with anxiety while the military will stay wide awake without guaranteeing that the tragedy will not be repeated.