06/09/2013

30th August – 6th September

The Tunisian revolution began with euphoria, it crashed into the terror. We believed to be one of the most civilized nations of the earth, we have fallen into a climate of hatred, division and intolerance that we had never seen before, even during the darkest days of colonialism. Since the assassination of Lotfi Nagued, Chokri Belaïd, Mohamed Brahmi, followed by the savage killing of eight soldiers, the Tunisian revolution is entering a film noir scenario where serial killers have stunning disfigured its human face.

They came to the Cairo morgue looking for bodies. This was nearly a month before the Egyptian police confronted the Muslim Brotherhood on August 14. A woman whose husband hadn’t come home in three days, a couple whose son had been absent for a week, three relatives looking for a man, Karam, who had been missing for nine days. He had last been seen on July 2, on his way to his mother’s apartment. He had taken a taxi there and neighbors saw him get out at the main street.

It’s all happening very quietly, beneath the radar, which is now aimed at Syria. There’s a parallel world out there, where the winds of war have yet to reach. The people who inhabit that world hadn’t exchanged a word between them until a few weeks ago. They were completely cut off from one another, separated by a raging dispute, and they presented each other with terms and conditions, before they even got back to talking. In the end, they conceded. They got off their high horses, made up, and started talking. They’ve been talking and talking ever since, without anything diverting them from the reason of their meeting.

« If this is not a civil war, words have no meaning anymore. » Pierre-Jean Luizard, director of research at CNRS and specialist of Iraq says  the nightmare is starting again. Even if the level of violence is not similar to the one that prevailed during the sectarian war of 2005-2008, the country has experienced in July, with nearly 1,000 dead, its deadliest month for five years.

More than a quarter of Syrian refugees in Lebanon will no longer receive food assistance from October due to lack of funds, announced yesterday a spokesperson for the Office of the United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR). From 1 October, UNHCR will provide a « targeted assistance » to Syrian refugees while until now it has been providing a massive aid operation involving some 720,000 refugees.