Category Archives: Lebanon

A Grave for my Mother, a Grave for my Father


By Mohanad Hage Ali

Across long, empty hallways where walls turned grey after failed attempts to paint them white, echoes of Soviet nurses’ footsteps intensify as they approach the sleeping hall of Michel Abou Rjeili and several other “patients”. The footsteps were an early warning sign for the anticipated injection, “enough to sedate an elephant”, Abou Rjeili recalls his vivid memory of this 1983 Ukranian psychiatric ward, where the word “patient” was often synonymous to “political dissident”.

Michel, then a student at Kiev’s State Theatre Institute, suffered a nervous breakdown after learning that both his parents, Fouad and Zmorroud Abou Rjeili, were among hundreds of civilians killed in a massacre in their hometown Bhamdoun at the peak of Lebanon’s Civil War. When admitted, a psychiatrist interrogated him “KGB style”, asking “no questions on the reasons behind the nervous breakdown”. After three months of injections, Abou Rjeily’s condition grabbed the attention of a visiting Lebanese Communist Party “comrade”. Checked out, he escaped Ukraine and the Soviet Union “for good”.


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Lebanon’s Warlords to hatch soon!

Lebanon has embarked on a magical phase of stability. Not long ago, the country was on the verge of a Civil War, with Sunni suicide bombers blowing themselves up in Shiite neighborhoods and a rabid political and media discourse, to say the least. There was no government in sight after former Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned on  March 22, 2013, while Syrian refugees crossed the million bar, a mere one fourth of the local population.

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Your Excellency, Mr. Warlord


It was the 10th of September, 1989. Marwan Fayez remembers the day very well, he, 13 years old, and his sister Sarah, 11, lost their mother after a mortar shell hit their West Beirut flat. “I am still suffering till this day, no words can describe the pain”. She passed away during Michel Aoun’s proclaimed “Liberation War” against the Syrian Army, that left thousands dead and injured in a ruthless bombing campaign.

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