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Op-Ed

My Israeli and Lebanese Friends

Kamala Sarup, July 18, 2007

At last, all three of us were ready to promote peace, and love in the world. I know as a women we have this power. I told them so.

I invited two of my friends, an Israeli, Naru, and Lebanese Nadia Khan to my small apartment last week. They both work together and their children go to the same school.

I saw Naru and Nadia were holding their hands together and their children were playing and laughing together. We went to the beach near my apartment and prayed for peace in the Middle East.

"The war and terrorism in the region are not acceptable," both of my friends were arguing. "We want to establish love and companionship with each other," both said.

As a Nepali victim of violence and terrorism, I also joined my hands with them and prayed for tolerance, peace and love.

Nadia started her story of how she came to the U.S. (A great nation).

"My son was playing on the ground. He stopped his play all of a sudden, and shouting and shrieking ran into my house. He looked frightened and understood easily that at any time, a strange thing was going to happen. Although my son's mind didn't draw any definite conclusions, he comprehended some uncomfortable reality, and the condition made my son extremely scared."

He asked me, "Mother, are they going to start a movement like they did a few days ago again?"

"Hamas funded Hezbollah organization terrorised and attacked, firing a rocket at that time near by house," she explained.

"No sooner had my son expressed this than I felt as if I was falling from the roof and began to look for my ten-year old son and nine-year old daughter. My daughter hadn't come back from school yet. A chill runs down my spine. A girl at the threshold of youth, she could be abducted and mistreated," she said.

My Lebanese friend Nadia also told me, "Kam, I am full of love for my family. But, I told my husband several times don't talk of war and movements. Nice people never talk of such movements and war. I told him to talk only about his duties, and companionship."

"My elder sister, while walking in the road, lost her life because of an Israeli rocket and became a martyr together with her father. Both the father and the daughter who had gone to the town to agonizing incident was unbearable for me. All the days after that were almost vacant for me. Then on, my face becoming pale used to be distorted even by some small incidents. But there were problems in front of me. On the one side was a terrible security problem as I had no sources of income and on the other hand, I had to look and live for the future, for my daughter and son. This thought that I had to live forced me to compromise with the situation."

As a journalist, I found out that they both still have ambitions these days, dreams to exchange pleasure, and pain, mutually with their families, to smile and love each other fully — due to their similar experiences and losses. Like the petals of flowers, growing and scattered sweetly amongst their imaginations, of their happy and joyful lives now, with their family, together. It was a wonderful moment.

And yet elswwhere, what a deplorable day! Everywhere these human settlements were embraced by the naked hot sun. The mother of their children took in long breaths. Although the chaos outside had fully subsided, they remained quite disturbed. The time was ticking away and the darkness had enveloped everywhere.

I saw both of my friends children were playing attentively at my apartment as if they had now no concern about the situation as they were concentrating on their playing.

I sat down with them and switched on the radio. The news broadcast was going: "The most serious problem in the Middle East today is the terrorism and war. War and terrorism are increasing everyday. It has been extremely difficult to nab the situation," it said. I was really overwhelmed with grief.

At last, all three of us were ready to promote peace, and love in the world. I know as a women we have this power. I told them so.

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