The next morning over breakfast, my father related the past night’s events to my mother and my sister, adding that, after he sent me back to bed, he saw a couple of platoons driving steadily past on the street below. He explained that they seemed to be headed in the same area where the bombs had been sent flying. I wished that I could have seen the soldiers go by.
After breakfast, our driver returned to pick us up. We loaded up the car and made our way to the border. We crossed into Lebanon without much trouble and took the road to the village of Chebaa where we spent our days with my grandparents. Many of the townsfolk came to visit with us. It was clear that they held fond memories of my father by the way they embraced him. They were eager to meet my mother, my sister and myself.
After having spent ten days in my grandparent’s home, it was time for us to leave. With many wailings and tears, we managed to tear ourselves away to begin the journey back to Tel-Aviv where we spent an additional week. I remember spending time at the beach and delighting in meals of fried fish overlooking the sea. We even spent a day visiting Jerusalem. All too quickly though, the moment came to pack our bags again for the final leg of our trip, the journey back home.
That stay in Lebanon and Israel as well as my subsequent stays in Lebanon impressed upon me the divide that existed between the Middle-East and the West. I had come to understand that life in the Middle-East was laden with constant reminders of militarisation, violence and firepower. From the nighttime flight of bombs to the almost constant presence of soldiers and their guns on the roads and in the towns, the burden seemed heavy. On August 2nd 1990, only a couple of weeks after our return to Canada, the Iraqi Army, under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. On January 18th 1991, the first barrage of eight Iraqi Scud missiles struck in Tel Aviv.
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