Right after the explosion yesterday, I went down to the playground with the boys, and met up with other parents in our community – as always, on a day after school. We didn’t know then, that it was an assassination that had happened, just that someone has detonated a car bomb in a busy district not too far away. Some parents I talked to live close to the site, and even heard/felt it. Since the explosion happened right before school lets out, they still had to leave their homes and (drive a long way around to) pick up their kids (right after they busted out of the elevator they were in, which stopped when the electricity went out due to the blast). Another family had visitors here from overseas, that they had sent downtown for a day of sightseeing. We all hoped these innocent bay area-tourists remained oblivious of the incident until they could get back. We even made a joke about it. Another mother commented that when they moved here, she said her criteria for staying was that there would be no kidnappings and no car bombs, and then we all laughed out loud about that.
It may seem crazy that we would choose to live here, in the middle of all this, but it has come so naturally, and there are good things that drew us here. I used to wonder, when hurricanes strike the same US town several times, why people would stay and choose to live there, but now I kind of understand. The thought of just packing up and leaving is impossible: this is where our work is, our stuff, our lives. And the idea that the majority of people here would let anything really bad happen again is irrational. I have faith in the future of Lebanon, and hope that the situation in Syria will resolve soon.