Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A diary of the assassination of Rafic Hariri -Part one-

It began as quite a nice day, the sun shown copiously, after a dark week filled with clouds and rain. I was sitting with two colleagues of mine, in an office building close to the Lebanese American University. Which is more than kilometer away from the site of the explosion. It was 10 or 15 to one pm.

Suddenly the building shook for several seconds and a great roaring filled the air. Brought up in the our country’s darkest days, amidst the nightmare of a civil war – Lebanon had a full fledged civil war from 1975 till 1990 – I instantly knew that this was a bomb explosion. We rushed to the windows and saw a great ball of smoke billowed up from the north-east.

I feared that the explosion targeted Walid Joumblatt’s house, which was roughly situated in that direction. I was almost right, let me explain. Lately a large opposition coalition was forming up, headed by Walide Joumblatt – the leader of the Druze sect – and Rafic Hariri - the leader of the sunny sect -

This opposition was adamant about the necessity to free our country and to regain its independence and sovereignty from the Syrians. I thought the bomb targeted Walid Joumblatt but it was Rafic Hariri who died. However, more than an hour passed, before we knew that horrible truth.

From that moment till the fatidic instant we knew for a fact that Rafic Hariri is dead, I passed the longest two hours of my live. It was exacerbating, news came by bits and pieces, contradicting and incomprehensible. The TVs showed horrible image of people being burned alive. While we hoped beyond hope and reason that the former PM made it alive, every minute that passed diminished what sliver of hope we had left

Until finally what drops of hope we had left were savagely squashed, when the fatidic moment arrived and they officially announced that Rafic Hariri was dead...

To be continued

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