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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The wounds of the war haven't healed

The following article brings up an essential question that is being asked in Lebanon and no one really has the correct answer to it. Should the Lebanese forget the past? Forget the war? Forget their loved ones who are missing or dead? Or do they need to find out the truth for closure? How difficult is it to find the truth? What are the consequences of finding the truth?

What do you think should be done?

Mothers Press Issues of War That Lebanese Want to Forget
Loved Ones Still Missing From Years of Conflict

By Anthony Shadid
Washington Post Foreign Service
January 2, 2006

BEIRUT -- On this morning, as on every morning since Oct. 17, 1985 , Audette Salem cleaned the rooms of her son and daughter. She left his razor, toothbrush and comb as they were on the day her children were abducted from the streets of Beirut during Lebanon 's civil war. She fiddled with her daughter's makeup and straightened her bed. She dusted the three guitars, the papers still on their desks and the pack that holds a 20-year-old cigarette, the artifacts of two lives interrupted.

"Everything is there as they left it," she said. "I haven't changed a thing, nothing at all. It's all still there."

At 70, quiet but determined, Salem is a woman who clings to memories in a country that prefers to forget.

In the heart of downtown Beirut , ravaged by a brutal 15-year civil war, then rebuilt into a graceful, if somewhat soulless, urban hub, Salem joins other women every day in a protest demanding to know the fate of their children. Many believe they languish in jails in neighboring Syria . Others are not sure. Behind them, their children's faces stare from pictures tacked to billboards, blank faces with generation-old haircuts, the dates of their disappearances reading like a war memorial yet to be built.

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