south lebanon,

LEBANON. July 2006.

Abbas, a chubby young boy, sat on the side of a narrow village road, held his injured mother’s hand and wept. “Don’t leave me, mother, don’t go, don’t go.” “Take care of your brothers and sisters,“ the mother moaned softly, as her eyes closed leaving two white slits. A piece of shrapnel had cut into her chest and almost severed her right arm. Blood stained mother and child.

Abbas, his mother, brother, aunts and a grandmother, 18 in total, were cramped inside a small white minivan, fleeing their village in south Lebanon when an Israeli rocket pierced the roof of the car. Now the survivors were scattered on the road or in the shadow of a building crying, while inside the van lay the headless corpse of an uncle, a dead grandmother and a neighbor.

“Why are you leaving me,” Abbas started yelling at his mother, as her arm fell on the ground. He buried his face in his hands and wept. His brother, 12-year old Ali, stood on the other side of the mother, his hand bandaged and eyes staring into the horizon, as the Lebanese Red Cross started helping the survivors.

Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images

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Christian singer Julia Boutros honors the Lebanese Resistance. 

Lyrics translated into English. Julia was born in Beirut, Lebanon on April 1, 1968 into a Greek Orthodox Christian family to a Lebanese father and Palestinian mother. She was educated at the Rosary Sisters Schools where she sang in the school choir. Growing up, she and her brother were heavily influenced by Ziad Rahbani’s works. When she was 12 years old she recorded her first song, entitled “A Maman” at Elias Al Rahbani studios. This was introduced to her by her music teacher Fouad Fadel. She also recorded two songs, “C'est la Vie” & “Viens dans Ma Vie”. 

On October 11, 2006, Julia announced a new single called “Ahibaii” (My loved ones). The lyrics are based on a letter sent by Hizbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah to the fighters in South Lebanon during the 2006 Summer War between Lebanon and Israel. The poet Ghassan Mataradapted the original text. The music is composed by Ziad, brother of Julia and arranged by Michel Fadel. The profits from the song’s sale went to help the families of Hizbollah fighters and to all Lebanese who died during the Israel-Lebanon conflict. Sales eventually garnered three million dollars for the families of the Lebanese civilians, soldiers, security forces, and Hezbollah fighters who have been killed in the Israel-Lebanon conflict. The sum was triple the original aim, which was only one million dollars. The families of Lebanese soldiers killed during operation Naher el-Bared also received a portion of the money.