From Beirut to Jerusalem

Friedman, Thomas L.

Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1989

pp. 28 - 29

Friedman describes what street life was like during Lebanon’s civil war in the 1980s: “The frightening thing about Beirut is the prospect of dying a random death there. Long distance sniping and shelling make it difficult or impossible to say where bullets or shells will land, and their launchers don’t care. You never know whether the car you walk past, lean on, or get stuck behind will suddenly become a fireball from 100 sticks of exploding dynamite that strip surrounding trees of their leaves so that the leaves come fluttering down afterward in a soft shower. No one keeps score. No matter how you lived your life, whether you were decent or indecent, sinner or saint, it was all irrelevant. Police don’t even keep track of the names of the dead. No one keeps score. Death in Beirut has no echo.”