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Immediate boarding for Bourj Hammoud.
Sharm el-Sheikh, 2010.

They have been gone for fifteen years already, the tenants of the first. They were five to share the small apartment on this noisy crossroads of Bourj Hammoud. I never saw them again, I just hope they left for a brighter place. Since the concrete mixers and Syrian workers built this filthy expressway over our heads, the streets of the neighborhood have become a shadow of themselves. Here we hardly ever see the sun again.

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I remember it well, the sun. As of that day in July 1985. Krikor was the eldest son of the family, he was a little older than me. That evening, he rolled off the dusty road that runs along the river behind the wheel of a van that was probably white in his early youth. She wasn't his, I'm sure. He usually traveled on his Kawasaki 1100cc. He could go fast, trace and zigzag to pass to the West and avoid the showers of the Ring. A baby shoe was swinging from the rear mudguard of his green car. Like a grigri serving as an invisible shield.

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As the cloud of dust cleared, his two brothers and his father discovered the cargo in the van. Then they quickly closed the shutters. Krikor seemed proud of himself. With a smile on his face, handsome and victorious, he called his father. Old Hagop wondered every morning when his son would make up his mind to find a decent job. "When the war is over," the hardened teenager inevitably replied.

“What did you hang out there?” The old man spat in rejection. He walked down the rickety stairs. "Eh? Are you crazy? They're going to have your skin one of these days. You may be the size of a giant, but you have the brain of a mouse! " The son expected this reaction and it had been a long time since he had ignored his father's remonstrances. The old man doesn't know what's going on in town, he doesn't know what we have to do to keep our dignity, Krikor thought. So he turned to the closed window of the first, knowing full well that his mother must be looking at him without being seen. “Mom, look what I brought you !, he cried, sure of its effect. That way, you won't be afraid to go down the stairs anymore! And then you know, it's a museum piece that I brought back, if you knew what it was used for ... "

The next morning at dawn, Krikor grabbed a sledgehammer and crushed what remained of the steps of the outer staircase. He did it alone. His brothers were too young and his father didn't want to talk to him. He cleared the last mound of rubble shortly before sunset, which is now hiding. Then with the help of a few amused comrades, he replaced the concrete with my scrap metal stolen at the airport.

A few days before, I was still under the dodger of the Beirut tarmac. Day after day, the sun burned my bolts. I was constantly going back and forth between the edge of the runway and the cabin of a TWA Boeing 727. The plane had been there for nearly two weeks, the rubber of its wheels slowly merging with the concrete heated by the sun. I had seen a passenger being thrown overboard with a bullet in the head. I had seen the pilot through the cockpit window, an automatic over his head. I had seen armed men climb up my iron railing and scream loudly once on board. I had heard other men cry and beg, in Greek, German, English ... Cameras all over the world were fixed on us, on me. And today, far from the spotlight, I languish among the rubbish of Bourj Hammoud.

In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.


In addition to this, you will need to know more about it.

News published in Beirut on listening / Wiretapping Beirut   (Amers Editions, 2011)

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