International Day of the Disappeared

International Day of the Disappeared

Remember the “missing kid” ad that I blogged about yesterday?

Well now we know what it’s all about!

Turns out it’s an event to commemorate the anniversary of the International Day of the Disappeared.

Translated from Arabic, the ad says that 17,514 people have disappeared during the Lebanese war [1975-1990] and that you can “contribute to bring a solution”. The event will take place on September 3 & 4 in the Gebran Khalil Gebran garden in front of the ESCWA building [Riad El Solh, DownTown].

I think this is a great thing. It tells Lebanese and regional politicians that families haven’t forgotten about their relatives who were abducted during the war. It’s really fucking sad. Some parents know for sure their children (after decades) are in a Syrian prison but nothing is done to take them out of there. Syria denies the presence of Lebanese prisoners on its soil, of course.

Hope someone (with a heart) will actually do something about it.

6 thoughts on “International Day of the Disappeared

  1. mariam August 26, 2010 / 12:26 am

    Syrians who have been in jail state they’ve never met any Lebanese in the prisons. My uncle who is Syrian was jailed back in the 1990’s while accused of “trash talking” the president and was in jail for a good number of numbers in one of the harshest prisons of Syria- thanks to Bashar El-Assad they were released. And the cause of this jailing was their neighbours whom wanted to do harm to my family.

    Anyway, my uncle told us no one there is Lebanese and Syria every Eid releases many prisoners. And our biwab was jailed for a year on his way in to Syria and recently came back to Lebanon to be our biwab again.

    The point I’m getting at is maybe they aren’t in Syria – during wars people go missing = get killed and are never found – are taken in by other people- leave the country- maybe in a Syrian or Israeli jail and never were lucky enough to leave. God knows. I don’t know the details of this campaign and if it aims to blame Syria for all 17000+ missing, but if it is .. I feel sad to think it was turned into a political campaign and not just a campaign to remember those that went missing of all ages and sizes and genders during the Lebanese war that has truly scarred our country.

    Thanks for letting us know what this was about though.

  2. webmistress August 26, 2010 / 7:08 am

    That is sad, abducted, held against their will for decades and nobody can do anything about it. Just awful and here in the USA people go missing to much, one never knows where they are. Totally feel sorry for the children.

    prison, captive or worse

    • BeirutBoy August 27, 2010 / 1:34 am

      Remember Natalee Holloway who disappeared in Aruba in 2005?

      That incident really made me sad, dude. Her mom had so much strength to go to Aruba all by herself and look for her daughter…

      I can’t imagine the pain someone goes through when a loved one disappears without any explanation.

      It’s bad enough her daughter was missing…but she didn’t even know if she was alive, if she was murdered. Akh…

  3. yasmine August 26, 2010 / 10:33 am

    Like Mariam said, not all are in Syrian jails – but there are some. There was a whole hulla-balloo about it a few years back when someone was released from a jail in Syria and said that he knew others there. It was on tv and all.

    But it should be considered – especially in the case of children – that other people have adopted them into their families. I am sure that little children were not left out on the road to die. At least I do hope so.

  4. BeirutBoy August 27, 2010 / 1:27 am

    Thanks for sharing what you’ve heard about this issue Mariam.

    There are lots of families who attend this demonstration every year. I see the same “famous” parents on Kalem el Nes (Lebanese talk show hosted by Marcel Ghanem) every year talking about this issue. They’re well known because they became advocates for this cause.

    Many Lebanese people were abducted by the Syrian army during the war, and sent to jail there. So what happened to them? Two options: either they were killed or they’re still in prison. The families of the victims deserve an explanation from Syrian authorities. I know it’s been a lot of years since the war but those families are waiting for an absolution. And I just hate to think that they will never come to terms with their past.

    Of course you’re totally right Mariam and Yasmine. Not all the 17,000+ were jailed in Syria. It’s not just the Syrian army who was involved in the war. The Lebanese people and the Israeli army obviously contributed their healthy share of violence. Hope the event has the aim to scold ANY country that practices abduction.

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