Mleeta Resistance Tourist Landmark - Lebanon

Last Page*

By: Najwa Ra'ad

Hafez snatched his pen and began writing his thoughts on a small notebook that treasured his secrets and shared his moments of happiness and sadness. The words were racing like ocean waves to settle on the remaining empty pages. They were dancing to the rhythm of the author's heartbeats, aided by a cool breeze that entered through his window.
Moonlight was landing on the window of the house of Hafez's father hence, sneaking in like threads that ended at that notebook, which mirrored the secrecy of Hafez's survival.
The brunette young man wrote his last words coupled with a smile that was mixed with tears of joy. It read, "I present to you my Zahra a heart that beats with your love." Suddenly he talked to himself: "Oh, praise to be God, this is the last page."
He went to his bed and succumbed to a deep sleep. Tomorrow is a new day that will begin the first page of his new life.
On the next sunny morning, everything appeared to be so calm except for the tree leaves that were gliding left and right, playing a roman music that glorified those rising temples of Baalbeck.
The alarm rang its annoying tone and Hafez woke up quickly. Today was going to be a hard day. He had a lot of issues. However, that day was going to be a day of days because he was going to meet his beloved girl whom he loved ever since he was a boy. They both were going to buy an engagement ring because Thursday was their engagement day.
His steps were light with his feet barely touching the ground. He opened his wardrobe, donned his best clothes and departed.
The sun shyly crossed half way in the sky of Baalbeck, relaying its golden threads like someone making a dress on top of the high school of Sayyed Abbass al Mousawi.
Suheil and Ali strolled together on the playground of the school like every morning. Suheil asked Ali: "What is the time?"
Ali replied: "It is twenty to eight."
Suheil said: "Damn, a few minutes and the bell will ring. I miss the summer vacation."
Ali wondered: "Man, you miss the summer during summer vacation, imagine how you feel now."
As usual, Suheil strolled each day kicking anything his legs might find. It was like someone revenging from each stone that belonged to the school. While he was in that situation, he noticed a brown ball. At first, he did not recognize it. Suddenly, he remembered the words of his teacher "Kamel" and his lectures to the pupils. Perhaps it was one of the "cluster bombs."
He approached and examined the object then looked at Ali who wondered about his behavior. After that he told him: "Look, do not touch it. This could be a cluster bomb."
Ali was astonished and said: "I will call teacher Kamil. Stay here and don't let anyone come near it."
Ali ran fast until he reached the principle's room and said with extreme difficulty: "Teacher Kamil, we found a bomb."
The teacher scowled at him and said: "Go Ali, I am accustomed to your jokes…"
Ali replied: "Teacher, I am serious, I swear to God."
After that, they rushed together like someone racing time until they reached their destiny. They looked at it and the teacher said: "Oh it is so. Well done both of you. Do not touch it until I call for the explosive expert. I thank God because it did not explode and hurt any student."
Teacher Kamil phoned Hafez in order to come to school. When Hafez apologized and said he was unable to answer his call and go to school teacher Kamil responded: "Please Hafez. This is something important. I cannot tell you anything on the phone."
Hafez rushed towards the school. After a few minutes he reached the play ground. He found teacher Kamil with some students circling him and trying to approach with their heedless curiosity while the teacher kept yelling at them: "No one must approach. Please, stay away."
Hafez penetrated the crowd of students and reached near the teacher. He asked him what was going on. Teacher Kamil was satisfied to point to that strange ball. As soon as Hafez saw the object, he shook his head and asked everyone to stay away.
Hafez was a professional deminer. His fingers were accustomed to doing a unique jog. He handled the strange ball and as soon as he started pulling the detonator he realized that it tricked him like it tricked people before him. It tricked children and many more…
A few minutes of silence and tranquility passed. It was a breathtaking view for all those surrounding Hafez who noticed how the features of his face gloomed with his eyes encompassing all of them. He whispered some words and embraced the bomb.
Back home, everything was quite in that bedroom that was vacant of Hafez. Zahra stood examining the bedroom with all its details. She came nearer to the bed, found a small notebook with a red rose, which she presented to Hafez as a gift not very long ago. She held the notebook and read those words. She cried and laughed at the same time. She cried again as she read: "To you my Zahra, my heart beats with your love."
She closed the book like a last page of her life that has yet to experience its prime and kissed it as a dowry of hers.
* Inspired by the story of martyr Hafez Khalil Abbass.

This tourist landmark is run by the Lebanese Association for Tourism & Tradition

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