Mleeta Resistance Tourist Landmark - Lebanon

Birdlime

By: Hussein Mansour

They marched seriously and unleashed their feet with all vigor in order to speed up their steps. They reached a hill that grew densely with beautiful and fruitful trees, and overlooked the adjacent valley, from where Jaafar, Bakir and Ali ascended.
Their breaths competed with the tree branches that danced with the wind. Now they are distanced from the peril that threatened their lives and the situation requires a rest before they can reach their destination.
The atmosphere was overwhelmed by silence and tranquility. However, they could hear a sound that would somehow grow higher to go lower until it disappeared: "FIRRR… FIRRR… FIRRR…"
That sound worried them; they never heard anything like it in that particular place. They will not rest until they are reassured and had to eliminate doubt by certainty.
The sound returned to dispatch its calls and glimmers. The men spread and each one took a different side. The sound came clearer and clearer. It was the sound of a wing's strong flapping with a consecutive chirping.
Jaafar: "Examine closely the tree branches. I believe there is an ongoing battle between two birds."
Ali: "Perhaps this is true, but we must make sure and must not neglect or overlook the source of this sound."
Bakir was walking in front of them. Suddenly he stopped and bent to insert his head between the branches. He saw a fig bird with its wing stuck to the birdlime on the branch and was flapping his other wing strongly hopping this will free it from its dilemma. Ali and Jaafar approached Bakir. The bird would rest for a short time to restart its attempt again. All its attempts to release itself from the birdlime failed. The bird was scared and confused thinking that Bakir was the executioner who came to take its life.
The bird's shine and glimmer vanished and its happiness with the fig turned into a great fear from that merciless birdlime, which was the frivolous hunter that would easily prey on that little bird and work as a camp for torture and slow death. This is a kind of tyranny and criminality that work as an open gate to conscienceless.
Jaafar: "Human beings are very cruel. They assigned seasons and times for catching and killing birds. They let them multiply to kill them as a sign of hobby and luxury. Their pleasures have no limits."
Ali: "Torture is odious and ugly. It is one the tasks of the demon."
Bakir: "We must not be blamed for the doings of others. We are facing perils by confronting the aggressive Zionists. However, we do not fear them, yet I feel sorry for that bird. It has been in agony ever since I saw it."
Bakir reached after the bird to look like someone offering a helping hand. He said to the bird: "Don't be afraid. I will not harm you. I want to give you your dear freedom. Look at me, I do not have any knife or cage. I am only giving you my love. Your remedy lies within my hands. Be calm and let me do my work."
The bird was somehow disturbed when Bakir touched it. However, it responded to the treating doctor. Bakir's hands started operating like the hands of a great and expert surgeon who was careful. He was like a surgeon who was removing a cancerous tumor from a sensitive organ. He would free each piece of feather from the damned birdlime will carefulness and accuracy.
Ali: "I am only hoping that you do not make this operation more difficult. Birdlime is a tight trap and freeing from it is very difficult."
Bakir: "I am certain of success. I want you both to help me succeed. Should that hunter return to examine his trap, I am only wishing that he will find it empty and that he will return disappointed and defeated. He must realize that these small vulnerable birds are stronger than his cunning and the harshness of his birdlime."
Jaafar: "If we neglect the birdlime and let it torture this bird, this process of bird catching will spread widely and the life of the birds will turn into constant torture. This bird forced us deal with a difficult and critical situation. The bird is in your hands O Bakir. You will save it God willing."
Bakir gave it another attempt and the bird succumbed. So Bakir used all his knowledge slowly and accurately. After a few worrying and tiring hours he managed free the bird. Bakir saw the freedom inside the eyes of the bird that flapped its wings as it was within Bakir's hands. Bakir brought the bird nearer to him, kissed it on its little head, showed it to Ali and Jaafer, raised his arms and opened his hands to release it freely in the sky. The bird circled around the three brothers as a gesture of appreciation, flapped its wings and flew away to its freedom.
Bakir bent down and dug a hole in the ground to rise again, catch the birdlime and bury it inside that hole.
The summer returned. The figs ripened. The nature crowded with birds that began singing, flapping, landing, flying and following the path of Bakir and his brothers. They caught their breaths by the branches, flowers and fields, to reach in the end a fountain where they washed for prayers and lied in wait.

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

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