Lebanon After Cease FireOnly an hour after the cease fire went into force at 8 a.m. today, thousands of Lebanese started their march back to their homes in southern Lebanon, Beirut's southern suburbs and the Bekaa.
They were all happy even though many feared that they will not find their homes the way they left them. Israeli bombings not only killed more than 1,000 Lebanese and wounded thousands others but also destroyed many villages around the country as well as large parts of Beirut' southern suburb that is the home for about half a million people.
Now that the war has ended, other problems will surface especially that Ramadan is a month a way, schools should begin early September and winter is coming.
People who went back Monday were defiant and many of them said that Israel's bombing only made them respect and love Hezbollah and its leader more and more.
This was not the first time that large parts of Lebanon were destroyed but as it was rebuilt in the past it will again. Homes, bridges, power stations, airports and ports can be rebuilt but what breaks the heart are those who lost their lives, became handicap or turned orphans by the war.
When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert launched the wide war under the pretext of the capturing of two Israeli soldiers on the border, it was clear to many here that Israel is not going to win this war despite having the strongest army in the Middle East.
Most Lebanese who were in the country during the previous Lebanon-Israel wars know well that Israel made the mistake in 1982 but officials seem not to learn that Lebanon can always become a quagmire.
Now that the war has ended, what happened in the Israeli parliament this afternoon tells the story of what a bad decision it was to attack Lebanon. Israeli politicians are saying that Olmert's government did not achieve its goals.
Olmert claimed that he launched the war to win the unconditional release of the two soldiers. Today, 34 days after the war began, Israel wants to negotiate a prisoners exchange with Hezbollah.
No one in Lebanon believed that the war was launched because of the soldiers but its main aim was to destroy Hezbollah, a matter that also ended with a failure.
Now that there is a cease fire and hostilities have stopped, everyone hopes that war is over for good.
After 58 years of violence in the Middle East, war has proven not to be the solution.
During an Arab summit in Beirut in 2002, all Arab countries offered Israel full peace in return of lands occupied in 1967.
Most Arabs believe that setting up a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital is the shortest way to bring peace to region.
Beirut August 14, 2006