The Lebanese Red Cross (اللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر) shared a video released by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the latter’s Restoring Family Links (also in Arabic) project, asking us to help them collect “detailed information on people missing due to the armed conflicts that have taken place in Lebanon since 1975.”
As they explain on their website: “Every year, thousands of family members are separated by conflicts, disasters or migration. People suffer terribly when they lose contact with their loved ones and don’t know where they are or whether they are safe. The ICRC and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work together around the world to locate people and put them back into contact with their relatives. This work includes looking for family members, restoring contact, reuniting families and seeking to clarify the fate of those who remain missing.”
The video features members of the ICRC talking about their experiences meeting with people whose loved ones are still missing. The video has English subtitles and here’s the transcript:
“When I enter their house, it’s as if time has stopped. After meeting them, I discovered that losing someone is worse than death. Missing persons are a farmer kidnapped from his land, children robbed of their mother, and a little boy who went out to get food and never came back. We experienced with parents both happy and sad moments of their missing children, most of them thank us for listening and giving them a few hours of our time. The most difficult situation is to meet parents who, after 40 years, still feel guilty that they couldn’t do anything. The first question a family asks us is “is there hope?” but I can’t give an answer to those who need it. Each home is a different story; We don’t understand how they’ve survived this long. The most difficult situation is to see an old man cry. I feel helpless before his pain. Enough!
Our mission is to turn the information we get and stories parents tell into a tool for experts in uncovering facts, without dehumanizing the cause. Alive or dead we need to know, even if we only get bones. That’s what families of missing persons demand.”
You can also check out the page The Missing of Lebanon on Facebook.