A DEMONSTRATION OF ONE
Layal Abu Rahhal, from MENASSAT, went to Mar Elias street to cover what had been announced as a women's demonstration to say No to civil war. She met with the only woman who answered the call.
Her weapons were a red bucket and a mop. She brought two neighbors with her and set off in search for the women's peace demonstration.
An email had gone out to all the women in the Mar Elias area; her daughter had read about it on MENASSAT.
All the women in Mar Elias were asked to gather next to the Al-Makassed parking lot at 4 p.m. on Tuesday. The invitation said to bring only a bucket and a mop; no political banners were allowed. The goal: to clean up and reopen the Mar Elias road which has been barricaded by opposition forces for the past week.
The lady stood next to the huge dirt barricade with her weapons in her hands: the red bucket and the mop. Her eyes were searching the street for other passionate participants – in vain.
She waited for a minute, then two, then three but to no avail. She wanted to convince herself that she didn't make a mistake by answering the call, even though it was clear that to remove the dirt barricade one needed a truck, not a bucket and a mop.
She refused to have her picture to be taken, saying, "I'm all alone out here." Asked what the situation here has been like in the past few days, she says, "The armed militants spread everywhere and didn't stop shooting."Armed men from both sides? "No, they are from one side. They came to us."
The lady waits for a while. She keeps silent, looking left and right, still hoping that a woman like her, carrying a bucket and a mop, will magically appear from the opposite side of the barricade.
Her neighbor says they should leave. She adds sarcastically, "Tomorrow, when they elect a president, he will come and open it himself."
The lady smiles at the joke. She looks back at the barricade one last time. Then she leaves, taking her bucket and mop with her.
The Mar Elias road remains closed.