Fida and the Fire-proof Fence

Fida Jehan on the campus of Beirut University

I knew Fida about thirty years ago and it was a real pleasure to meet her again. Fida has an unusual story about an experience she had during the terrible civil war that tore the Lebanon apart, when shellfire set the hills around the Middle East University alight. In summer, when everything is brown and dry, such fires rage with quite frightening intensity and even today a dropped cigarette can send flames leaping high into the air and burn out dozens of houses.

Fida's conclusion raises all sorts of questions in a land where so many died and there was so much suffering, but she is quite serene in her conviction that the university and its students received special care.