"I am so sad," said Sada Abdullah, a 45-year-old Shiite lady who came from Washington to visit her family in Qraitem, west of Beirut. "It has become so bad here since the hatred is strong between Shiite and Sunni, and nobody knows whether it would quiet down," she said.
"I am going back to Washington," she said, adding that "there is no fighting for sectarian reasons, but my heart is broken for leaving my family and friends in such a dangerous situation."
Ibrahim Makdad, a 28-year-old employee and pro-Hezbollah Shiite, is more optimistic than the others.
"There will not be any sectarian war in Lebanon, what is happening now is a limited operation to prove that we can not be ignored or isolated," he said.
"We have no place to go," Ibrahim said, "the Shiite are fighting for their existence in Lebanon. The Sunni can go to Arab and Gulf countries, the Christians can go to Western countries, but we, the Shiite, will die in Lebanon since we have no place to go."
Inas, a 35-year-old Sunni secretary who lives in Tarik Jdeidi said that PM Fouad Seniora is defending Lebanon from becoming "an Iranian vassal state."
No matter how Lebanese describe the current situation, one thing is common among them -- the fear of the uncertainty.
The Lebanese people, no matter to which group they belong, have lost faith in their country's ability to maintain law and order.
"We are not living in a state, we live in an arena which is used by the Arabs, the West, the U.S. and Iran for stealthy confrontation," said Rima Farah, a political analyst in Lebanon.
(Xinhua News Agency May 12, 2008)