A Walk to Liberation...
It's much more than your ordinary hiking trip. It's when the land speaks to heaven.
With every step I take, the land underneath my feet whispers stories of brave men who trudged up Mount Safi, better known to Southerners as the Revolutionaries' Mountain.
Mount Safi with its rough terrain and cruel weather is never forgotten, but it is during this time of year that visitors particularly southerners pay tribute to the mighty mountain.
Seventeen years had passed and Mount Safi stands proud safekeeping secrets of the brave Revolutionaries' stories of heroism and endurance. Stories waiting to be told... waiting to be passed on from one generation of Revolutionaries to another.
With only a backpack on my back, I set out on a walk that changed my perception of the littlest of things. At 10:15 a.m. [Beirut time] the hiking group I accompanied met with Abu Hadi, a Hezbollah field officer, who took us on an excursion.
The Hezbollah-sponsored daytrip was held on the occasion of the Resistance and Liberation Day. On May 25, 2000, Lebanon's southern villages witnessed the withdrawal of the occupying "Israeli" entity - a date which marks the victory of a brave handful over the apartheid entity's so-called "invincible army" in South Lebanon.
Our two-hour walk which started from Ain Boswar, a village in Nabatieh Governorate in South Lebanon, ended in Mleeta, the Hezbollah Resistance Museum or the Tourist Landmark of the Resistance, as it is officially known.
A mile or two up the mountain with nothing much to carry cannot compare with the same miles walked with 40 to 50 kg [88 - 110 lbs.] of military equipment that the Revolutionary men carried under enemy bombing and fire.
Abu Hadi, a veteran in his mid-forties, wore his military uniform that camouflaged with the surrounding. With his southern Lebanese accent, Abu Hadi tells us about the profound relation of Mount Safi to its neighboring villages that endured moments of heroism and pain at the same time; as the area had been shelled during the "Israeli" aggression in 1993 and 1996.
The veteran officer went on to talk about the mutual relationship between the Revolutionaries' Mountain and the Revolutionaries themselves, who had gotten used to dwelling in the area prior to the 2000 liberation.
He told us how the men would carry their military supplies and weaponry in addition to food and gas tanks from nearby villages up to their camp site at Mount Safi, pointing to an old man-made well where they would get water given the lack of pipelines.
In his will, Martyr Abdulmalik Karaki tells Martyr Moustafa Karaki: "Whoever wanted to be assigned to Safi Mount particularly in the pre-liberation stage , would have to sacrifice greatly and be physically fit."
The presence of the Islamic Resistance on Mount Safi dates back to 1986 - 1987 due to its strategic location as it overlooks the Western Beqaa area, Saida, Tyre and the towns nearby, Abu Hadi added.
Back then, Great Martyr Leader Sayyed Abbas al-Mousawi managed the Resistance's military operations from Mount Safi.
Abu Hadi noted the strategic importance of Safi stressing that had the "Israelis" occupied it, the entire South would have fallen.
It was a beautiful day for a hike. Luckily, it wasn't too hot.
At times, mist would cover the entire mountain transforming the field into a heavenly place; a view that sends you into a state of serenity and peace.
All the way up Mount Safi, the sole thought on my mind was how tiring the hike is. I wondered how the Resistance men bore the hike through the years.
Women and young ladies from different walks of life took part in this life-enlightening walk. Like me, they were all pushed by the curiosity to experience what it is like to be a Revolutionary, as many of them are mothers, sisters, wives and daughters of these honorable men.
A light breeze blew as we sat listening to Abu Hadi narrating stories of valor. Under a big branched tree sat Hajje Zeinab, mother of martyr Abbas al-Mousawi who fought in Syria.
For Hajje Zeinab, the mother of seven young men, the walk is a continuation of her son's path. She had already sacrificed a son and is relentless to sacrifice the rest for the sake of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and his Household.
Given her life experience and wisdom, Hajje Zeinab advised us to learn from the events of Karbala and withstand the way Sayyida Zeinab did when she was deprived of her loved ones by Yazid.
I would never forget her comparison of Imam Hussein [AS] and his loyal Sahaba who fought Yazid and his tyrant army; she said "Hezbollah men are the successors of Imam Hussein [AS] and they are fighting the same army of Yazid - the ‘Israeli's and their Western and Arab allies are the Yazids of this age."
At 12:30 p.m., we reached Mleeta weary, thirsty and hungry. The women and young ladies were all desperate for a cozy place to relax in.
As I sat in the restaurant, sipping a cup of hot chocolate, I look at mighty Mount Safi. I smile. I take a deep breath of fresh air. I think of those brave men who suffered and persevered so that we are safe and free. I think of those courageous Revolutionaries fighting today to defend our honor.
To Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah... To all the honorable men of Hezbollah... To the sons of Imam Hussein [AS]... To whom we owe our lives... This is dedicated to you.
Many Happy Returns to you, the makers of victory.
Source: Al-Ahed News