This from Beirut's Naharnet:
Lebanese may have lost homes, loved ones and livelihoods, but one thing they haven't lost in the aftermath of the war is their legendary sense of humor.
Jokes helped them survive Israel's devastating military onslaught and are now making the post-war healing process a lot easier. Anecdotes are to be found everywhere -- in living rooms, text messages, television shows, e-mails and even blogs, where some Israeli users have been less than amused. Amid sad stories about lost loved ones, destroyed homes and impoverished people who had to live in public schools, they joke about everything: the Israelis, the Americans, the Arabs, but mostly they tell self-deprecating gags.
Three Hizbullah fighters run out of Beirut's southern suburbs after Israeli raids, flashing the victory sign.
Actually, no. They were really pointing out that there were only two buildings left standing.
Why did rents go up in Ain el-Rummaneh district overlooking the southern suburbs?
Because it has sea view now!
Why are coquettish elderly Lebanese women very happy about the war?
Because it took them back 30 years.
Why will Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah win the Nobel Prize for Education?
Because he is the only man who sent one million people to school in just two days.
But they also tell jokes of bravery against the Israelis.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sitting in his office wondering how to invade Lebanon when his telephone rang. Beirut's most famous imaginary character announces to him in a heavily accented voice:
"This is Abul Abed and I am calling to tell you that we are officially declaring war on you."
"How big is your army?" replies Olmert.
"Right now," said Abul Abed, "there is myself, my cousin Mustafa, my next-door neighbor Abu Khaled, and the whole team from the tea house. That makes eight!"
Olmert paused. "I must tell you Abul Abed, that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command."
Abul Abed paused, then said: "Mr. Olmert, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!"
"And what equipment would that be Abul Abed?", Olmert asked.
"Well sir, we have two Mercedes 180s, and a truck."
"I must tell you Abul Abed that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to two million!"
"Mr. Olmert, we have to call off this war," said Abul Abed.
"I'm sorry to hear that," said Olmert. "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"Well," said Abul Abed, "we've come to realize that there is no way we can feed two million prisoners!"
...in a country that has repeatedly been invaded by Israel, the one joke everyone likes to tell remains:
An Israeli recently arrives at London's Heathrow airport. As he fills out a form, the customs officer asks him: "Occupation?"
The Israeli promptly replies: "No, just visiting!"
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