decaf

As my short stay in Lebanon has come to an end the strongest feeling that remains in me is emptiness, or being surrounded by emptiness more precisely. All my friends, those with whom I usually set the flame of the daily life alive in Lebanon are not here. The boys and girls are scattered, let me count, Sweden, Germany, UK, France, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman. Well it’s been fun, I’ve roamed around Lebanon day and night, enjoyed the semi-winter semi-spring weather but I guess the timing was not perfect in particular, except for being able to see a cousin that I haven’t seen in a very long time, she’s here for a short period before going back for her PHD studies in New York; anyway it’s sad how this place is deprived from its young blood, those who are able to make a difference and to make it a better place….. But no one really cares, so why should I? Everyone is so proud of being Lebanese and satisfied with it. I’ve always wondered where does this national pride that exists in all sects come from, everyone says proud to be lebanese; but where does it go when the Lebanese deal with each other? I mean if they’re all proud to be lebanese why they are backstabbing sons of bitches when they deal with each other? And more, where does this pride come from? What did the lebanese nation achieve so that they feel all this immeasurable pride? I really don’t know, but I think it’s nothing but racism, they feel superior when they compare themselves to the surrounding countries, and add to that the fact that they convert every single silly stuff to be a miracle; an example is how the Lebanese look at the fact that their financial sector didn’t fall with the latest crisis, we are extremely smart people no one in the whole world has seen it coming except for us and they forget that we buy the cheapest candy bar in HUNDREDS of our local currency and that our financial system has sustained major blows one after the other because we were idiots enough to kill each other and to destroy our country when others were building and developing, and that its through a lot of trial and error that our system has learned to avoid even the minimally risky investments over the past years, because even the minimally risky would be fatal. And honestly I think that the crisis not reaching Lebanon is a bad sign, a sign that the Lebanese economy is so underdeveloped, we didn’t catch the crisis because we have no foreign investments and no strong foreign economic relations, so there’s nothing to link us to this economic heat ball that suffered the crisis, we’re on the margin of the world; the Lebanese economic mass is smaller than that of a single medium Japanese car manufacturer, and its living on charity from the east and the west……….. Ok, I’ve nagged a lot but seriously that’s how things are in Lebanon, a protracted growing sociopolitical crisis and no one cares, all they care about is politics, the Lebanese style of politics. The question I’ve been asked the most during my stay was: you will not be here during the elections? And I say no and I don’t want to vote… Why? We need your vote plus even if you don’t want you should put a white paper that’s your civil right… Well I’m not going to be fooled by the civil right’s white paper, as a Lebanese citizen I don’t have any civil rights, I’m not worth anything and I can’t do anything unless I belong to a party and I have strong connections by selling my soul to my sect’s leader; well I will not do that and I will not vote because it’s my way to say that I refuse the whole electoral and political system and it would be a hypocrite thing in this case to vote. And I won’t be fooled by the civil rights white paper, keep it where it is it’s better for the environment that way.

Enough nagging I guess, I was hoping for a livelier couple of weeks but I can’t complain it’s been really nice with some moments to remember, and a good relief after several months of continuous pressure and overworking, it gave me the time to look for a capacity of self criticism in me and to see where I actually stand from some stuff.

Comments

Anonymous said…
The greatest satisfaction and honor is to pride yourself of being a respected and dignified human being, who has a humanitarian foundation regardless of one's background and not to pride oneself for belonging to a particular nation, religion or ethnic group. The problem I believe is this faux and superficial pride over which the Lebanese people (and it can be any other group) pride themselves over others in the neighboring region.
I think you have to learn to embrace and eliminate this archaic mindset that "we are better or more sophisticated then others" Sophistication has nothing to do with possessing the latest gadget or wearing the best brand names, its about education, embracing and accepting all equally. I do not wish to sound prejudice but Lebanese like Egyptians associate to themselves a different standard of dignity and unfortunately it is based entirely on superficial symbolism. Emancipate the mindset from this temporal and myopic vision and the next step towards a progressive Lebanon can be achieved.

In terms of economy and a better political system for Lebanon, like all other developing countries it has a long way to go. The first step, is to empower those who want a change and that starts by the expatriates outside (since the one's inside would surely be persecuted) who do wish to see a progressive nation, however if this empowerment is based on personal interest then its useless, but if its based on a humanitarian base, then it will succeed. Second, forming charities and institutions that can establish branches in the country, where then education comes into play, this will surely address the needs of the people.
Liliane said…
NEVER! Lamborghini is mine! kil yom bsoffa eddem a pub in gemmayze!

That is one of my favorite posts on the blog... yes you repeat your thoughts several times, but all in all I like the content..and I agree a lot with the reasons why Lebanon wasn't hit by the economical crisis, why Lebanese people feel proud to be Lebanese, I mean, really why? and finally why you don't vote, you're one of the few people who get it :) (I have written a post about it in my political blog, seen it?)

Lamborghini is miiiiiiiiine! shou baddak fiya aslan?
poshlemon said…
hehe, repetition is good. Rany you do repeat your ideas and thoughts about Lebanon but you always reinvent your approach and ways of expression and that's good. So keep repeating yourself.

This post, like many of your other posts on Lebanon, felt like coming home. I felt like 'wow, someone's speaking my mind'.

Especially about the economy etc...

Akh.
Rany said…
Anonymous,
Thank you for your kind words; about the lebanese and egyptians well I've been in contact with different nationalities from the middle east and they all have this "over pride" thing each on his/her own way, I don't know why maybe it can be traced to the feudal and tribal history of the region.

About the lebanese situation, it's complicated in many ways, not only expatriates can make a difference and unlike most of the middle eastern countries there's no direct persecution in Lebanon.

Liliane,
Do you remember "les figures de style" you reminded me of the one called "euphémisme" :p So thanks for your criticism I like this kind of feedback and I'm glad you like the content. Although every time there are always new angles explored but you're right the main issue is the same, I guess I have to do something abt it but the problem is that the lebanese dilemma keeps on repeating itself and it's part of my daily life whether I like it or not so I have to nag about it, can't help it.... I forgot abt your political blog! will check it again.

Yes and now the Lamborghini is yours, heik saret? w "aslan" kamen? Ok, I guess you already know that car bombs are the trend in Lebanon so how do you prefer your Lamborghini barbecued or fried? :P lol

p Laymouneh,
Thanks for the support against el 7aramiyyeh :) and glad to know that what I said speaks your mind.
wondassista said…
mmm fe3lan el 7a2i2a btejra7 :(
bas ma byemna3 enno lezim ten2al...
je crois que tu repetes c que ca t'agace vrt, ce qui est le cas pr ns ts je crois alors ca ne ns embete pas :)
al chou ana el seni sar "fiyi" sawwit ya fare7ti lol
Rany said…
wondassista,

looool, mabrouk.

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