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Why don’t you come back home to Lebanon?

November 10, 2009 @ No Comments
Why don’t you come back home to Lebanon?

By Dana Fadel,

Special to Ya Libnan
It is “I” and the many Lebanese people who live outside Lebanon who make up the word “Lebanese Immigrants” around the world. Why are we here? Why don’t many of us want to go back home after the 2006 war? Are we exiled?

On the other hand, friends back home enjoy making us feel guilty with their silly claims “Oh! So you’re too good to come back home?” or “You’re American now?” It’s true that we’re still away, lost in translation, living around people who judge us as terrorists and anti-Semitic, pursuing a dull life isolated from any Lebanese flair, and fighting our way to preserve our identity… yet life here is still more manageable than going back home.

How can we go back home if after fifteen years of brutal, unforgivable civil war, fought on our soil, by us and between us, people have not yet learned anything – especially politicians – not a single thing! People still look around your neck for a cross or an “Allah” pendant. New friends ask you online or in your face your religious affiliation. Parents grow seeds of sectarianism in their kid’s hearts and teach them to obey politicians and follow them blindly. Or how about hearing stories of couples that can’t get married just because they are from different religions and don’t support civil marriage?

How can we think of returning when we watch Lebanese cable or read newspapers and all we see is politicians insulting one another and combating to pretend caring more about Lebanon but then go strip us from money? They pretend to fight for Lebanon’s independence when they have sold us previously for couple of greens to our enemies? Worse than that, kids on Facebook already affiliated themselves politically, even racially, quoting whatever they hear a politician pronouncing. The battle turns a kid against another kid, a politician against another politician, a religion against another religion, a city against another city…. leading to rigid pyramid against Lebanon’s independence and power.

We thought of coming back home, it’s the “Lebanon” as a dream that was never turned to reality that ignites a feeling of excitement. The Lebanon we sang of, made movies about, and wrote bestselling novels on. Yet how can we? Everyday the people get poorer and politicians get richer. How weird, right?

Lebanon is under huge debt, more than 40% of Lebanese people are below poverty line and 20% are unemployed. Yet politicians seem to manage to import ‘08 Benzes straight from Stuttgart, and Armani suites – keep in mind a new one for every single conference – overbooked nights in 5 star hotels. How is this considered fair to see people deprived from life and politicians spending their money madly?

Lebanon's Political GameI kind of recall we’re all born equally from our elementary Civil Education class. Or is it just the politicians that are allowed to enjoy the 10452 km2 of Lebanon? (If it is truly 10452 km2). Who cares about the people – if politicians are happy we’re delighted, seeing them steal money from our own pockets and pretend to invest it in “Projects propelling towards Lebanon’s Future and Advancement”, when they’re really stocking it on top of the sum of greens they’ve stolen long time ago or leftovers of the money spent on Molotov Cocktails during the Civil War.

The new Lebanese motto shifted sharply from “All for the Country, for the Glory, for the Flag” to “Your wish is my command ya Wazeer, ya Hakeem, ya General, ya Sheikh, ya Sayyed.” We’re promoting anarchist propaganda in a way in Lebanon and yet we call in the name of independence and self-determination Lebanese people are brainwashed to think that we have control over Lebanon’s fate.

Despite of all this, we go to bed hoping for a change, a strike, a revolution one day against the unfairness back home from the bottom of the pyramid. Our Friday and Sunday prayers revolve around Peace in Lebanon and end of Sectarianism. Our New Year’s resolution calls for an awake to reality and to what has been happening to us for years and decades. Some of us, just wish for a political debate between different groups in Lebanon (as if we learned in a civilized way how to not use arms as a way to enforce our ideas); or what about an elected Lebanese President for the people, from the people and by the people? Is that too much to ask for?

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