Do we really heart Lebanon?

Hi everyone,

This is my very first post here. And to begin with, there are quite a lot subject to talk about and comment on, I see you guys keep this forum healthy. Thank you Eve for the invite, it was about time I start writing wasn't it :)

So I look at the Lebanese scene and you feel blessed for having so much political actions or reactions to analyze and debate. Could be a positive thing in any Country exept our dear Lebanon. But I will jump over the current events to talk about the very essence of this forum: the "We Heart Lebanon" manifesto. Enough about the politicians ruining our lives for a while, we can talk about the people itself, or just "Lebanon".

I'm sure we all "heart" Lebanon, but maybe I "heart" it a little bit different. For example: when someone has a bad father but still says "He's my father, I love him still"; you know it's not real love, it may be pity, hope of a lost fatherhood, support in its noblest forms or just a lie. I choose hope for my country. Looking at it, from the day it was considered independant in 1943, until now: nothing really sweeps me off my feet in Lebanon. I'm not a fan of tourism, so the golden era of the 60s and early 70s is kinda not impressive :)

I can honestly say I don't love Lebanon, but I really want to. I can't love any thing if all the good stuff about it are based on lies, deception, broken promises, hypocrisy, intolerance, hatred and, oh yes: always a bright future. So why am I still here. The fact that this is my home makes it hard for me to just quit. There is still a chance for the sun to shine over this dreaded land, with our efforts of course.
Until then I will say: "I like you, Lebanon" :P


At Monday, November 21, 2005 1:02:00 PM, Blogger Maldoror said...

Well, you have got a point there Zwixo! Do we really love or like our country?
I always thought I hated Lebanon. Liking it wasn't even in my dictionary. I used to hate it because it was nothing like I wanted it to be.
I hated it until the day I was insulted. The insult was: "Filthy Arab". That got me thinking. No matter where I am, I will always be considered as being an Arab or a Lebanese.
Lebanon is my home. It is the wider circle that protects my home. The place where I was born. If this wider circle is damaged, I will be hurt, too.
So, from a very egoistic point of view, I say: I do not want to be insulted, I do not want my home to be damaged. And in order for that not to happen, I am going to make my home and my country better.
Just liking my country doesn't do the trick. Because you might be a good footballer, but if you only liked the game you play, you may never improve or get back after a major setback.
Between liking and loving, I chose to love, simply because I want to change things so that I do not get insulted anymore. :)

At Monday, November 21, 2005 2:21:00 PM, Blogger Delirious said...

Zwixo ~ If all the good stuff about it are based on lies, deception, broken promises, hypocrisy, intolerance, hatred, then I tell you to leave Lebanon NOW without a second glance backwards.

Maldo ~ You chauvinist you!

At Monday, November 21, 2005 6:12:00 PM, Blogger zwixo said...

Ok delirious, then please answer me this: If you utter the word "Lebanon" now (Lebanon, not "My Life in Lebanon", just Lebanon), what the first thing that comes to your mind?
El jbel el ma btental aw et3it el sama!

At Monday, November 21, 2005 6:19:00 PM, Blogger Fouad said...

Amen to that Del. I don't get you people. How do you dare call youselves Lebanese. How can your first post on this blog be about you "liking" Lebanon until you find in it what fits your agenda. Countries and nations are not items on a menu. They are not sold at department stores. But if you feel they are, pack your things and go find yourselves a haven of peace where everything is handed to you on a silver plate, where you only have to move your right index finger to scratch your left thumb. Find youselves a country that deserves you. Lebanon does not deserve you nor does this blog. Lebanon deserves those who love him, not just "like" him until further notice.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 6:43:00 PM, Blogger Eve said...

There is a need to differentiate between two things, zwixo: loving one's country and living in it. A Lebanese loves his Lebanon like a poet loves the shadow of an invisible woman, but not like he loves his everyday-nagging wife for example. And that is the loophole in my opinion: not understanding that the beautiful shadow comes with a whole package; that all these "lies, deception, broken promises etc..." are ours. Would it be worth it to emigrate to Canada or Angola for example, and have new Canadian or Angolian lies, deception and broken promises? Maybe, but in this case, we would be trapped in a vicious circle, and the problem would never end.

At Monday, November 21, 2005 7:51:00 PM, Blogger zwixo said...

Okay, I like this controversy, this is good interaction but please let me reply, this'll be long :)

To Eve:
This shadow of a woman may be the chance for this country to live again. But I know my Lebanon, it's not a shadow, it's reality. And I truely believe that Lebanon is nothing but great nature, if it's an empty land with no one in it. We make Lebanon, and what we made so far is cery little.

I did say I want to love this country, my home, I hope one day it'll be "a country" not a farm. And this alone is not easy.

Just loving Lebanon for Lebanon seems loving nothingness for me. Ironically, this is what drove the germans to war, the love of the country, when the country itself was a fascist regime. If I was a german, I would hate nazi germany. Like I hate corrupted Lebanon now. And there's no other Lebanon than the one we have in front of us: suppose I love poetry and the image of that woman in my poems. That would be nice. But what if i'm in love with this woman, wait for her and think she's with me everyday, loving me back like a person. "Cuckoo" is the answer to that.

In the end, we both want a better Lebanon and we both dream of the Rahabni's Lebanon; the difference is I can't seperate reality from hope because they Only exist together.

To Fouad:
And my dear patriotic Fouad, bare with me. Already with the intolerance and hypocrisy; it's my first post here so take it easy, or can't you. I noticed on your blog "Lebanon United States". Now please tell me that you'll turn down an offer to work and live in the States with a hefty salary; you'll say NO, i love Lebanon i'll stay here and work for my country. Or will you go and live there and say: "I love Lebanon from here". And if you do refuse: do you spit at your uncle who lives in the States when he arrives at the airport every summer?

Spare me the decaying patriotic speech and accept that most Lebanese want a better country but not necessarily because they're in love with Lebanon, but because they want a better life. Do you want to "send away" all those too.

Your country is what you make it, and "I have a dream" but until now it's still just a dream.

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 4:18:00 AM, Blogger Fouad said...

I will spare you the decaying patriotic speaches, dear friend, but I will answer your questions. I WILL turn down jobs that will pay me as much as 400,000$ a year to go back to Lebanon and make a small fraction of that. Not all of us live for money you know. If what you say is true, if most Lebanese just want a better country to have a better life, then mark my words, if you don't learn to love the land that gave you life, it will NEVER give you the life you aspire to. Oh no, I do not wish to send anybody away, I wish for all those who are away to come back (as I will soon inshallah) and give back to this beautiful land that gave us life and made us who we are as much as it deserves.

Your dream, zwixo, is a perfect country that caters to your needs. your dream is a selfish one. Now convince me why you would do ANYTHING for Lebanon to make that dream come true when there's an easy way out, in other countries that are already perfect, without the lies, deception, hypocrisy and intolerance that you so much despise?

You say "I have a dream",
I say one of the few good principles that came out of american politics "My fellow Americans (Lebanese), ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country"



At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 12:06:00 PM, Blogger Delirious said...

Chapeau bas, Fouad!

Actually, FYI, "one of the few good principles that came out of american politics" actually came out from a Lebanese emigrant! ;)

When the American president John F. Kennedy in his Inaugural Speech famously cautioned his fellow countrymen
"Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."

he was quoting from The New Frontier which Jibran Khalil Jibran had written thirty six years earlier: "Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?"

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 1:17:00 PM, Blogger a h m a d said...

I think it is our choice to make Lebanon a better place to live in or not. I think we have all the factors to become again one of best countries in the world; but we have to work for that and to work hard!

Although I cannot stop despising the majority of politicians who wear a new face everyday and who speak as mafia bosses... but then, it is us who "voted" for them directly or indirectly. Someone might say that we were living under occupation and hence voting was not transparent and accurate, well, that's fine, now we have the chance to vote for the suitable people.

Finally, Lebanon has given me the minimum (compared to what an average person would get in Europe), yet I cannot stop loving this unique country. And so far nothing has convinced me to quit here and seek a better future outside; I still have faith in here.

Let's all work to make this country a better place; a country of liberty that has place for everyone without fanaticism.

At Tuesday, November 22, 2005 10:28:00 PM, Blogger zwixo said...

Delirious: where is that Lebanese emigrant of that patriotic scale of yours?
Please correct me if im wrong, but when I say that Lebanon is nothing without its people: doesnt that mean that Lebanon, or any country for that matter, cannot give anything by itself, it's the people who give it its name, stature, hope, laws and future, that means I do for my country not the other way around. What our people did from 1943 till now is rather extremely disappointing and that's what made Lebanon what it is now. So where is the GREAT Lebanon: in a dream I tell you, a dream that only us can make true, like Ahmad said.
And what keeps me here is the details... and the dream. Enough said.

At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 12:51:00 PM, Blogger Assaad said...

I like what Fouad said in his comment on "Beirut in the Rain " posted by LP :

"we have to love it unconditionally to save it."

Hats Fouad ;).

Lebanon is like this, lots of corruptions everywhere, so many political parties, multi-confessional country (more than 18), so many problems, etc... It is like this, you can consider it as an handicaped or a sick person (sorry for this word) that you like or not.... We can try to improve the situation (by trying to care of it) BUT it is like this You love this country or you don't, you take it or you leave it.
Conditional patriotism doesn't exist!

Zwixo : "I have a dream" is the well known phrase of Martin Lutherking. When he said it, i guess he wanted that things got better in his country..... but i am sure he said because he loved his country...
We all "have a dream" that things get better in our Country. But today and forever i say and will repeat, with all its defects, I love Lebanon and i am proud to be lebanese...


At Wednesday, November 23, 2005 2:48:00 PM, Blogger Thomas said...

I love Lebanon too! I love the beach in summer, the food at Manuela's, the bars and nightclubs, taking walks in BCD and I love the views of Ehden and Bcharre... But this isn't Lebanon :( Lebanon is the people waiting for the bus in Doura, the blind man begging for coins on the highway bridge in Antelias, streetkids in Trablous hoping to make a 1000 liras by showing tourists an old hamam filled with trash and the stench of urine and people getting killed in Zgharta by stray bullets when Franjieh wins an election....

I have to agree with Zwixo here, of course it's possible to be moderate in your feelings for your country. Lebanon is more than just the land or the people, it's both and more. You can't love Lebanon without loving the fact that social security is down the drain, and who want's to admit to that? Sure you can love the sights and sounds of Beirut, even the rain, but does that also mean that you love all the garbage floating around too?

Not everything is black and white, or dealt with in absolutes. Love it or leave it is to american to be lebanese. To me it breaks down like this, and like Eve said it, there's poetic love and there's everyday love but very rarely does the two ever meet. Poetic love is perhaps easier to find if you don't have to worry about the car next to you exploding all the time :)

Exiled Norwegian living Lebanon


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