Monday, January 29, 2007

The divided Lebanese

Lebanese FlagBorn and raised in Lebanon, where I have lived in my entire life, I have been through civil wars, regional wars, conflicts, economy break-down, assassinations, demonstrations, occupation and recently sit-ins to topple the current government. Even the meaning of the colors in the Lebanese flag carries the red as the Lebanese martyrs blood and white as the color of peace.

If you meet any Lebanese person, politically active or not, this person will speak to you about politics, and not just the Lebanese politics but also the regional one. It is not because it is in our blood, or hereditary, but it is because when you live through such things as mentioned above, and you have to literally survive on many occasions from rockets, explosives or simply the expensive life-style, you tend to become political.

Lebanon in nature is a beautiful place, we have ruins and cultural monuments that have footprints of romans, ottomans, phoenicians and many more. More to come on how beautiful and cultural Lebanon is, for now enjoy a small summary I have written not so long ago about Baalbeck and Byblos (Jbeil).

Moreover, we are blessed to have a small country of only an area of 10452 km2. If you want to know more about Lebanon's history, surface, demography, diversity of sects, anything, just visit wikipedia's page on Lebanon.

The benefits of living in a small country, is the fact that a person can go from the shore of Jbeil for example to Faraya where a skiing resort exists, in almost an hour. Of course, swimming and skiing in the same season is not very probable unless you either enjoy swimming in cold waters or skiing on sands. However if you make it to Lebanon during the winter there are 6 skiing resorts that you can visit, or to enjoy the warm sun, hot weather and beautiful water, drop by in late spring and summer, which after a long hot day, you can still go back to Faraya and enjoy the moderate weather, barbecuing with friends and family and more.

Crossroad between Downtown Beirut and GemmayzeLebanese people who live abroad come back to Lebanon on two occasions, new year's period and summer, and they also bring their friends with them. The crazy and energetic night life that rocks Lebanon when the sun sets, like in Gemmayze or Monot street, is what attracts tourists as well, there are pubs, restaurants, night-clubs, the whole nine yards!

I bet by here you are wondering, with such a heaven in Lebanon then why on earth did she put such a title to such a story. Well, for the reason that as soon as political debates start, a brother turns against his brother, a sister against her mother, a friend against his best friend, and a wife against her husband.

Unfortunately, and as sad as this may sound, we disagree on so much when it comes to politics, and which party to follow, that you wouldn't believe we were having so much fun the previous minute. However nothing a tasty dinner, a great drink and a local enternainement show cannot make us forget.

Loving Lebanon so much and having too many people meddling in our internal affairs is a part of the problem. Nevertheless it is not really that simple, the politics I mean. It's a long story which I will tell you about in the coming future, but now I can tell you one thing, Lebanese people have been through 16 years of war, 29 years of occupation, 16 assassinations, martyrs, freedom demonstrators, rioters, economic drop-down and this is only in the last 30 years, however, they never give up, they tend to get frustrated from time to time, but that's a natural reaction to such horrible events.

The Lebanese are divided because they look outside more than they look inside, they all want a better Lebanon, they all want to live a good life and provide a good future for their families, but as long as they keep believing that a political leader, who was once a warlord, is the one who will provide them with a peaceful country and better economics then they will only be making the same mistake again! And sadly, we have too many warlords, whom we follow blindly, and we just cannot get out of our system.

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  1. Actually, some of my fondest memories is swimming in Jbeil during February. The water would actually be very clean and warm. The problem is coming out of the water since you would feel chilled. I used to ski and swim during the same day. I've done so on several occassions but mostly when I would ski in Laqlouq until noon and then swim in Jbeil during the afternoon.

    I usually avoid Lebanon in the summer. Too many weddings to attend, and too many tourists in town, and urgh at the humidity and jellyfish in July. This year might be an exception for me though. I have realized that the last I was in Lebanon during the summer was in 2002.

  2. hmmm you're crazy :D

    Eh yalla come in summer!

  3. Lebanon was once known as the vacation spot in the Middle East.