Monday, July 23, 2012

Back from the dead, to blogging about: Lebanese are not as bad as you think

It all started with some tweets, which I felt belong into a post. I haven't blogged since 3 months now, that is definitely a first, considering I was always made fun of as "The bloggers who creates several blogs per day and not just posts on one blog". Between the move to Dublin, the new job, settling down and just grasping things around me, I had a lot of time to blog but I couldn't. I didn't know what I can write about all the way from Dublin that would be relevant to my readers who are mostly interested in the Lebanese social life. Until today.

Well, it has been brewing in my mind for a while. It's something I did since I was a student. If there is something that is not absolutely clear in some school material, I would read it one night and let it "brew".

I've been observing everything around me with a Lebanese mind. I must admit, talking to fellow Irish/European citizens here in Arabic while they don't understand me is a blast. But why do I do that? Because if you think we have a bad thing going on when it comes to society in Lebanon, please get a visa (if you can) and visit me here and see the disasters. Actually, I saw the same thing when I was in Barcelona. 
Took this in Paris - Galerie La Fayette. One second I asked her if I can take her photo, the next it turns out she is from Lebanese origin, from Zahle in particular. Small world!

The teens
If those teens were in Lebanon, all the Lebanese would be bashing them and how they look, behave and dress! They'd be taking about how bad the current parents generation is, loss of hope for a better country, dramatic music in the back and mostly we're be all criticizing each other about everything that has to do with the education system, the minister in question, the teachers, everything...

Our problem
Between the electricity cut, the private generator resting, the wait for the water to heat up and the youtube video to load, we have quite some time on our hand. And to do what? Well it seems, to criticize and be cynical. That is our recent collective national skill. That is what we do best. We are too frustrated, too tired, too hopeless to try and look at the good things.

No I am not preaching
Oh yes... The ex-Lebanese resident who is not an expat in the land of beer comes and preaches us... No I am not. Maybe I am actually.. I don't care. I am just telling you what I have noticed and what I have seen. I was like you, and sometimes I still am because you cannot shake a 30-year-result-personality in 3 months in a city where everyone is uber duper nice to each other. I am relaxed here, I don't get stuck in traffic, and honestly if I sit in the sun (that shines once a week) for more than 10 minutes I feel like hell broke loose and I want the cool breeze back. 

The point of this post? It's this:
  • We are too hard on ourselves. Too hard. Yes it's good to self-criticize and try and make things better, but not when it's all negative and just negative. It is just pointless, hurtful and brings you down. You might notice it... I was in the pile of mud before, and all I did was be cynical (Reference: My blog, my tweets...) But now I look at my family and friends and see what's happening... I understand you. I feel you. I don't want to judge a lady for spending 400+ $ on every wedding she attends and 7kg make up she puts. IF THAT MAKES HER HAPPY... trikouwa... let her go, let her do what she wants.
  • Our problem is not us, our aggressiveness and defensiveness is due to the civil war, x war, y war, z war, explosions, assassinations, decades old political tensions, warlords and the need to believe that we might actually have one good leader who could drag us out of this shit. We are not the problem. So let's try and not be so hard on each other. Try and see the positive, try and be the smile and maybe the others will cut some slack too, try and make it less negative. Just less negative.
Took this in Howth - Ireland

My last tip
Enjoy the beach, enjoy the mountains, enjoy Sunday lunches, enjoy Ramadan iftars, enjoy the VERY good music played in the clubs (trust me on this one) and yes August is the hottest month of the year and I am so happy I am not there, but hopefully when the heatwave draws over, you can try and be less negative again. Why? Because the fellow Lebanese beside you? It's not his fault this country sucks. It's the fault of the politicians. And maybe... just maybe, consider not voting for the same assholes again.

I will be leaving you with some modest photos I took of the green scenery & wildlife in Ireland.

p.s. My motto was always, if you want to live in Lebanon you have to accept it the way it is. I left because I couldn't and because I wanted something different. This doesn't mean that those who remained can't just enjoy being despite the electricity cuts and slow ontornet.

Focus on yourself and not others. What I like the most about Europeans is that no body looks at the other.


  1. I love the contrast of this post compared to the one before (title Pack up and Leave). Hehe just teasing.
    On a serious note, I see what you're trying to say, and you're right. We, as a society, have become a bunch of complainers. I like the attitude that you're suggesting "let things go" and "live and let live". It's not easy though because it comes to a boiling point where you're just fed up. Hopefully we can adopt your suggestions.

    1. Actually kenet ketbe a sentence at the end of this post which is: "If you're fed up with Lebanon, just leave" :P I mean, I am not telling people to come back or to stay. I am just saying, if you're there and planning to stay there, you MUST live and let live (that was my motto, until I decided to leave, and this is when I didn't want to / couldn't put up with things anymore). But yeah, we look at the others too much. Why not just focus on oneself for once and just enjoy (as much as we can)

  2. Our Lebanese little girl is growing into a woman of the world... So happy for you :-)

    1. Yes, but the Eclair is missing :P I tried it several places, it's just not the same! Miss you amigo

  3. I'm finally back home today after a long busy month with my PO's. I was amazed, they were skilled, definitely ready to the next level.

    As I was away from my normal work, concentrated to 200% on the task (no time to waste with internet, newspapers etc).

    I took the opportunity for me to update, go online to check my emails, news (sad, still a crazy world), forex, crude oil price ... and my favorite blogs! I was happy to see a new entry from you and I read it.

    If I may say so myself it's interresting to see how your point of view evolves. My first comment here was don't be so hard with your country (I still think lebanon is a beautiful country despite that I've ever been there), problems & frustrations exist anywhere. Living abroad is still a rewarding experience, I bet you constantly compares and put things in perspective. The perfect man is no exception to the rule.

    I leave you here, I'm about to watch the Olympics opening ceremony which starts now, to compare with the opening of Beijing(outstanding, 20 years ahead he he)

    Enjoy your time.

    PS : sorry for my poor english. To me, English is only the fifth language I speak (the third foreign language)


    1. I always love seeing your comments! Please keep them coming (hopefully I will keep blogging). Don't worry about the English :)

  4. Lebanese are not as bad as you think!
    I agree with this.
    I love your country and I never been there YET...
    Maybe soon...

    Angela Dondi

    1. Hopefully soon! When you plan to come, don't forget to check the "Visit Lebanon" section, it could help you plan your vacation here