Civil War erupts in our Minds


Civil War, dans la teteThe sectarian violence in Iraq and the social anatomy of Lebanon forces people to talk in terms of sects. It is our long buried, new standard of labeling ourselves.

On March 8 and on March 14, 2005; We all proved openly to the world that we can be democratic and resolve disagreements peacefully rather than arms. Syria withdrew from Lebanon. As a society, as Lebanese living in a country, all pitched in for the future and benefit of Lebanon. This achievement is granted to all of us as a nation.

Layed out in Places des Martyrs, waving flags, emotionally intruigued by unity and oneness of opposites, realising we are after all, backs and fronts to each other.

The point is this –

We, state we are Lebanese. We all fall under that banner. The Red, White and Cedar Lebanese flag that binds 10452 Km². Thats one identity we hold as a society on this land. That ought to be our identity to the external borders.

Locally, we are Lebanese Christians, Sunnies, Shiites, Druze and 14 other, minorities; This diversity is not a problem, on the contrary, it is another identity (not that we take it very “seriously”, going to church or mosques), but rather ought take the matter sincerely.

Religions were never intended in changing the world, but rather in changing ourselves, with unintended world-changing results.

An old Chinese wise man once said, that Diversity is the spice of life, because you wouldn’t know ‘one’ without the ‘other‘.

I, as a Lebanese Christian, ‘need’ Lebanese Muslims, from them, I learn and know more about me, if not to simply, find what is the fuss that makes me different. It is not a matter of I have to live with them. On the contrary. I WANT to live with them. This should be looked upon from every other sect as well. Thanks to Muslims and all other identities in Lebanon, I know what I mean by saying I’m Christian, regardless if I fully understand it.

If we were all from One Color, we wouldn’t notice that color, because it would be the only one that exists. So, we need this exotic diversity, so each one would know, who he or she is. It’s like we wouldn’t know what a ‘He’ is, if it weren’t for a ‘She’. The connotations of being a Christian, Sunni, Shiia, Durze, or 14 other sects is an identity of categorizing and boxing people in.

But nonetheless, religion in Lebanon is an ‘identity’ and we should be proud of it, regardless of your affinities towards your religion, in which we ‘don’t dare judge’.

We… from all sects and political affiliations or ideological inclinations… Love Lebanon. The media today is claiming that the government Loves Lebanon -more-than-the opposition loves Lebanon or vice versa depending on what letter, the media outlets name, published it.

I’m speaking of the people of Lebanon, not our elected minority, the general mass which are much more than anybody else, ask you to turn off your local channels. Our politicians, which are the people who actually hold our fate and to some degree work for us, from Berri to Aoun’ Geagea, Jumblat all the way to Seniora. We hardly see them in our everyday lives anyway. Have you ever met Walid Jumblat buying a Falafel in Beyrouth?

Not me, but our diverse society IS everyday around us.

Therefore, having them speak in the name of our [specific] sect, which happens to be the same as some of theirs, affects us, primarily in the first degree. Him ordering me to go kill a person from another sect is totally absurd, what guarentees do I have for the following day?

Hence, any talk about sect in our society, cannot be Lebanese, as it achieves only the weakness of the structure of our country as an organism.

I would rather, the pro-government blaming the Syrian government for ANY tragic incidences, and the opposition blaming Israel, than to ever set the blame on my fellow Lebanese.

We are staying side by side for centuries to come. If we were able to magically throw a people out of a nation and claim it our own (which ever side you are on), the Palestinians could have been disappeared from Israel alo-ong time ago.

So, I for one… “want” to live side by side with my Lebanese compatriot. I am not using nice sentences to sway you. This is my honest, and full pledged cause.

Since, I cannot get rid of the ‘other’, I refuse to let any foreign power get between me, and my Lebanese compatriot, because they will go back to their country when things won’t work, and we, Lebanese will be faced with each other with guns and bullets or buckets and hammers; In our daily occurrences, our every day errands, building Lebanon… and most importantly, not forgetting to play.

Follow-up read: You are the victim.