Friday, March 11, 2005

Enough!

I am first and foremost a proud Lebanese. My dream is to see my country AND MY REGION regain its prominence and prosperity. A Middle Eastern EU (maybe an MEU) can only be to our advantage and the benefit of everyone! It pains me to see countries like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, China and India grow and prosper while we drown in our oil and wallow in self-pity and self-righteousness.

Today, the Middle East is second only to Sub Saharan Africa in most UNDP human development indexes; and in some cases we are even worse off (Don't take my word for it; you can go check it for your self). Is that acceptable? Can that be justified by the "Arab-Israeli" conflict? We have most of the oil in the world, yet somehow we remain some of the least civilized... is that acceptable?

Fellow compatriots I wish to say the following:

YES! We (as a part of the Arab world) have been beaten. YES! The Palestinians have been kicked out of their land. YES! Israel is a powerful belligerent force in the region! YES! The USA is the only superpower!

YES! YES! YES!

But you know what? Life ain't supposed to be fair! Things just don't work that way, and there simply is nothing we can do about any of these things now. We're just too weak. The Israelis are there... and they're there to stay! So why can't we move on? Why don't we play the game? We're smart people! We can compete! We've been competing as individuals and succeeding in the West (and the entire world) for decades.... So why is it that we can't compete as a country?

I am sick of war. I am sick of destruction. I am sick of militarism. I am sick of empty rhetoric and vindictiveness. Who cares if the Israelis take 10 extra meters of land. In today's world, what is land??? Are we still agriculture-based economies? Land is worthless today. Brains matter. Factories matter. Laboratories matter. Universities matter. Markets matter.

Even most Palestinians are tired and want to move on. Why can't we? Why is it that we are insisting on remaining on the same page; whereas those who suffer the most are in the process of turning the leaf?

Enough of DEATH TO AMERICA! Enough of DEATH period!

I want to live! I want to live with my head held high! I want to elevate my country to a status that it deserves to be in. I deserve it. We all deserve it! We’ve suffered enough!

7 comments:

Brian H said...

You are one impressive young woman. Your blog has just been entered at the head of my new Mozilla Tabgroup Bookmark of Lebanese and Afghani sites. ;)

I got your link from a commenter on the Hammorabi site. May your fame spread!

Brian H said...

Oops. Thought I was talking to Ayah. Sorry, Raja. You're no kind of young woman at all. :)

May said...

Dear Raja,

You wrote:

"Today, the Middle East is second only to Sub Saharan Africa in most UNDP human development indexes; and in some cases we are even worse off (Don't take my word for it; you can go check it for your self). Is that acceptable? Can that be justified by the "Arab-Israeli" conflict? We have most of the oil in the world, yet somehow we remain some of the least civilized... is that acceptable?"

Who decides that we are the least civilized, who are we supposed to be comparing ourselves to? Are those whom we are comparing ourselves to the most civilized? What makes them more civilized? Define civilization...

"But you know what? Life ain't supposed to be fair!"

OK...Syria has been involved in our political system since the civil war...why are we protesting..Life isn't fair right?

"The Israelis are there... and they're there to stay! So why can't we move on? Why don't we play the game? We're smart people!"

So if I choose to not play the game does that mean I am dumb?

"Who cares if the Israelis take 10 extra meters of land. In today's world, what is land??? Are we still agriculture-based economies? Land is worthless today. Brains matter. Factories matter. Laboratories matter. Universities matter. Markets matter."

To whom are you posing that question Raja? To whom does land not matter? To whom do brains matter? To whom do factories matter? To whom do laboratories matter? To whom do universities matter? To whom do markets matter?

May

Raja said...

May,

My definition of "civilized" is basically manifested in the UNDP Human Development Index. And, yes, it just so happens that in this era of our world, European (and recently, East Asian) societies are the most civilized.

May, I am not talking at the individual level. I am talking at the societal one. We have some of the most cultured and educated people in Lebanon and the Arab world. The problem is that something wrong seems to happen at the collective level.

With regards to "life aint supposed to be fair," you make a good point. A year or two ago, I would have said that to some of my friends who were complaining about Syria's presense and using it as an excuse to wallow in self-pity and righteousness.

Hariri, for example, probably abhored the Syrian presense, but he still tried to do the best for his country - and did a lot! However, today things that we have no control over have happened - things that make Syrian withdrawal a real possibility. Thus it is now possible to stick our necks out and pressure the Syrians to leave!

When I ask "why don't we play the game?" I mean the following: in all settings, the rules of any game are usually set by the most powerful players - in our case, the United States and Europe. The choice of whether to play or not to play, of course, is up to you. However, if you do decide to play, you need to be smart, cunning and daring in order to win. Again, you can have all those characteristics and decide not to play - but in my opinion, that is a lost opportunity.

As for my point regarding land, I am directing it at you, and all Lebanese. Land is valuable today, however it is not as valuable as during the days when 99% of people basically lived off agriculture. My point is that we can sacrifice. A piece of land can mean everything (and more) to an individual, or maybe an entire village. However, we must look at society in its totality - and conduct a cost-benefit analysis accordingly.

Mustapha said...

Raja, you outdid yourself, i agree on every single point you made.

to put it differently: we are what we produce, in other words, the more dynamic our economy, the more productive we are, the more productive we are, the richer we are, the richer we are, the more influence we have in the world, the more influence we have in the world, the more we can pursue our land issues, and it doesn't happen the other way around.

well said buddy

Mustapha
beirutspring.blogspot.com

Raja said...

Mustapha...

nice way of putting it! You've basically summarized almost everything I said in a paragraph

thanks

ThinkingMan said...

Very well said. Brilliant vision. Let's hope that more and more of Lebanese believe in it, like the rest of us.