Sunday, March 13, 2005

Then and Now...

When I look at pictures of the first protests in Beirut I feel joy and hope. It appeared that all faiths had come together, and that Lebanon was truly comming together under its flag, and national anthem. Today the picture has changed. We are divided. We are flexing our sectarian muscles.

Tomorrow's protest is not going to be the same protests that were held weeks ago. They are bussing people in from the Bekaa, the North and the South. Tomorrow's protest are going to be a message to Hizballah and the world: "you're not the only ones who have numbers, we do too!"

My impulse tells me that Nasrallah is responsible for this division. He is responsible because he made the decision to not join the opposition's ranks. Thus far, all we can do is speculate what his rationale behind that decision was. I hope it was a good one though... because he is responsible for shattering the illusion of unity. For although it was an illusion, it had strength; and in the future, when we all look back to this moment in time we're going to say: "oh that was a frightening stage in our history... a stage where sectarian animosity spilled out into the streets."

Had Nasrallah made a different choice, we might have looked back on these past few weeks and said: "those were the glorious days... the days when Lebanese forgot about their sectarian animosities and united behind a single message."

Nasrallah... why??? was it worth it??? You shattered our dream!


Michael said...

Raja Abu Hassan, I read your rant "Enough" and I agree completely.

As for myself: I am a Rightwing (conservative) Belgian, pro-US and pro-Israƫl. I am a christian, though not a zealot.

You rant surprised me in that you are the very first Arab I ever meet who so clearly says that he wants to get rid or the old stupid shackles of the past.

YOU NEED TO HOLD YOUR HEAD HIGH. There is indeed NO REASON WHATSOEVER why the Arab world could not be prosperous, proud and powerful. But like you said, it is time to forget all the hollow slogans of the past sixty years and to look FORWARD to, and work and fight for, a bright future. I am supporting your stance.

The Phoenician said...

If only hizbullah could fast forward 2000 years and join the rest of the Lebanese civilization.

Nasrallah and company should not saddle pictures of foreign leaders, ie bashar assad on their backs if they are for a Lebanon void of "foreign" influence.

I hope Iran and Syria can level a few hundred city blocks for their new residents.

Anonymous said...

Hassan Nassarallah has demonstrated by his actions in the past that he has some very commendable and noble characteristics. I don't understand this current choice but let's wait to condemn.

Raja said...


thank you for approving my "rant".

As I said, I am a Lebanese, and I know that the majority at least identifies with my sentiments.

It is unfortunate, but the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has become the most successful propaganda tool for dictators who want to divert attention from their own miserable failures.

These dictators feul the conflict for their own ends - and at the expense of the Palestinians themselves. They need an enemy to foster fear and hate.

This Orwellian tactic is not limited to the Middle East... we can see it being practiced in the US today. However, our problem is that it has been going on for so long!


Raja said...


the Shia are an important and significant component of the Lebanese population.

It is just unfortunate their leadership made that decision.