And as if Samir Kassir spoke my mind when he broached the issue of demographic shifts in our country. Just yesterday I was squeezing my brains to make sense of all that is happening back home and this is what I concluded with:
Demography has done what it has done...Maronite Christians have to realize that we are not back in 1972 any longer; things have changed since then and it is unfortunately a sad reality for many. But add 15 years of civil war, then 15 years of Syrian occupation and you'll get around 30 year-period where change has occurred demographically and has marked itself territorially.
Cardinal Sfeir talks of the 15 out of 64 (which Samir Kassir explains that in reality it is 40 out of 64) and that Christians have to vote for Christians and not have their hands tied, as in being accountable, to the non-Christian political leaders who head many of the electoral lists in the country. The reality of the matter is aside from a number of areas, such as Jezzine, Kissirwan, Bsharri, Zgharta, Koura, Northen Matn, and Zahle, Maronite Christian presence has dwindled and this is due to demography as well as other factors. For instance, Haret Hreik in Beirut was a Christian-dominated area (to note that Aoun is originally from there), but the war transformed it into a Shiite-dominated area as the Christians fled to the east and the Shiites fled to the southern suburbs of Beirut from the South due to Israeli belligerency.
...Yes it is a painful reality, but what has happened on the ground has happened and not much can be done about it, unless for example the government promulgates a law that allows for the Lebanese to vote where they live, as opposed to where they originally come from...that might mitigate the situation and allow for a better mix. But again, the point is to move towards a better "mix" of people not a movement towards more "segregation" for which I feel that Cardinal Sfeir is calling and is in my view a step backwards. I understand many of the Christians' frustration, but it is important not to be swayed by sentiment and look at the situation with some logic.
On another note, I wanted to remind everyone how when the late Hariri decided to ally with the Christian opposition right when the electoral law was being debated in Parliament back in January, Franjieh along with many loyalists were ripping Hariri apart and threatening him from joining the forces of the opposition; if you recall, Franjieh called him the "head of the snake."
Fast-forward 4 months and now that we're back on the same subject, Franjieh's (along with many others) hate towards Hariri resurfaces once more. Again, we hear the same talk, that if Sitride Geagea visits Saad Hariri she is "begging" for Parliamentary seats and that it is better to lose Bsharri than to forge an alliance with a Sunni. Again, the same talk...nothing has changed.
Hariri's death has not changed and will not change those poeple. These poeple have withstood deaths and assassinations, have engaged and thrived during and after the war....Hariri's death might have led for the first time to the Lebanese call for change, had made people come out to the streets, have made 1559 a reality as the Syrians left the country in less than a month...but his death is not the magic wand that will change our beloved country's political system.
I'm afraid that after we, as youth, felt that we had some power to make a change, here we're back to the back-burner, back to the purgatory...not hell, but not heaven...a wait and see situation...and just look at our Lebanese blogosphere...silence and confusion, I can deduce, just like I feel, because I've been refusing to wake up from the dream, when we all wore the blue ribbon on our hearts and tied the red and white on our necks. I'm refusing to wake up from the dream, to talk sectarianism, because I am embarassed to.
I will close my ears, shut my eyes...I want a better Lebanon that we can build together.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."