Monday, August 08, 2005

From Beloved Lebanon: A Whirlwind!

From beloved Lebanon I write. I miss our blog and I miss all my fellow bloggers!

What can I say? There are a million words in my head and if I write my heart out, I'll probably end up with a million pages...

I've been around every summer in Lebanon and in each year, our country was improving, moving forward, at least tourism-wise. This year, Lebanon has witnessed a major setback.

I must thank those from the Gulf who believe in our country and are pouring money into our businesses and shops in all the summer resorts around Lebanon, floating our ailing households. And of course, on the contrary, you have Syria which has abandoned Lebanon in every dimension.

Lebanon being left now to international and regional tug of war. A special thanks to the truck driver, to the fighter...who ever thought that trucks and truck drivers would become part of a confrontation, the infantry and infantrymen of Lebanon.

The borders are closed again. The Northern borders were never opened and now they have closed in the face of civilian cars.

Lebanese workers and executives are asked to leave Syria. They started first with those who have no official work permits, those who abused the system and thought that there is no need for legality among sisterly countries. Now, they are targeting those with legitimate work they're doing it? They're basically not renewing the work permits.

Al-Mustaqbal's editorial yesterday was clear: We're asked to bow under pressure and give up the great strides we made since February; either a Syrian-American settlement to bail Syria out of any connection to Hariri's assassination or have the head of the majority, Saad Hariri, pay a visit to Damascus...and we know what that would mean, the end of everything. I'll basically then just take my name out of this blog and forget about Lebanon forever.

And then we have the Hizbullah issue. People out there, what do you think? Doesn't it look terribly complicated? I have no solution in my head. They have increased their confrontation, they are playing the regional card very well. It is not about HA anymore, we all know that, it's about the Iran-Syria axis. HA has made it clear that if you want to deal with HA, you have to work with Iran, full-stop!

Lebanon, the small, beautiful country, the larger-than-life country, is too good to be true sometimes. Lebanon is beautiful like a dream. I've talked to many and funnilly enough, many are optimistic, and many are not. Many have bought in to the national reconciliation mantra, and many have become ultra-sectarian, it is but confusing to say which side is winning!

When you don't read the newspapers, Lebanon is the way it is...just Lebanon, the Lebanon we all love. But just when you read the news, it is inevitable to be disturbed. The dark forces in our country are slowly getting emboldened. I hope we can stand in their way. Can we?

Lebanon is weak, a sick-man, susceptible to all the viruses one can think of. Are we able to give it an immunization shot once and for all? I believe, if we can work together. We'll wait and see. But I'll remind myself everyday, that now in order to understand what will happen to our country, we have to keep up with the news around us. So let's keep our eyes open.

I hope to write soon!

"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."


Hassan said...

You complain: "And of course, on the contrary, you have Syria which has abandoned Lebanon in every dimension."

I thought that was the point behind "Syria out" and "Elsha3b elsoury killo 7mar" (All the Syrians are asses). So do we want to acknowledge that they exist or not?

I think this is what Azmi Bshara asked about when he said we need to determine one thing "What do the Lebanese want from Syria?" (Ghassan Tueini calls this question "sou2al semej"!!)

On a more serious note, I think the Syrian regime is being immature. But also the Syrian people are too shocked to actually come here for tourism.

You conclude with "let's keep our eyes open." Then again, let's grow up; for HA it was never just about them or just about Lebanon. Disarming HA has always been about Iran and Syria as well.

Doha said...

I think the Lebanese government official line is to acknowledge that the Syrians exist, Hassan. Read yesterday's interview with Seniora in the Tichrine newspaper; he was eloquent and his positions were well-articulated and reflected good-will from our side. Interestingly enough, in the same day, the newspaper's editorial blasted the Lebanese on our demand for returning our prisoners from Syria. They called "intifadit al-istiklal" (independence uprising), "intifadit al-intikam wal katl" (the revenge and killing uprising)! I believe this is outright immature. And of course we have to acknowledge that, yes, a number of Syrian workers were murdered during the beginning of the independence uprising, and many have fled in fear of hate crimes and abuse. What can we say, it's a sensitive time for both countries, but the Syrians should not shoot themselves in the foot; many Lebanese have contributed positively to the Syrian economy and many have strong familial ties amongst the two countries, Syria's prosperity is synonymous to Lebanon's and so closing borders in the face of commercial activity is hurting them just like it's hurting is a shame that when the Lebanese ask for the minimum (sovereignty), they get faced with such bad will. Can you imagine guys that people entering Syria from Lebanon are asked to turn in for instance a bag of arabic bread, or their cigarettes? that a sohat water bottle gets emptied on the ground before your eyes before entering Syria and you get asked to only drink Bekin (water bottles from Syria)? that a bag of fruits is taken away from you and you're told that the official line is that bringing in something like that might spread unwanted microbes in their country?!...

As for the HA issue, I already know that it's an issue bigger than Lebanon, but in the light of the Syrian's President's visit to Iran, a US confrontation has been cemented and we're going to be inevitably sucked into the whirlwind.

Mustapha said...

I'm also in Lebanon,
Maybe we should meet with LProfile for coffee. What do you say?

Doha said...

Sure, we'll coordinate via email.