Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Writing Lebanon For Us: Reflecting A Missing Reality

And as if Lebanon is on hold, on hold until the outcome of Mehlis's investigation sees the light. But is that so? Has Lebanon been put on hold by policymakers?

I don't live in Lebanon; and I get my news from newspapers gleaned online and two satellite channels, LBC and Future. The news lately has been all about the investigation. I understand the excitement of detaining and then charging the four security "generals" last week, but until when the "pause" sign will still hold?

Where are the bloggers who live in Lebanon? Why don't they let us know about what is going on? Why can't they provide everyone an alternative source of news? Let us know, is Lebanon truely on hold?

I know it's not. I know that schools and universities will soon start. And we all know what sort of issues that brings with it: inability to pay tuition fees/buy books, increased pressure on a delapidated public school system and the Lebanese University, etc...

We all know that life goes on in our country. The media has been the driver of events this past year, but is it reflecting the reality at the moment? I was in Lebanon and I know that many people don't watch the news or read the newspaper (of course, unlike us...) They sense change and are faced with issues as they go about their life.

I wish I am able to see that and sense it, but alas, I'm far. In the hopes that some Lebanese in Lebanon will heed the call and write Lebanon for us.

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


barney said...

I, also, do not live in Lebanon and I have noticed the same strange quiet from the Lebanese blogging community. I wondered if the bloggers were afraid, somehow, with four of the most powerful men under arrest anf facing trial. You may say in all honesty that they are not as 'bloggery' as they have been in past moments of this wonderful unfolding story!!


Anonymous said...

Since you have a blog why don't you come up with a great news story...very condescending your post!

reem said...

Of course Doha's post is not condescending- On the contrary, can't you see she looks forward to any news coming from primary sources in Lebanon? I suppose bloggers in Lebanon also feed on the media for information and for news...but they could also write on aspects which are not strictly political, or not directly related to current unfolding political events. There are always the themes that precede the recent chain of events, and that will certainly go on after the mehlis report has been studied under all its angles...but each moment puts certain developments in the spotlight, which obscure other stories for a while, and I suppose that explains why the blogging community is silent at the moment. But of course, it doesn't take much to break that silence, and I'm sure it won't be broken before long.

barney g. said...

I agree with you, reem, I fail to see anywhere that 'condescention' appears in Doha's post. We both noticed the same thing-- the Lebanese bloggers seem to be holding back, almost as if with bated breath*. In fact, I do not remember any post by Doha in which she expressed any emotion such as condescention or unwarranted scarcasm. So cut her a little slack -- Washington is a very hot place this time of year and uncomfortable!!! (smile)

* Now for a little bit of pompous pedantry. (I just looked this up and learned it!!) One's breath is 'bated' or 'abated' or shortened by terror or fright or apprehention, first used by Wm. Shakespeare. Not spelled 'baited'! WOW Ain't that sumpin?? (smile)


Anonymous said...

- Barney, you said:
"...Washington is a very hot place this time of year and uncomfortable!!! (smile)"

I always knew you were a DC-based Sahy√Ľnist spy of sorts!


Doha said...

I don't know anywhere in my post of any condescension. My post was a call for bloggers who live in Lebanon to paint for us a picture other than what we read in the newspapers everyday, which in reality have been centered forever now on the UN investigation. Not to belittle that issue, but Lebanon is more than just that. And I myself living away from Lebanon, cannot come up with a "great news story". Call it circumstance...but never condescension...

Doha said...

All I can do from here is "regurgitate" news stories I read, or try to come up with analysis on things I read or listen to on the news...but I'm not living in Lebanon to be able to observe and come up with original news. I hope that's helpful.

Abu Kais said...

Why only blame Lebanon based bloggers for this. Look at the Lebanese media-- all they do is report on what the politicians said and who they met. And then the analysis is based on what they said and how that might relate to a sectarian preconception. We hate our politicians but we give too much importance to their speeches, and never bother to report on the issues outside the limits defined by them. Look at how many posts there are dissecting Jumblatt's speeches and their supposed anti-Christian slant. We never look outside the sectarian box. We never bother to INVESTIGATE with the interests of the country as a whole in mind.

One can talk of a general Lebanese failure to identify REAL issues as opposed to lazy feeding on self-centred political statements by incompetent and opportunist politicians.

The failure can be partly attributed to the absence of good research or an understanding of its meaning. I am going to get attacked for this, but Lebanese culture has been descending into a culture of plagiarism on all levels. It's a problem that starts with our educational system. We just don't know how to encourage creativity and originality.

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

I agree with you Doha, we stick to Lebanese politics because we are far from our country and we need to link ourselves to it in some way.

Lebanon's Lebanese don't care for two reasons:
1)The internet is very very slow
2)They don't care :)

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

for the anecdotes, thank God I have an army of msn contacts in Lebanon.

Doha said...

I agree with you ...Kais. The media reflects our society and we're all about gossip and who said what. I've seen LBC do some digging and reporting on issues at times and bringing them to the attention of the public and politicians (such as the whole truck blockade on the border), but at many more times we've seen fueling of sectarianism and regurgitating of who said what at what visit and event, in all TV channels....We've also seen one of the first attempts at investigative journalism in Lebanon in Faris Khashan's show "Al-tahqiq li ajl Loubnan" on Future. But that's not within the news slot and of course it revolves around the UN we're not seeing diversity here.