Tuesday, January 03, 2006

On my way to Lebanon

I have debated whether or not to announce my return to Lebanon on this blog for quite some time now - just like how I debated whether or not to announce it the last time around. This fear, coming from an obscure blogger who speaks his mind (in English, mind you) without hiding his identity, goes a long way to highlight the atmosphere of fear that we as Lebanese grew up in, under the tutelage of a dictatorial regime, and in a society where the courts of law are not exactly the most effective deterrents against violence (be it physical or emotional). Despite this fear, I am typing this entry, because ultimately it is an irrational one that I need to overcome.
The possibility of a major "incident" taking place while I am in Beirut is a very real one that I simply cannot remove from my mind. Unlike the last time I visited, I am overwhelmed by concern and fear. In my previous visit, my priorities were to spend quality time with family and friends, as well as visit personal landmarks such as my old high school, ACS and the venerable AUB.
Now I return with a huge cloud over my head. I return with a desire to be closer to developments, and to even take part in them. Every other desire I used to have on the top of my priority list now seems pedestrian. My mind is clouded yet simultaneously focused.
Somehow, I am also preparing myself for disappointment. Every time I return to Lebanon, rather than feel closer to developments, I feel more distant. It is a weird feeling that I attribute to the powerlessness Lebanese feel about the direction of their own destiny. I usually find myself answering more questions than asking. People assume that I bring with me the secrets and intentions of Washington - and consequently, a peak into their own future.
Lebanese at home, it also seems, have found a way to carry on with their lives despite political developments. Maybe I should learn to do that.


Ghassan said...

May God protect you and the defenders of Lebanon! Have a safe trip and hopefully will come back to your family!

Doha said...


You know more than anything, that our families manage to move on with life. Remember, if it wasn't for them moving on with life, then Lebanon would not be where it is right now. So, yes, it's ironic, that of how much the Lebanese are into politics and are not apathetic whatsoever, being around them on a day-to-day basis highlights a different facet of these people, who treasure life more than death. This is our beloved Lebanon.

Enjoy the trip and keep us posted.

Lazarus said...

Raja -

It would have been nice for our trips here to coincide :) but since I'm leaving Lebanon in a few days, I hope you enjoy your trip.


Anonymous said...

Networking is important.

JoseyWales said...

Have a safe one, Raja.

yaman said...


Please have a safe and productive trip. I look forward to your return--will you be blogging from Lebanon?

-- Yaman

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...

"Somehow, I am also preparing myself for disappointment. Every time I return to Lebanon, rather than feel closer to developments, I feel more distant. "

I feel exactly the same thing! The last time I was in Lebanon, I was so disgusted that stopped following the news for one whole month!