Thursday, February 16, 2006

Step back and be amazed

Be proud of your fellow Lebanese, and never forget what they accomplished in February 14. Think of Jumblatt's speech, but forget Jumblatt, and focus on how your fellow Lebanese reacted to what he called for:

- They all cheered when Syria was challenged
- They all cheered when they heard that Lebanon was the only real sacred cause
- They all cheered when they heard "Lebanon first"
- And finally, they all chanted, "bil rou7 bil dam, nafdeeka ya Libnan"

Take a step back, and realize what your brethren have accomplished. Forget the politics of the political class; forget all the problems that Lebanon still need’s to face; and ask yourself: would you ever have thought that such a thing could have happened if you were politically aware in the 1950s and 60s? Moreover, I would bet you all of my money (very little, by the way) that had Martyr's Square been filled with Shi'as they would have cheered as well (of course, the conditions being that they not feel threatened as a sect and that they not be Fundamentalists).

For all my cynicism and disgruntlement with Lebanese, I have to give them credit for what they accomplished on February 14th. If we take one step back and look at things in their historical perspective, we would definitely be proud of the steps they have taken. At the very least, today "Lebanon First" resonates with almost everyone!

Hurray for Lebanon... Bravo ya Libneniyyeh!

10 comments:

Ms Levantine said...

Raja, I was about to leave a moderately nasty comment saying you sound like my mother. Sorry to keep quoting my family. Stepping back as you say, and ignoring 90% of reality what I see is "Deja vu all over again". Been there/done that. If the Lebanese really have legitimate national aspirations, the assorted cast of characters ruling us will not be able to deliver. So after another feelgood moment, maybe the time has come to look for solutions.

frencheagle said...

future-propaganda.blogspot.com
the return ;)

Raja said...

Please Allow the propagandist mom to say:

I've been focusing on the negatives of Lebanese society so much that Ghassan is no longer commenting on my blog.

it's okay if we focus on something good...

sam said...

First of all, let me salute your courage, Raja, for voicing your (propagandist mom???) opinions without being scared of sounding corny, and on top of it all with your digital self-portrait above every comment. That is rare.

There is something though that I wanted to remind you of regarding this post and the previous one: You are not living in Lebanon. (Neither am I at the moment btw). So that makes "taking a step back" easier don't you think?

Many young Lebanese -- living in Lebanon or abroad -- lack the will to live in their own country. How can there be any hope for them to change anything? For those of us who work abroad, it is cheap to support a vision for Lebanon against another, since it will not affect our bread. (Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying we can't have an opinion, or that we can't be right.)

Should we just ask ourselves: What Lebanon would we like to have our parents live in? Or rather: what Lebanon would we want to live in ourselves?

ghassan said...

Yes I am amazed that so many of my fellow citizens act as if they are subjects. I would have much rather seen them demonstrate without making the obligatory oath that they would sacrice all for Lebanon. That oath is just as hollow and immature as when it is showted in the halls of Damascus. I am amazed that not enough people in my country decided to demonstrate their allegiance to ideas . I am amazed that so many are willing to pledge allegiance to old ideas and bankrupt politicians. I am amazed that we demand so little accomplishments from our politicians. Make no m,istake about it, what you have witnessed on February 14, was a vote of confidence in going back to the future. What is tragic is that era that so many want to replacate was not one that I wish to ressuruct. It is clear that what was then is superior to what had prevailed until know but it should be equally clear that a goal of reincarnating the past speaks volumes about the current state of affairs, how unimaginative and how bankrupt we have become. We act as if we have never heard of modernity, democracy, secularism, decency, social justice and responsible government. In order not to stumble we set the bar so low that any outcome will be judged a cuccess. Such nonaccomplishments are nothing short of a mirage . Reality will eventually set in and it is bound to be very painful.

Anonymous said...

Ghassan,
How about the idea of being united and working together to over come the crisis. Isn't that alone worthy enough?
Dalal

Vox Populi - Agent Provocateur said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ghassan said...

Dalal,
Being united to work for an illeberal state is NOT a worthy cause. Iam not suggesting that this is what we are witnessing but I am saying unity by itself is not enough. It is the purposethat at times is equally important.
My basic point is that I am not satisfied in going back to the lebanon of the late 60's and early 70's. I will not disagree with you if you point out that thatLebanon wis far more preferable to that of the 80's and 90's. But I refuse to set my sights on such a goal that is considered by most objective criteria to be a disappointment anyway.
March 14 2005 , if it did carry within it the seeds that many have attributed to it, would never approve of anything that has transpired in Lebanon since then. This is not an endoresment of Aoun and definitely is not to be misconstrued as an approval of Amal of HA. It is a protest against traditional politics, in a traditional state. If we are ever to attain some of our potential then we need to think in different terms, apply different criteria and use a different language. Aggod starting point would be to just refuse to allow the clergy to meddle in politics, to have a propotional election whereby we get rid of all the traditional suspects, pass civil rights guarantees and hold politicians accountable. We have had enough demagoguery and sloganeering.It is time to build a modern state on solid foundations. Please note Dalal, that I don't blame the politiciansfor doing what they do best, if anyone is to blame then it is us for not demanding better. We get the government that we deserve.

Anonymous said...

Ghassan,
I am with you, and how do you know the people demonstrating Tuesday do not share your position? I am sure the Lebanese are tired of the fighting and bickering that goes on between the politicians. They are looking for stability, safety, job opportunities, social services and healthy economy.
Who is responsible for the meddling of the clergies? You can not change that over night, it will take time but it is doable. First of all it should start at home, and I mean the way parents raise their children. I even think those that were involved in the civil war want the change too. They saw and lived the ugliness and the desctruction of the civil war, the cost was very high and for what? I believe things will be moving forward and people will feel the change once we have a new president that will work with the government for Lebanon's best interest.

Dalal

Comte Almaviva said...

United over what? Has any politician of the new liberation movement (TM) offered a real program for the progress of the country? It's easy enough to play on the baser instincts of people and get them to the streets. Its even easier to bring out the worst of those instincts there. But then what?

Hariri and the others are getting a blind vote of confidence from the citizens of lebanon. What are they offering in return save an empty cry "Horriyyi Siyadi istiqlal?"

As dear Khalid Saghiyyi said in his column:


"Fal Ya2kolo min al-La7m al 7ayy wal Yatadaffa2o bi Shams al 7aqiqa"

(May they eat from their own flesh and get warmth from the sun of The Truth)