Sunday, 20 January 2013

Country at war

I wrote this long ago and I felt like sharing. 

I live in a country at war. I can’t know when a new war will start, living awaiting one after the other, yet trying to live for a future which in my mind is war-free.
I sometimes hold and squeeze my stomach so hard and think how am I supposed to bring a child to this place?
You see, I’ve been through it, I’ve been under a sky on fire, I’ve seen a father passed out on the street with his kids between his arms, I heard the scream of mothers, I smelled the smell of dead people, I know what war is like.

I used to think I will never leave that country, no matter what, that was my home and I am going to stick to it.
The truth, I never felt at home, I never felt I have a country; in fact I am a foreigner and will always be.

But I also believe that the right person in the wrong place can make a different. So my battle isn’t over yet.

I don’t know about politics and economics, but I know some about humanity.

I know we can communicate, I know we deserve better than this.

I am tired of discriminations, judgments, attacks, I am tired of religions as well.

Funny, that in the bible I learned that we must love our enemies and forgive them, that we should not have enemies, and I reached a time in my life when I went and asked my mother: “how is Israel my enemy? When I should not have enemies?”
Mother said it is the enemy of your country, thus it is your enemy. I refused. Not because it was written on some paper and been taught so, but because it doesn’t feel right.
Because on the other side from that border, I believe I have a friend, on the other side of the border there are people like me, who hate, cry, suffer, fall in love… humans, if you know what I mean.
Today I wrote this, thinking of the soldiers all over the world, not as soldiers but as mothers, fathers, friends, neighbors, daughters, sons… and thinking about what they are willing to sacrifice for a cause, and trying to imagine their pain to be away from their family, or try to imagine the pain of a family who lost a beloved at war.

I wrote, because this is the only way I can show respect.
I wrote, because this is the only weapon I have to fight for my own cause.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Civil War for Dummies.

I didn't write it, I am simply sharing.
Credits go

Before you get started, make sure you meet the following Criteria:
·      You have never read history books about the recent history of your country; if you did, make sure they ended at the time Fakhreddine the Great, when Lebanon was the gate between the East and West.
·      You have spent all your life in the same region, and you have not made any visits to other regions.
·      You only have friends of the same religious and political background. If they don’t pray like you or talk like you, you shouldn’t be hanging out with them.
·      You have access to at least one handgun, AK47 or B7 launcher.

Advanced stuff:
The AK47 assault riffle has a simple and reliable design. We recommend it over the M16 eventhough the latter has a higher muzzle velocity. You don’t know what muzzle velocity is? Think of it as how fast death can get your enemy… or you.

If you meet the above criteria, you can skip the following paragraph. If you don’t meet them, there is still hope, but make sure to take the following steps:
·      Forget what you read unless it blamed a certain group of people in society for a certain historical event.
·      Destroy all evidence of your trips outside “your territory”
·      Dump any friends you may have that are from a different sect or support a different political party.
·      Start with a knife and stick as a beginner. Also, start saving for a gun.

By being money-wise, your savings for a gun to accumulate faster. If you have an elderly or sick person at home, you know by now that medication is the most expensive item in the housebill. Cut your spendings there. After all, medicine is less important than a gun: It is better to be dead than alive and sick.

Other than that, It is important that you:
·      Join at least one facebook hatred book: “ethaddani wahad min jame3et el za3eem falan” (“I was defied by a dog from the followers of so-and-so politician”)
·      Wear clothes that are similar to your friends ‘clothes, so that you are easily recognizable for each other.
·      Never Ever think outside the box.

Got these requirements taken care of? Good. On to the next step:

Listen to the politician:
·      Choose one politician to support.
·      Always believe everything he says and do not, at any point in time, question his words or actions.
·      Do not look at his past, except for all the glorious actions in name of the incredible nation of Lebanon.
·      Obey his commands, and contribute your money and energy to his party whenever you can.

Tip: It is not necessary that your politician has a political agenda that takes into account all of Lebanese society.

Choose your friends wisely:
·      When you hang out on the streets, don’t just hang out with anybody.
·      Make sure you find a group of young men who have scooters and join them on their rides around the neighborhood.
·      Make sure the group supports the same politician you do, and check if they are ready to defend the neighborhood in his name.
·      Befriend the leader of the group by agreeing with everything he says.

Advanced stuff: Don’t forget to spit on the streets every time someone mentions other politicians or their supporters.

Be aware of propaganda:
·      Find out which TV station is owned by your politician or at very least supports him.
·      Remove all other channels from your TV, they are useless anyway. Know that your chosen station is the only one that has objective news, the only one that investigates what others don’t dare to mention.
·      If you hear through the grapevine that another station says the opposite of yours, dismiss it as political lies: what you are watching is the FREE press, all the others are propaganda.
·      The same goes to newspapers that don’t print news exactly your leader says it. What a waste of energy, paper and ink they are…
·      Remember that your chosen newspaper writes the truth and nothing but the truth. The other newspapers get bribed to brainwash people. If this was a normal country, they would be closed down.

Be on the lookout for corruption:
The enemies often resort to corrupt techniques to increase their popularity. They engage in bribery, vote purchases, twisting of laws and preferential spending of public money. Report all such events to your leadership.

Warning: Do not confuse bad “wasta” with good “wasta”. Your leader for example only uses the latter. He is popular because he is generous and helpful to his people: Jobs, promotions, financial support, public services, bypassing stupid bureaucracy… you name it.

Be a true patriot:
You know that you and those who belong to your group are the true citizens of this country. It is up to you to defend the country against outsiders, to form the real resistance; the others only follow orders from a foreign superpower (or mini power). They only act in the interests of those who provide for them, they don’t really love Lebanon like you do. They are traitors, while you are a true nationalist.
Understand the circumstances:
·      Sometimes, your leader will sign treaties or agreements with other parties who were previously enemies. You should realize that in his infinite wisdom, he has seen that the other party actually been his ally all along and this is just the next step in his plan to strengthen the country.
·      When a hostile political party or group establishes an unusual alliance with another party, this is pure hypocrisy, done with the sole purpose of gaining power. Such alliances are born of malicious intent, based on lies and deception, lacking the true and pure friendship of your leader’s alliances.

Warning: Sometimes the change in your leader’s political speech may sound unacceptable even to blind followers like yourself. You SHOULD understand that the circumstances are such that he is required to cooperate with his adversaries, but then you will keep in mind that it is only temporary, against his moral principles, and only done as a last resort to protect his people.

Always look over your shoulder:
Lebanon is just a collection of sects fighting to eliminate one another. Whatever your affiliation is, you should know that your existence is threatened by the presence of the others. As the leader said, you are constantly at the risk of being Wiped out, out-numbered, out-voted or under-represented.

You may say: “but I belong to one of the larger sects, are those risks real?” Duh! Of course! The other sects may gang up against you. They may even get external support to get you wiped out, out-numbered, out-voted or under-represented.

You may say: “but all wars in Lebanon have ended in stalemates and nobody has ever been able to wipe anyone out”.
It doesn’t matter. We repeat: Your sect runs the risk of being wiped out, out-numbered, out-voted or under-represented.

Be prepared to die:
Do not fear death, especially when it happens for THE CAUSE (we’re not sure what THE CAUSE is but we like the sound of it).
·      Your parents will get great consolation because your leader will attend your funeral in person!
·      Your brother and sister will miss you but they be proud that you be declared a martyr of Lebanon.
·      Most importantly: your leader will at last get to know your name…for a week.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Words have a price

 “Be careful!” he whispered to me while his hand formed a wall in front of my mouth.
A fire was burning within, I raised my arms and pressed his hand to my lips to gently kiss it as tears were rolling down my face.
He offered me his shoulder to rest my head on while murmuring “Tears could carry messages reflecting your strength, no need to scream and die a martyr.”

He was my dagger finding its way in me, or shall I say, my desire to protect him was?
I never wanted to cause him harm but keeping my mouth shut kept pushing the volcanoes in me to erupt.

I held him tight, no words were dared to be said from my part.

“You are more dear to me than this world, and this fight, and these ideas… If you speak, your life would be in danger.” He said to me in desperation.

Am I not the world? The fight? And the ideas?
Dear, I have never wished to die a martyr, I would speak with the hope of constructing and building and growing, fear is not an enough reason for me to keep me quiet and stop me.”

Having a voice was something that I have always found essential, struggling to build one in my home growing up, and between my peers in schools, and nowadays between people.
Realizing how our life could be in danger just for expressing certain ideas, or speaking few words that might challenge other opinions and beliefs.
As much as I would love to revolt and scream at times, I try to think on the long run and find ways that might be more "safe" or efficient with my goals.
I am willing to take the risks with all the actions and words, all I do hope for, is that I wouldn't harm the ones that I care about along the way.