Few days ago was my 3 year anniversary to the “Big Move”. You can already guess that I celebrated the memory of, well nothing.
My brain has been foggy recently and so, I couldn’t write eventhough if I expose my brain then you would find thousands of endless things to be written..
I already disconnected myself from the news of Lebanon, as it just got tiring to watch and know that nothing would change. But there is no escape from social media, you are forced to know what you no longer want to know.
I am looking at people around, different nationalities, some Arab some not, and I can’t help but see the differences and feel sorrow.
I did not choose to be born in a country that fails to manage its own politics. I did not choose to be born in a country where electricity keeps going on and off, where we have to buy water for daily household and for drinking. Didn’t choose a country that is manipulated by thousands of corrupt people who’s sole target is to collect with greed as much money as they can on the expense of millions of people’s lives and well-being.
I most certainly didn’t choose to be born in a country where people look at your name, to be able to identify what religion you belong to and then by default stereotype you for whatever stereotype there is. I didn’t choose to be born in a country where its people were slaughtering each other just because they happen to be born Sunni,Shia,Durzi,Orthodox or Catholic. I was never given a choice.
I didn’t choose the country where I have to have protection to be able to get somewhere, where medical insurance is not provided unless you are an Engineer, Doctor or Lawyer. Never chose to be born in a country where neighboring warrior planes and drones keep flying over the sky 24/7 and keeping me on hold, just waiting whether today there is a rocket fired towards us or not. Is it today? Is it tomorrow, is it in the evening while we are all sitting outside together, is it when Im at work in Beirut, is it a rocket or an explosion this time? Better stay away from black cars that look like they carry some political figure. Better stay away from everwhere. Im going to work in Beirut, which part has least probability to have an explosion or some random people shooting because of some “personal issues”. Didn’t choose to have heavily armed forces in the country that once they feel uncomfortable with our opinions, decide to come and start another civil war project. I didnt choose high unemployment rates, I didnt choose when my dad had to leave to another country so he can work and provide for my education, our family home, and to have savings for his retirement. I didnt choose to have each family member in some continent and land.
I didnt choose to miss out on all the birthdays of people I love, on the weddings of my best friends, on their engagements, on the moments they had children. I didn’t choose to leave my best friend when her heart was broken by some guy. I didn’t choose to leave my best friend when her father died. I never chose to leave because there is no electricity so I cant work remotely online. I didn’t choose not to have savings. I didn’t choose loneliness in times of sickness or happiness. Never chose to be away through my friend’s divorce and struggles. Never chose to be away and struggle to find myself, new people, and a new lifestyle which is not familiar to me at all.
I didnt choose to turn on the TV to see daily rates of the currency fluctuating , to see burning tires on the streets, didn’t choose to see massive forest fires burning for days and taking away with it what remains of a “breath”. I didn’t choose to see people mocking and enjoying other people’s death in an explosion that shook the area, just because these people were victims falling under another religion. I didn’t choose to see friends committ suicide because of the hopelessness the country gave them.
I never chose nightmares of airplanes bombing, or happy dreams about walking in my hometown.
I never chose….
These things were all given to me as one big package, for just being Lebanese.
The only thing many of us did, was be born in that specific geographic area. And that on its own, defined our life path, to be torn apart, to learn how to live with fear, how to live day by day, even moment by moment, to learn to have scattered families, to have basic simple dreams like having electricity, water, proper Healthcare, job opportunities, and 0 bombs. We have very very, simple and basic , nontheless, primitive dreams which we even don’t allow ourselves to dream of, because at some point, we even began to fear dreaming. Submitting, conforming, accepting reality for what it is, and being grateful to be yet alive, finding humor in the middle of all this, partying, running around the country to see what is left of it, waking up yet another day, to think, today I was able to survive and come back home sanely, waking up, finding the energy to go to work, to actually exist, is the reason why, it is the country of “Phoenix”.
Every single day, the Lebanese citizen is born, and is dying. And the cycle continues on daily basis. Whether you are Lebanese living in Lebanon, or who has moved out, the death and rebirth is endless. The country won’t leave you alone not even if you leave.
So excuse us world, when we are unable to be upset if some significant historical building has burnt, or when we dont travel because we want to roam and be citizens of the world, or when we are happy to be wherever we are because at this point, any place is good, excuse us if our ambitions are limited somehow to seeking a stable life. Excuse the dark humor and being passive, excuse the parties in the time of economical crisis, excuse our sometimes lack of empathy to many sad incidents, as we have a lot in our plate.
At this point, I strongly encourage , when you encounter a Lebanese , don’t be surprised if they are not interested in many topics you find “critical”. Don’t try to say, we have the same. Don’t say, if you are not happy abroad “why don’t you go back to Lebanon?” Dont be surprised if you see a 28 year old person thinking like one who is 50. Don’t say why dont you change your political representatives. There are things that can never be explained, however intensly felt. We are aware of what our rights are, what should be happening, and what the reality actually is. We realize well that our grandparents and parents , have been living like this as well, and now its our turn.
And now after all that, I should be feeling a built in guilt, because I got the “privilege” to leave, while many people are dreaming for the moment their Visa gets accepted, to just leave the country behind , leave the sorrows, leave every bad memory, and start again from zero, to find out that, the sorrows never actually leave, they just change form…
You will leave the country, and keep looking for familiar faces, for something stable, for 1 thing to compensate the instability of your entire life, to then find yourself yet again in another chaotic loop of people leaving , of you longing for what is left of the idea of “home”.
To be hopefully never continued…
Leaving you with a picture of some fallen leaves I saw, the best image to describe the shattered thoughts I have…