And they all ask me; why this fixation with London? and i briefly answer them back it is not as much as what London,as a city is to me, but what it represents, and what Lebanon and its compadres will never be.
We have witnessed a boom in our society. Within the last decade i can say that people started to become open to western ideas and values, embracing them indeed, however this openness, which we are so proud of, does not come close to western standards. I say if you want to become open minded and live your life like europeans and americans, please do so but fully, not hypocritically depending on which situation suits your ego. Traveling, so as to explore new countries and interacting with the locals abroad, has been to everyone’s reach. Whenever one is bored and fed up from the chaotic routine life in the city, the airport is not far away and hop he is out of here.
Now enough with the introductions and let me take you straight to my point.
First and foremost, lebanese people are not only known for their famous “tabboule” (national salad dish) but for their nagging. I have never seen nor heard actually people nagging this much. Yes I understand the circumstances in this country do not facilitate everyone’s lives but I am sure that some of these circumstances are common abroad as well. Few are those who are happy with their jobs (and you are the lucky ones). However, the 99% left are either bored, frustrated or/fed up. I have heard so many people nag day after day about how much they hate their jobs and how they can not wait to implement their dreams. At first you are compassionate with those friends/acquaintances and you discern an ambition that you want to encourage truly. However when you notice that this appeal is turning into a broken record, you give up and continue listening day after day without encouragement nor advice. Because when someone wants to do something and make a change, he just does it no matter the challenges. I say stop wasting your breath and everyone else’s time. A broken record is thrown away in the end, it becomes obsolete with time and so does that bond you had established with your surrounding for your cause.
Second of all, the middle eastern society’s main flaw is that it pressures people to take a certain path whether or not he/she is convinced of it. A very common example would be that of marriage. Before i start down this road, I just want to make sure that you all understand that I am a person who is in favor of marriage and I do see myself as a wife and a mother and that eventually I am going to reach that fate. However what I do not understand is that how a person who established himself as a very open minded human being and living the life of a foreigner in Lebanon comes and acts up all of a suddenly in the most arabesque manner and mentality. Let me be specific, let us first take the example of a guy here. Mister Georges is happy dating ad going out and sleeping with whomever he wants. He established himself as a no-strings attached kinda guy and when the girl he is dating is carefree and independent, he breaks up with her for those reasons. I mean what?? where is the flaw in here? I thought, as you all did, that Georges was not the committed type and you played along those lines. However it seems that Georges lacks the balls to actually admit that he wants to be in a serious relationship and he wants the girl’s full attention and care. Well as you guys want us to be honest about our wants and needs, I redirect the same claim to you as well. Life might be a sick game for some of you but it is not for the majority of us. To be fair I will take an example from a woman’s perspective as well. I do not know any single/in a relationship girl who does not want to tie the knot. All of us dreamt and imagined our fairytale wedding, though most of us with time downsized that fairytale wedding into a reality. When being single and mingling, you should be honest as to where you see yourself in the future. Hiding your true opinion on marriage so as not to scare off your potential date will only lead to both of you being in a relationship based on false hopes. Knowing women so well, a frustration will be reached with time as to where you really stand in that union. And when a casual conversation turns into an engagement- rings- hinting sessions, it is only fair for you not to be shocked if your partner does not comply. You can not with time try to change his state of mind. Men who are not interested in exchanging vows are not going to change their minds within a few months or a year. Just be honest and do not waste your time, or in this case again your friends’ time (by nagging) when you could have spared both of us this ordeal.
Furthermore what I do not really understand about this country’s mentality is the importance people give to age. Yes age is an important factor in some situations. However i do not see its importance when someone realizes his feelings towards another person or most importantly in changing career path. Whenever people are aware that I came to realized my love for art and painting and am taking classes in London so as to accentuate my knowledge in that direction, they look at me and say; “but why throw away all those studies and a good career in some corporation? at least your future is secured that way”. Or the funniest one is “isn’t it too late for this change?”. This is the most absurd and many of the stupid remarks i have ever heard in my life. It comes to show how blocked lebanese truly are behind those air of open mindedness. I do not recall that life stopped at some point in time. Maybe for those who are hidden behind their desks and routine life , a daring change is like an alien on a visit from outer space. And those are the people who crave for this change in their lives but do not dare to go for it.
Yes I am fixated by London, not because of the city itself (which by the way is the most beautiful and carefree city I have ever been to) but because of the lack of these complications. I met so many interesting and ambitious people in London and i am proud to call them my friends. Whether young or older, i learnt one important thing from them all; age does not matter, you have a goal pursue it. They do not hear you out for the sake of hearing you out only, they actually listen to you and encourage you. They might be in their early 20s or late 40s, they are all equal and there for one another. Most importantly, they proved to me that it is through unimaginable tenacity and eagerness that ambition is implemented, love is conquered and shared and most importantly satisfaction is reached.
You dare ask me again why I am going back to London AGAIN?