What I learnt from Beirut in between my relocation: (drops mic..)

As you may recall, last year I travelled back to Canada in order to get a feel of the country that was going to adopt me a second time round.  After three months of stress-free bliss and peace of mind, I went back to Beirut, determined and eager to pack my bags and move out. Little did I know that i’ll be stuck another ten months before setting foot in Toronto again.

Beirut, the city that everyone is in awe with. The city at which expats reminisce their good old days.

Beirut, the city everyone longs to visit for the wrong reasons and any Lebanese living abroad thinks would come to the glorious state they left it behind.

Beirut, the city that turned open minded adults into bigots and sank most of them to their lowest level in order to survive among the majority of the liars & cheats.

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Who runs Lebanon? The liar, the cheater, the whore & the money launderer.

Who succeeds in Lebanon? The hypocrite, the mistress and the corrupt.

Who suffers from the above mentioned? The law abiding citizen & the one who fears God only.

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I faced all the above mentioned entities my entire adult life in Lebanon, however within the bracket-ed ten months in & out Lebanon, I felt a level of frustration towards society itself that compelled me to share it with you all. Hell, I am NOT going to be seeing any of you soon (nor ever, even when i’ll be obliged to come for a visit) top to that, the whole society that is slowly sinking itself to its own expiration, I wish you hit rock bottom quickly.

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Ten months in Lebanon made me realize how much people changed. Maybe it’s the fact that I was surrounded by genuine people and a helping community back in Toronto, that its lack in Beirut shocked me even further.

Let me develop my point in this order:

About the prospect of work >> Do you know how many times I heard people wanting to genuinely help me ground myself in Beirut by promising me introductory meetings with X & Y for a job, a freelance project? And I will leave you guessing at how many of those people followed up on their promises. If I wanted to re-enter the corporate world I would have done it easily. I have the qualifications and I know the right people within that sector.  But setting foot in the tight knit world of blogosphere? Thankfully, I soon realized that I did not want to be part of a virtually pathetic hypocritical circle whatsoever when I can write and voice my thoughts far away from the influencers and their blind minions. I am more than happy to interact with people that relate to my content and me as a person. You don’t like what I am saying just now? Please go and Instagram caption your whiny remarks. I just love seeing people adopt two different personalities, one for the real world and one for the virtual one, different from each other as black & white. The virtual world in Lebanon? A pathetic scene in which every influencer badmouths the other yet comments lovey dovey remarks under each others picture.  Alas this world is attracting the next generation of 13 year olds (I do not want to imagine the future of such society..).

Let’s proceed.

How about liberal workers >> Lawyers, doctors and contract workers have stooped to a despicable level. You want to reach an agreement with one or close a deal with the other, then you will need to lie and make promises up to your teeth to reach a quarter of your (legal) demands and come out a sore (loser) winner. And then everyone wonders why court dates take decades to be resolved and infrastructural projects years to finish. Where are the workers that used to put their conscience first and ahead of their selfish gains? None existent. Dead. Literally.

Now my favorite >> Friends. Let’s just say that I no longer trust anyone I felt at some point in time close to and friendly with. You see, some people might think that because I am quiet I do not realize that I am being conned out of something and/or into something (depending on the situation). But I do realize the unfairness of being used out of my kindness. And I shut up. Why? Because I am better than that; that being fighting in settling a fair friendship with anyone that is not worth my time and kindness. Anymore.

No wait this is my favorite >> your ex want to become a part of that life of yours. Haha! Now that’s a funny turn of events. After being broken up for 5-7 years, the ex return with force trying to sweep you off your feet. Seriously? I am going to give up my future in a decent powerful country to stay in Lebanon and end up marrying you for all the wrong reasons that I can think of? I am not even going to answer that…. 

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Seriously, look around you, who is happy and living la Dolce Vita in Lebanon?

The lying and conniving businessmen (mind you, we have no clue what import/export or business consultant implies here…) and his possy

The dolled up thirty year old who is the proud owner of the latest Range Rover and condo in the downtown area (Mmmm..)

The proud mama smiling and obliging to everyone at face value yet bickering at those same persons behind their backs

The peoples’ pet  who trot their behind everywhere trying to please just anyone so as to be included in some sort of superficial circle and claim they made it (doing what? I think they themselves never figured that one out)

Those who put themselves first and the rest (every single person they know) later

and every single fearless Godless cheat in the city.

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How about us law-abiding respectful citizens of Lebanon?

We are scattered worldwide making a life for ourselves in a country that respects its citizens and a society that embraces and puts one another at a pedestal we would have never imagined coming from our closest friends back home. 

We have crossed out Lebanon from our mind and heart, its corruption, its people and the jungle way of doing things because being successful without crossing a dark passage leads 3/4 of the time to failure.

We succeed without our last name, our family ties and monetary influences. And most importantly we succeed and are recognized for our own merit not bedroom escapades.

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You can raise hell and object to every single thing I mentioned above, but deep inside you know that I am right. What I just wrote is thought by almost everyone, except you, living in La la land, I mean Lebanon.

Tough Luck with that!

Cya

ps: my deepest and outmost respect to the couple of people still believing in their Lebanon and striving against all odds to make it through bad and badder. Respect to you and keep on writing and voicing yourself (for your countrymen).

Lebanese Society at its Best- Happy ‘In’dependence Day!

When I say that I love my country, I only want to make sure that you understand that I am only including the natural sceneries, the mild weather, the friends that make it bearable to live in and THATS IT. That aside, I do not appreciate what Lebanon is turning into, going from being the Paris of the Middle East to a state lived by a back warded mentality of selfish goons.

What makes a country is its citizens. Lebanese citizens are ambiguous & ridiculous at best. They long for a certain lifestyle yet implement another traditional mindset in their everyday action. The following are a few of the type of Lebanese that I have encountered within my surrounding that either make or break Lebanon. Honestly they mostly break it, but thats for you to judge.

man-vs-society

1- The 5% billionaires.

I know what you are going to say. Those are the people that have built businesses and own multinational enterprises, hiring as much as 50+ employees and hence providing indirectly to many families. Yet those are the people that would care less about what is affecting civil society in general. Its another thing if it were to hit their wellbeing or bank accounts. How many of you have encountered young adults from these families who only cared for their latest purchases, whether its the latest car or bag, rather than society’s uproar against governmental corruption or the garbage crisis? Those are the people that live by the slogan of “joie de vivre” whenever there is an explosion and innocent lives are shattered or protests and roads are closed, leaving them clustered at home. Their motto is to continue with their night outs trying to convince everyone that no one should let factors out of their reach affect their lives. Their motto is to “be strong and show them perpetrators that they will not let anything affect my social life”. Offsprings from such families are a disgrace for the future of the country as they portray a shallow image of the population at large.

2- The “bullshitters” 

The funny part is that those are the ones that constantly nag about the corrupt aspect of the government, the raising prices of just anything (food, clothing, outing), the implementation of a traffic law with exorbitant fines and the garbage infested streets since the unresolved garbage crisis. However those are the ones that will continue voting for the same leaders if they had the chance (see the parliament has adopted anew trend of re-electing itself any chance given), will continue getting loans for unnecessary purchases, will almost break the traffic law on a daily basis by double parking or not wearing a seatbelt and disregard the recycling campaigns because they cannot be bothered sorting out their trash in different compartments.

3- The “victims”

Those are the citizens that are stuck with this system. They are; owners of small shops, governmental employees, fresh graduates stuck with passionless jobs. Whichever their status in the workforce, they all share a similar point; they can not wake up one day and just call it quits. They are stuck with their position or businesses because they do do not have a better opportunity elsewhere in the market, better yet abroad. They are victims because, contrary to the sharks managing their state of affairs, they cannot come down to “playing it dirty” to get their way. Three words; they have morals. Trust me when I say that those are the ones that go through shit loads of pain and challenges just so that they can survive daily in this country. Apart from their upbeat morale, you will come to notice that this category of people is the nicest and genuine of them all, selfless and generous despite their limited means.

 

To be honest with you there are many people who make or break a country. Concerning my city, I have come up with the above mentioned general types without being too specific, leaving you, my readers, to brainstorm and remember people from your own encounters. Within each category, I am sure a face (if not several) popped instantly. I don’t know about you, but living among people who careless about society in general (vs their own pockets) and others who have become way too deeply nonchalant about the future of their current hometowns, made me after years of my return to Lebanon three steps further into returning to my civilized adoptive country. Am I less patriotic? yes I am. I have come to terms with judgmental opinions and cliche snaps about Lebanon. Few are those who are fighting for the well being of their country. Fewer are following them every passing months. As long as the citizens established in this city do not make a simple effort (let’s take an obvious example here) of ‘abiding by a traffic law’ without hiding behind the matter of fact statement ‘there are still bribes going on so why give the government pleasure of filling its pockets’, major changes will not settle into their mindset.

Not now. Not ever.

Maybe their grandchildren’s three generation down the road will…

But again I doubt….

Happy ‘In’dependence Day everyone!