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 Girl friends; Cheek Sense Slappin For Most.

Disclaimer: This entry will make sense to the Lebanese female population. Now guys, you are not shunned, I am sure you have heard of few of the points mentioned below from your frustrated girlfriends about their girl friends. Yes, this one is going to be a good one! If you feel targeted, please do immediately change those abhorrent habits. Thank you. 

 

 

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In Lebanon, most of the population descents from royalty (note: a royal family does not exist in Lebanon) and the attitude that goes along with it, accentuates a person with status from another. However, I have come to realize that everyone behaves as if his family belongs to the Bourgeoisie of society. This high class attitude that everyone has managed to master, followed by certain facial expressions highlight the snobbish attitude that is to come. Entering a place as if owning it, never smiling nor acknowledging the presence of other, ordering people around are few of the behaviors spoilt princesses permit upon themselves .

Reality check: Its not because daddy’s 3 digit salary at the end of each month allows you to buy one piece of labelled cloth, makes you a millionaire flaunter. We shall talk when you cash in your first paycheck!

 

Weekend or no weekend, we, Lebanese go out every single night. No day passes by without having dinners, catching up over coffee, even dancing (well if holding a drink and nodding your head makes it dancing, be it) at a rooftop/nightclub, especially during summer. Girl friends making plans can turn out as frustrating as choosing your dress for a dinner date with your crush. The date is picked, the hour confirmed and when the moment of truth, I mean of show up, arrives, everything falls apart like a deck of cards. A few words typed and click send, you have just cancelled your get together through whatsapp in a blink of an eye. Worse? when such behavior occurs frequently. Reason? None understandable whatsoever. And there you have an opening on your calendar (last minute). not sure what to do with.

Reality check: If you think its easy to cancel on your friends last minute with no repercussions, let me tell you something that might add value to your social existence; don’t be too surprised if I come up with excuses next time you decide you wanna see me.

 

My favorite is this one, a classic. For months end, you haven’t seen your girl friend. You have been friends for years, yet circumstances (life) came in the way and you drifted apart. All of a sudden you receive a text mentioning a get together (finally), a catching up session. The message is heavy, heavy with longing emotions and unprecedant love and a promise to hang out the very next day. However the confirmation is to happen at X hour the morning after. You sleep anticipating meeting your old friend. However you guessed right. The very next day you await for her call/message/whatsapp with no avail. You assume something came up and let it go. Fast forward three months, same scenario on repeat. Third time, you convince yourself of “the third is a charm” mambo jumbo. Same outcome. This time you promise yourself that that particular “friend” will no longer have the pleasure of your presence even if she were the last person on earth for company.

Reality check: Refrain from sending ‘cotton candy- roses- emoji decorative’ text messages if you do not have the decency on keeping your word. Seriously, screw being polite.

 

In this century, we all admit that our smartphones are a crucial part of our survival. We do not go anywhere without them and check incessantly if we have missed a notification or two from our friends. So when a girl friend sends a question through whatsapp, I gather that she is awaiting the answer and as soon as I answer her back, will check the reply and accordingly act. I guessed wrong! Its funny that answering within 2 min of the question (because yes my phone is always with me unless on the charger) and the person in question comes back at you after half an hour. This game of chasing one another, or proving some sort of point as “I am not addicted to my phone” or/and of an air of carelessness is plain dumb and pathetic.

Reality check: Refrain from acting all 16 and playing it hard to get with your crush on your girl friends. Its pathetic and fails to give you that “grandeur” image you surely want to portray to your surrounding.

 

Last but not least, the most popular behavior every girl friend act with one another; the false advice. – -“Have I gained weight?” = of course not silly!

-“What do you think of that guy? he is cute”= oh dear lord not that one, he used to date X,Y,Z and I heard he is a womanizer and will dump you as soon as he is done with you…

-“Should I buy this?= yes its gorgeous on you, flawless, you might consider cutting your hair short as well, suits you honey!

Shall I continue??

 

My Lebanese Girl Friends you have a long way to go… a long long way to go to establish yourselves as genuine and transparent species. I guess a couple of slaps (words-not physical you morons) is a start to reboot your “acte de presence”.

Merci

Girl Friends; The Lebanese Clique.

Disclaimer: Girls put your pride aside while reading the following post. Anger/ bashing is not the solution. Namaste people. Namaste!

One of the most challenging aspect in this society, for survival purposes mainly, is to gather and maintain genuine friends around you. Add to that challenge, friends from the female gender. I know I am sorry I feel like I am asking you a lot to digest this morning. However, it is the sad truth.

Girlfriends are rare. We all have one or two best friends. Tackling more is just asking for too much (drama). For those who are not concerned and are happy with their surrounding then you are blessed and hopefully you will maintain your social circle close to your heart (and home). For the other ratio out there, lets stick together and shed some light on the subject while the first group sits and reads.

Most of the time, girlfriends are wired to be jealous from one another. I don’t know but I feel like its something that has been inserted in the embryo by the previous generation for generations to come. Its some sort of a Middle Eastern kinda thing. Rare are the girls that stick with one another through thick and thin. Rarer are the ones that genuinely care for your happiness and success in life.

I have noticed that in Lebanon, you have two types of groups of (girl)friends:

The first group is only made of women sharing one goal in common: getting hitched. Those are the ones that gather socially more than your average time per week. Whether its for lunch, dinner or some girls night out, their only interest is the latest photo editing apps, fashion statements and what trend to follow and buy. Shopping is a must (weekly). The latest gym technic a fad to try (and quit after a month).  Group photos are impeccable since being your best in public is your only tool to seal the man of your dream (whether he is married or not). If you look closely at their group pics you realize that they almost look alike; same hair color, length and style. Same eyebrows and smile. And the must branded hand bag perched on their hand + the huge sunglasses used as head bands. A certain feeling emanates from this kind of clique. I personally do not believe that these women are genuine 100% with one another. Since their goal is to land prince charming, jealousy, gossip and backstabbing takes its toll behind closed doors between one or two from the same group (and behind each other’s back). Note: these women do not work nor do they intend to in the future, baring in mind that a housewife is an already established job.

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The second group are working women. Their motto; Women should not compete with one another but uplift each other. They are ambitious and believe in empowerment. Whether they hold a job or not, their main focus is contributing to the society they live in with more than a selfie or two. They are cultured, active and have seen the world (not just the shops worldwide).They brought back the lessons learnt from their trips and integrated it to their daily life. They are confident and their presence socially is marked by their surrounding. Whether they have a man in their life or not, does not define who they are and especially does not stop them from reaching their goals one step at a time. Their social life is enriched not by posting pictures on social media and tagging them with motivational quotes but by collaborating and exchanging ideas and plans. But of course they do post pictures on social media, they aren’t pariah (undesirable). A night out with one another enriches ones mind and soul.

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Girlfriends, girlfriends….

Last year, I was living in London, met and made a lot of interesting friends. I was surprised that abroad, women do empower one another more than our society. We all shared one passion, the Arts, and were looking for a job that would let us live the London dream. Surprisingly, whenever someone heard of a job opening, she would alert the other students and encourage them to apply. More than one friend helped me to edit my CV. In Lebanon, you guessed it, competition does not permit for friends to be helpful and nice towards one another, especially in the workforce (I will let you imagine what it does to when competing for a love interest!).

I am happy that I set my priorities straight and surrounded myself with empowering and caring women.

I believe that women empowerment is fulfilling and more rewarding. However if you chose to be part of the hypocritical bitches out there, please get your silicon- ed presence away from me.

Thank you.