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).

Why I am done with Lebanon for good.

Disclaimer: This post is my ever frank opinion of what I have left behind in Lebanon. An honest direct post I did not intend to write in a politically correct tone, for once. 

It is no secret that I am not fond of Lebanon. No wait let me start again. It is no secret that I hate Lebanon and everything that is related to its population and way of life. Ever since we moved back to Beirut in 1993 (from Montreal) my relationship with this Middle eastern country went from hectic to down right estrangement. Earlier this year, I decided that it was high time to leave everything and everyone behind and move back to my adoptive country. A very tough decision, tough not because I am going to leave everyone behind (those who know me know that I don’t give a flying fuck about anyone) tough because it is a huge irrevocable step once you set foot abroad, as I have a few days ago.

For the 23 years I lived in Beirut, rare are the memories that I cherish and hang on to. Why did it take me 23 years to take my decision to go back to Canada? personal matters. Now that I am settling back, I want to share with you few of the points that I am sure many of you relate to and that led me move back and enjoy North America very much these last couple of days. The points that I am about to share are more related to a human level than any of the usual rants people direct towards politics.

1- It’s mind blowing how every single Lebanese thinks he/she is God sent on earth. I have never seen a snobbish society as a whole. Its as if every single person became amnesic all of a sudden and woke up with a silver spoon in his/her mouth (in his/her mid twenties+). We tend to notice clones of women at any given event, at the mall (yeah plastic surgeons have all graduated from the same medical establishment abroad) yet at a closer look, we realize that their personalities is much worse defective than their face. Have you ever seen a Lebanese smiling at one another? Even in front of their cameras their (siliconed) lips are pouting and their faces ever so bored and high mighty. To be honest, I so many times wanted to bitch slap (verbally) snobbish friends back to their village, reminding them of their farming ancestors every time they tended to act superior when in public. I mean, fuck you bitch, if it weren’t for your dad slaving away in Saudi Arabia, and sending you a monthly salary (age 30+) you wouldn’t have dreamt eating at newly opened fine dining restaurants and mocking/yelling out orders to the staff and rolling your eyes at a passerby. And let’s not start with the employee with a 1000$ salary (tops) behaving as if she made 3000$+ parading & glowing with her signature outfit & attitude.

2- Let’s shift to the employment sector. It is simple, if you don’t have a “wasta” (its funny how that word auto-corrects itself to ‘waste’ whenever I type it) you are a nobody and you will never achieve your potential in Lebanon. And if you are under valued, all you need to do is master the open split and you will get to places. Higher places. Yes why are you looking at me like this? I have always said that among the people that easily succeed in Lebanon is the whore. The Lebanese whore is the all of a sudden successful female thrown in society and very much respected by her peers (for her position..). Men wanna fuck her (which she will hand fully pick depending on her future ambition) and women wanna befriend her (for the new alliances and doors she will be opening to them). The worse part of all this scenario is that the ambition and status of this woman is shallow and irrelevant to the big picture which is life. Many of these people find solace in social media with thousands of fake followers to give them the much needed boost to their fragile self confidence and ugly stature and personality. You wanna know what is pitiful for employees with wasta? Some mothers go to the extreme of whoring themselves or make big donations so as to ensure their children’s future at X and Y organizations. (true story).

3-Friends? What friends? this terminology is over-rated. Alliances yes. Friendship no. Over the years, I realized that I was surrounded by shallow hypocrites who secretly awaited my downfall in work as well as my relationship status. Hence the drastic cut of my ‘friends’ list. From one day to the other, best friends became strangers. I look around me and rare are the relationships that I define as friendship among the people that I know. Everyone is in constant competition with one another. Gatherings are occurred so as to fill social media pages with (fake) fun and a bubbly way of life. Of course, everyone is a hedonist whether they can afford the lifestyle or not (thank you Lebanese banks for the loans). Conversations are superficial and revolve solely around the fashion designers to be, the events that were launched, the dresses that were worn and the ‘celebrities’ that are popping like chicken pox. If you do not relate to this ever growing shallow society, then you tend to find yourself the odd one out and castrated. I do not tend to make an effort to anything that does not interest me nor would be an added value to my life. And by being that person, I, thankfully, realized who is the real friend that stood by me and I continued to genuinely enjoy his/her presence in my everyday life. Those that lingered away so as to establish themselves within this fake surrounding (knowingly aware of my adamant stand against) granted me the gift of discovering the meaning of true friendship. Here I take a moment to thank Meena, Angie and Rony for being the best friends one can ever wish for. The rest of you can go fuck yourselves.

4- The clash between life abroad and in Lebanon, I discovered when I went to pursue my studies in London. There I met genuine, caring and interesting people. People from around the world, from different culture and upbringing that further assured me of one important thing; my non-belongingness to the Middle East. Men respect their women when out and about. They are cultured and interested by you and not only your boobs and loubs. They are fine gentlemen. The women have intellectual discussions and gatherings revolve in open spaces, museums, walking, canoeing and taking pictures in which one can witness the big smile on their faces. Dates are respected and not cancelled at the last moment, or worse dismissed without any advance notice. To those who continue giving a self important image of themselves by not notifying a cancellation in appointment, I do not wanna say anything to them; their pitiful stand is more than enough.

Unfortunately, Lebanon proved to me a haven for the hypocrite, the fake, the whore, the loser and the self proclaimed celebrity.

In Lebanon, I did not find myself. I only found jealousy mastered at a professional level. I only found myself being judged and labelled. I found myself in professional situations where my family name played a role leading me in handing  my resignation letter. The honest hard working person is not appreciated. The liar and the whore is King/Queen.

I am thankful that as a Canadian citizen I am going to be able to fulfill my dreams with my own potential and certificates at hand. I am thankful that Canada is far away from the Middle East. And I am thankful that I have my family and best friends next to me forever no matter the distance.

xo