Monday, September 30, 2013

The Price of Peace

Peace never comes at a cheap price.. In the Middle East, one might argue that peace never comes at all despite the best efforts, dedication and sacrifices of many heroes.

The Middle East is filled with stories of heroes and villains; but unlike fairy tales, here the suffering is real. In this story, everyone is left to fend for themselves while the villain is out to get everyone he can. Here, there is rarely any hope for a happy ending.

Take Syria for example with millions of Syrians scattered around a shadow of a country or around the Middle East, aimless refugees, uncertain if they will ever return home or what they will return to. So many stories of suffering and what seems like unbearable pain that Syrians are feeling through every waking moment. More than 100 thousand people killed in the past two and a half years. Just imagine how many hearts are bleeding at the loss. Then take a look at the ghost cities left over from a catastrophic conflict. Hearts ache at the destruction and at hearing Syrians lament about their loss, pain and shock.

No one is better equipped to understand this magnitude of suffering than anti-Assad Lebanese. Not only because they went through a devastating civil war that killed and uprooted people and destroyed their nation, but especially that the brunt of devastation came at the hands of the same Syrian regime that is now destroying its own country under the guise of protecting it and defending its people.

Remember how, during Lebanon’s 15-year civil war, people held on to hope with every envoy to the region and efforts made around the world to bring peace to Lebanon. Remember as well that with every hopeful move there were many depressing setbacks.

As Bashar al-Assad promises to make his chemical facilities available for UN inspection and his stockpiles available for destruction, one can only wonder what twist and turn will come into play to derail those efforts. As the United States and Iran open up channels of communication, once more we hold our breath as we wonder how this positive move will be shattered and by whom.

At the end of the day, politics change, policies change and politicians change but the suffering that results from them does not. Syria has entered a dark and dangerous tunnel.

Syrians will keep walking aimlessly as their Lebanese counterparts did before them, until they accept a pre-packaged peace deal. Those pre-sewn suits.. the only Middle East “Peace” we have ever known!


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