The Lebanese are loved the world over as a people, and loathed as groups, militias, and terrorists. This fact is not easy to grapple with, but essential to dealing with our differences and moving on.
The Lebanese have traveled the world spreading an ancient wisdom, a rich culture and unique characteristics. People love our food; how could they not? The Lebanese cuisine competes with the world’s best culinary offerings. The Lebanese talent has its touch on science, entertainment, journalism, literature, business, entrepreneurship, and politics globally. We are a smart people. There is no doubt about that.
We are also some of the most challenged people. We are masters of the double standard and we live on past glories. We praise the successes of others and alienate ourselves of failures; rarely do we wish each other success. All the while we fail to spend the necessary time building our own successes and rebounding from our own failures.
We have ambassadors to all fields from Mars to the moon to the seven seas and pole to pole. We conquer the highest summits and the lowest points on earth, proudly planting a cedar etched on the most beautiful flag.
At the same time, others drag us down daily to quagmires of servitude and slavery. Those are mud-lovers, death seekers, and believers in conspiracies.
When I wonder why I never give up on Lebanon despite all the warnings from governments asking their nationals to stay away citing security concerns, I remember all the beautiful souls and the creative minds that carry in them so much talent, so much ingenuity and so much beauty to share with the world.
The healing starts when we admit to ourselves that we are more different than we are alike. The reason why we can’t talk to each other is because we are different beyond reconciliation. You cannot love life and love death at the same time. We cannot love peace and love war at the same time. You cannot love freedom and seek slavery simultaneously.
We are two different forces pulling in opposite directions. We won’t stop pulling until one force wins over the other. I choose life, creativity, advancement, peace, love, freedom and prodigy. That’s my Lebanon. The other side of Lebanon, I acknowledge its existence but I do not support and will never do. I will fight it until my last breath.