Monday, September 22, 2014

Matteh Becomes Hollywood

George Clooney loves Amal Alamuddin and he is proud to be her husband as he announced recently ahead of the couple’s wedding this weekend. Clooney is proudly confessing his love for a well-deserving woman who hails from Lebanon. Amal represents an independent woman model some Lebanese and other Arab societies are still struggling to accept and promote. She is the embodiment of a woman’s right to choose including who to wed and when, irrespective of background, religion, culture or age differences. Good reasons to celebrate.

Here, love is magnified to the thousands only because of Clooney’s Hollywood status; but many Lebanese women share Alamuddin’s characteristics, even though no one has heard of them.

The story is inspirational because Amal is a success story all by herself. She’s educated, brilliant and achieved. She’s a beautiful, globally established lawyer, not rushing to tie the knot or settle for just anything in life.  A true gem and George Clooney knows it.

When I think of Lebanese women, I wish for someone like Amal Alamuddin to come to mind with a stress on “beauty” being that of the spirit and attitude not only the physical body. My vision is in sharp contrast with what Lebanese media highlight. Plastic surgery swollen women, defaced and unrecognizable even to themselves. Others, bare all for attention on beaches, in nightclubs and lately on highways. Counterfeit happiness, lacking substance, and laden with makeup and silicon. Setting the trend for what is fake, unreal and utterly ugly.

Lebanon is Alamuddin’s birth and ancestral home; but Lebanon and the Lebanese can hardly take any credit for any of her successes except the fact that without real opportunities, it pushed her out to study, work and live abroad. Lebanon cannot even give the future Alamuddin-Clooney children, if they choose to have them, the Lebanese nationality because Lebanon does not find Amal eligible to bestow her Lebanese nationality on her children!

The fairytale union of Amal and George reinforces some long-held beliefs such as Lebanon lives in the millions of Lebanese scattered around the world. Their potential is larger than the opportunities given to them, whereas within the physical boundaries of their home country, there is no president, no efficient government and no legitimate parliament. Lebanon has become a banana republic of cronyism, corruption and tiny men in uniforms hijacking life and driving people out and away.

These reminders call for a Matteh Cheer in honor of the soon-to-be newly weds!


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