To his Excellency, President General Michel Suleiman…

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Today, the 25th of May, 2014, marks the end of a great era. The era that is the reign, of the 12th president, over Great Lebanon.

Today is the day فخامة الرئيس العماد ميشال سليمان leaves the presidential palace, and comes back to the town that has loved him long before he became president, long before he became general, that has loved him long before he made the decision that he wanted to serve the country. Today is the day he comes back to Amchit.

Who is he? He is a husband to a beautiful well-respected well-known lady, Wafaa. Together, they gave birth to three successful children, and together, from 2008 up until 2014, they took care of over three and a half million people all across Lebanon.
Graduate of the Lebanese University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Administrative Sciences, he joined the military and began serving his country at the age of 19, graduated from the military school as a 2nd Lieutenant, and worked his way up to eventually become the Commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces.

Awarded, honored, and well decorated with over 15 medals and recognitions, he went on and succeeded Former President, General Emile Lahoud, and became, himself the President of Lebanon.

Now that we’re done with introducing that great man, even though words would not be enough, I would like to say a few words of my own. To you, Mister President.

تحية طيبة وبعد،

You, Sir, have been sitting on that chair for the past six years, putting up with people’s nonsense and yet going.
You , Sir, have been listening to complaints from locals about how this country is going down the drain.
You, Sir, have been watching your own men, the people we’ve elected, betray their own country, their own people, and you bit your lip and held it together.
You, Sir, have been the tied up Iron Fist, wanting to put your foot down but not having the resources needed for it.
You, Sir, have wanted to do so much more to this country, but your hands were tied, and yet you kept on trying.

For that, Sir, I would like to say

Thank you, Mister President, for the last 6 years of your life, spent serving your country from a chair that has been contaminated by many.
Thank you, Mister President, for doing your best to cleanse that chair and give it back the honor and pride it really deserves.
Thank you, Mister President, for putting up with people’s criticism, people who think being President is an easy task, people who assume that they could do it any day, people who assume that they could be a better president, where the truth is that, they were not able to elect a proper senator, let alone be president.

Thank you, General, for the spending 41 years, putting your life at risk, putting your family at risk, to keep this country as safe as you could.
Thank you, General, for raising generations and generations, teaching them the true value of our beloved military’s motto – Honor – Sacrifice – Loyalty.

You have made Amchit proud, you have made Amchit beautiful. You have made Amchit what Amchit is today. Our municipality has its strength coming from you, its motivation coming from you. Our inspiration IS you.

Thank you, Mister President General, for being President General, Michel Suleiman.

عشتم، عاشت الديمقراطية، عاشت السيادة، عاش الشرف، التضحية، الوفاء، وعاش لبنان

Diaries of a Lebanese Citizen…

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image credit: http://www.aaswat.com

 


We do need change. Here’s something someone wishing to stay anonymous sent me.

Hi, I said breathing deeply and slowly.
Goodmorning, is Mr M in his office? Each inhalation invading my lungs and with each exhalation I remind myself to relax, look calm, confident. Be yourself they say, that’s the trick. She looks up to me from her desk, examining me, scanning everything from my shoes to the possible thoughts inside my head.
Has Mr M arrived, I repeat. I need to speak to him.
She glances for seconds and looks away, thinks to herself how stupid of this person to be here.
Worn out shoes, messed up hair and she probably hasn’t showered in days.
Mr M is far too busy today, and tomorrow too she says.
It is urgent, I repeat.
Ever heard of an appointment, she laughs.
My breaths no longer synchronized with my smile.
My anger surrounding me, I remember, my mother telling me words are your weapon child, believe in this cliché of a motto and you’ll be just fine she said.
I look to her and say,
Ma’am, Mr M needs to see me more than I need to see him. Mr M needs to hear me out more that I need him. Mr M needs my vote. The castle he has built for himself can vanish if I decide to.
The castle he has built for himself can vanish if my worn out shoes and my ripped jeans decide to rip away everything they have provided him with.
Don’t wonder why I haven’t showered and wonder why I have a representative that is okay with having his people unprovided of their basic needs.
Wonder why my so called leader sits back and watches me stay unshowered for days while his children play water fights and keep their taps open and be his children.
You sit here, with your new shoes and your perfume and your ego answering phone calls pretending as if the person inside is a person.
Well you can tell Mr M for me that all it takes to take this animal of his thrown is a thought and I most definitely have it.
I look away and then look back.
I had forgotten that I’ve been standing in front of a broken mirror imagining what would have happened if they let me in Mr M’s building in the first place. Apparently his people thought the shoes of my people are too dirty to touch common ground.

عشتم وعاش لبنان

If you’d like to share your story, please send an email to unidentifiedmarvel@gmail.com

 

 

دولة العراق في لبنان ترحب بكم

Battle of the Hotels
Hundred days war
Battle of Zahle
حرب الجبل
حرب المخيمات

All of these in less than a hundred years. Hundreds of thousands killed and massacred. And we haven’t had enough. 2012, the beginning of the shock of the Syrian revolt, taking place in Tripoli, then in Saida, then in Akkar, then in Beirut, then all over Lebanon, people died. People are dying and people will die.
Every time a bomb explodes, you people change your profile pictures to the Lebanese flag with a black stripe.
You flood your facebook statuses and twitter timelines with posts about how you hate this country and the leaders.
You talk relentlessly about the shitty situation we’re living.
You keep saying we should we have to and we will. They can’t they shouldn’t and we won’t let them.

Every time an attack against the Lebanese army happens, you people change your profile pictures to the Lebanese Armed Forces flag.
You flood your facebook statuses and twitter timelines with posts about how you hate this country and the terrorists.
You talk relentlessly about unity and standing together with the army in the face of terrorism and Irhab.
You blame one political party.
You blame the parliament.
You blame the people.
You blame the community.
You blame everyone.

Have you ever blamed yourself? I haven’t. Not until now.
I keep talking about how I can’t wait to get the hell out of this shithole of a country, and then someplace witnesses an explosion, TV stations rush to the scenes just to be the first station to disrespectfully show you someone’s remains, or someone screaming of agony without helping them and letting their loved ones know, in this harsh way, that their relative is dead or dying and no one is doing anything to help him.

Every time something happens, everyone is the champion in making posts, blogging, just like myself eh. Everyone is the world’s greatest public speaker. And apparently, you guys have the “Actions speak louder than words” quote figured all wrong. See everyone thinks it’s the other way around because we talk and talk and talk and do nothing.

People are dying, people will always die but it’s up to you to diminish the death toll. 2 weeks ago, the teenage kid who died, whose name I forgot and probably most of you did, could have found the cure for cancer for all I care.
They say you don’t know what’s going to happen to this country and what’s going to happen is going to happen whether we like it or not? Well guess what, WE, are what has happened, is happening and will always be happening to this country. it’s our job and duty to change it into what we want.

So instead of blaming Hizbullah for their involvement in Syria, and blaming 14 March for blaming Hizbullah, and blaming and blaming and blaming, blame yourself for once. Vote for those who you think are suitable for this country, not those who will fix the pavement in front of your house 2 days before the elections. Think smart. Or at the very least just think. Nothing’s going to change tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or the day after that. But by the time you get married and have your own babies, someone will be giving a speech about how good of a country Lebanon is, since it’s النافذة الوحيدة على الشرق الأوسط من البحر المتوسط , people will be talking about how Lebanon is better than just سويسرا الشرق and people will be talking about things beyond a tramway.
That doesn’t matter, just make sure you do this for your brother who will be graduating a year from now, who will most probably be working in Beirut and who might be a clueless victim of one of these terrorist attacks. Just because he’s “Collateral Damage” serving for someone else’s “Cause”.

If you’re leaving this country sooner or later, الله يوفقكن, just make sure you don’t die before you leave it.

عشتم، عاشت الديمقراطية، عاشت دماء الشهداء وعاش لبنان

A portion of recent Lebanese History – 1860

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“The total loss of life within the span of three months and a space of a few miles was estimated 12,000 ; the loss of property amounted to about £4,000,000. This was the season of silk crops, vital in Lebanese economy. The damage embraced churches and monasteries.” – Hitti

So I’m taking this course at college, concerning the recent history of our beloved Lebanon. Despite the fact that I actually do love history, and despite the fact that this is a rather interesting course, there’s something that I’ve found to be true, an old saying claiming that “التاريخ يعيد نفسه ”
Personally speaking, I never really knew what that meant. Personally speaking, I never was involved in politics and personally speaking I couldn’t care less about politics. But I can’t help, as anyone else I hope, but notice the unfortunate events that are taking place in Lebanon.

The quote you saw at the beginning of this post, claiming that within 3 months 12 thousand souls were lost and over 4 million pounds of property were damaged. That’s a lot of money for the 19th century and whether a single person died or 12 thousand, a lost soul is never to be taken for granted.

Anyway, either you have no idea what I’m talking about or you know everything I’m about to say, whichever the case, bare with me.

What am I really talking about? Just try to relate the past to the current situation.
Back in the 1800’s, Lebanon was consisting of mainly 2 sects. Druze Moslems and Maronite Christians. Those 2 sects never did agree.
Back in the 1800’s, Lebanon was experiencing a “partial independence”, whether it was concerning the Emirate, the Kaemmakamiyya, or the Mutasarrifiyya. For those of you who don’t know what those are, just some different lies and names for what used to be “Lebanon being under the Ottoman rule”
Back in the 1800’s, politics was played the same way it’s played now. The big fishes being nice to each other, telling their “followers”, so to say, to be “mean” to the other “followers” of the other “fishes”, long story short that is.
Those big fishes had an even bigger fish playing a role. Europe. As seen by the Christians, France was the hero, and as seen by the Druzes, Great Britain was the hero and her Majesty soon became their highness.

Long story short, statistics show that few thousand Druzes, slaughtered a solid 10 000 Christians, Maronites.I’m a Christian. I’m a Maronite. I don’t give a damn what happened 200 years ago!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, those who were celebrating our 70th independence anniversary, what are you really happy about? It’s the same thing happening all over again! The States, the commonwealth, the French and the Russians all being nice to each other and telling their bitches to screw with us, and by bitches I mean the Salafists, Al Ka’ida, and all you could think of is “I should hate this person because he’s Muslim” and all you could think of is “This guy is supporting Samir Geagea, one of Geagea’s supporters almost killed my friend’s cousin’s grandma’s father.”

This ideology should stop. If you want to celebrate your country’s independence, I think you should celebrate your first independence first. What’s your independence? Liberate yourself from the constraint that is judging others by their ideology. Liberate yourself from the constraint that is judging others by how they worship God and whether or not they worship God, whether a guy likes girls or likes guys, this is none of your business! Your business, your duty by law is providing prosperity for your country and your people.
“But my country isn’t doing its lawful duty”
Your country’s lawful duty is your duty.
Your country is you!
Stop blaming “L Dawleh” over just about everything! The Dawleh itself is you! It is by democratic constitution that we elect SOMEONE WHO DOES A GOOD JOB AT RULING THIS COUNTRY, a duty for us. But all we can see is a form of hereditary government. Maybe not the president, but who cares? The president is a puppet, whoever he is, to every other political party. And you still blame the Dawleh.

I can’t stress enough over the point of you improving yourself and your significant other before thinking of changing the Dawleh. Stop wanting to change the Dawleh. Change yourself, then the Dawleh will follow your footstep.

Think smart, instead of saying “Hal amerkene l mabhoul”, hal mabhoul is able to drink water from his toilet, because of you.
Instead of saying “Hal serlankiyyeh l san3a”, hal san3a is for the very least doing something honorable to feed her family instead of blaming people she shouldn’t blame.

You want change, I want change. Concerning me, it’s starting. When will you start?

Happy 70th independence day.

http://blogs.fco.gov.uk/tomfletcher/2013/11/21/dear-lebanon-an-open-letter/#.Uo4OGUWTTrg.facebook

 

Have you read this? Have you even heard of the open letter the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, has written? I haven’t until today. His words are beautiful and his thoughts are true. Some may say it’s out of publicity and some others may say it’s for his country’s own benefits in the Middle East and Lebanon. I’m not saying otherwise. They most probably are, but why do we, Lebanese people, always have to think in a way that is not innocent and pure?
Why take his words for granted?
He may be a son of a bitch but he also may be what our country has been needing for a change, to the better. 70 Land Rovers aren’t going to stabilize our army’s arsenal or its presence in the field but the initiative counts.

If you do check the link, 166 people had replied until now, 166 people were showing their gratitude in a civilized way.
67 THOUSAND people had liked it, shared it, retweeted it and god knows what else.
I never heard a gunshot though. No one shot an RPG rocket into the sky because of what Tom Fletcher said. Wel dene ba3da b alf kheir!
Take an example here, and learn how to be civilized. If you like the speech of your so called ‘leader’ you can show gratitude in so many ways other than freaking the hell out of little kids and parents, by showing us that you have an AK 47,
and if you don’t like said ‘leader’s’ speech, you can show your disgust in ways other than shooting his supporters.

Living in a forest won’t get us anywhere. Tarzan had been running through everlasting worthless circles of being wild and savage, until British civilization, Jane that is, came to the rescue. Never have I once heard of a gun shot being the solution to anything.

We need this, Lebanon needs this. I’m sick and tired of listening to people saying stuff like “This is the 70th anniversary of having a French passport slip from our hands”
I’ve said it myself, many many times, and I’m sick of it. Not longer than a hundred years ago 12 thousand Christians and over 5 thousand Muslims killed each other, for the sake of this country, for the sake of what they thought is better, not for you to come and wish it were never here.

You want change? Be civilized, stand in line, settle your differences, preach about it, and before you know it, Swissra L Share2 will be back again.

Happy 1st independence anniversary

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~Explosion at Be’r Hassan, Beirut – 19 killed

~Al Kaida adopts Be’r Hassan bombing

~Yemeni ambassador injured in Be’r Hassan bombing

 

 

I’ve been reading a history book, “The modern history of Lebanon – Kamal S. Salibi” and all I’ve been reading is Lebanese war, Lebanese disagreement, Lebanese rebellion, external interference in Lebanese affairs. All sorts of bad things, not a single sentence so far, and I mean that literally, has been to the advantage of Lebanon. What for?
We’ve been living in utter crap and mutual hate, we’ve been too busy hating on each other, because of our religion or political ideology, that we haven’t been paying attention to the Syrian refugees who need our help, to our country that needs our help due to the Syrians. We haven’t been paying attention to the fact that each day, children, women, elderly people die and no one even bats an eye. All for what? Someone wearing a cross around their neck or someone praying on Friday rather than Sunday?
And the worst part of all is that this whole dispute isn’t about different religious beliefs, it’s within the same religion. Christians fighting with Christians, Muslims fighting with Muslims, every single one of us blaming his significant other and no one bats an eye.
Everyone blames the “Dawle”, and no one even dares for change.
You’re the ones who have created that “Dawle”, you might as well stop nagging and put up with your crappy decisions and the dawle you’ve created.

 

“The first underlying principle of democracy is accepting the other, be it a political party, a citizen with a different opinion or a journalist expressing criticism.
It doesn’t matter if you think you are right, if you are sure you are right, what matters is they have a constitutional right to be different and we have a constitutional duty to accept it – Nicolas Sahnaoui, Minister of Telecommunications in Lebanon (11/19/2013)”

 

Now I don’t know about you guys, but I think his words make perfect sense.
We’re blaming them for out mistakes, but we made them. If we’re going to make things work we’re going to have to change them. Be it by striking, or by votes. Elections are the way for us to exercise what is ours by law and constitution; rule this country.
The next time you get yelled at by a soldier on a roadblock, the next time you get scammed by a bullock company, blame yourself first, change yourself second, spread that change third, and if then, that still happens, blame whoever the fuck it is you want to blame.

Today it’s Tueday, the 19th of November 2013. In exactly three days, we will be celebrating Lebanon’s 70th independence anniversary. But I’d rather not do that. Our independence isn’t ours. Our country isn’t ours and our word most certainly isn’t ours.

Once each and every single one of you, starting me, starts the change that is your own self, independence will form on its own. Once each and every single one of you, starting me, starts the spread of a neutral ideology, the ideology that states that your neighbor is your brother,
your mosque is my church, your Qur’an is my Bible and your Sheikh is my priest, that’s when democracy takes form and that’s when you’re allowed to blame someone else.
We are all sons of God, whether through the Prophet or the Messiah, we are all sons of God, we are all sons of this country, we are all one.
If we’re not one, we are none. That should be a sentence you think of every moment of your life. It will change your life. Stop being selfish, happy first independence anniversary.