Good night readers.
I took the opportunity of waiting for my Ubuntu’s upgrade to write this blog post. But I am sure you are here because you want to know who is this ungrateful little prick who is daring to insult your privileged and classy Lebanese ass. I will not waste anymore time and start right away.
This blog post appeared first in my head after reading on July 12th Gino Raidy’s facebook status. This quotation is briefly what I would write. However I want to add more bullets on Gino’s statements, because the amount of hark at you is still not enough. The facebook status is the following
We live in a country that is in rapid decline. No jobs, no salaries, no electricity, no water, no internet, no phones, no roads, no police, no army, no justice system, no government, no environment and no hope. Even clubbing is no longer what it used to be.
To top it all off, we are losing our liberal principles, the ones we were so proud of. Liquor shops being bombed, movies and books being banned, eggs shoved up into asses and sheikhs and priests tightening instead of loosening their grips on our lives and choices.There is zero hope for Lebanon and we’re all angry all the time because we know it, and can’t do anything about it. And even if we could, where would we start? Everyone is armed, old tires are everywhere and dirty money is never low in stock. To make matters worse, sectarian extremism has never been more intense, with all sects guilty of making their people blind, stupid and misguided.Raping women, beheading soldiers, holy wars and beards that haven’t been trimmed in decades. Paris and Switzerland of the Middle-East my ass. This is a cesspool of religiously-driven, angry group of people with memory that spans 24 hours that are in constant turmoil over who gets to be in charge. And when one of them is, the rest will do the unspeakable to get those in power out, only to repeat the same scenario, with the same politician-prostitutes, with the same slogans and the same blessings by old men in robes.
If anyone tells you otherwise, or says “patriotic” phrases that have no ground in reality whatsoever, slap them in the face. There is nothing to look forward to in Lebanon and there are no better days ahead. The elections will not happen, the situation will only get worse. The one thing I am fond of in this place are the few people who are reading this, whom I love and enjoy company with. You folks are awesome, I wish there were more of you out there.
As I am writing this blog post and reading Gino’s status I noticed that I will add only one hark at you. And anything other than this bullet is already discussed by someone, so to not plagiarize I will share with you a work that is over 125 years old. A work that astonished me, a work that still -unfortunately- holds true to this day. This work is astonishingly accurate! This work is written by W.M. Thomson in his book The Land And The Book published in 1870! The extract is the following:
So far we have two hark at yous from W.H. Thomson about sectarianism. Gino Raidy gave you some half a dozen hark at yous. However neither mentioned a critical bullet I consider to be very important and probably the biggest hark at you! And that is education.
How many of you readers know about the big bang? How many of you know that on 4th of July 2012 the big bang was no longer a theory but a full proved model? How many of you know what is a Higgs boson? How many of you know that on that day the Higgs was found? How many of you believe Earth popped out from nothing? If you are a regular, every day Lebanese person who cares about what taste his arguile tonight should be, or pissed at what his neighbor planted on the side of the road while on the phone with his brother’s foreign wife telling her about how generous and loving we are. Then you should not know that.
How many of you believe in the Genesis story (creation of Adam and Eve) and was not taught to take it poetically? How many of you think that evolving from primates is impossible regarding the fact that our DNA is 96% identical? How many of you ever heard of the string theory? How many of you know what got Einstein a Nobel? How many of you know what E=MC^2 means? How many of you know who Max Planck is? How many of you know what Galileo did? How many of you know that both time and space began at the big bang? How many of you know 1% of quantum mechanics? How many of you actually believe that the end of the world is when the messiah will come or when Jesus will return? How many of you say life exists only on Earth and was not, won’t, and is not going to occur somewhere other than on this planer? How many of you know Charles Darwin? How many know what evolution by natural selection is? How many of you know how natural selection works? Again. If you are that typical, every-day Lebanese person who praises his leaders for the ability to ski and swim in one day (however the traffic would make that nearly impossible considering that you can ski -winter- and swim -summer- in one day) or the kind of Lebanese that opens his ass so hard and wide to buy an SUV for his wife because his neighbor got a new car. Then you probably don’t know any of these.
Why is that? That’s because the education level is a fucking joke! I’m not talking about schools alone. I’m looking further than my nose. I will pause a bit and mention why our school’s education level is not the WOW we say. What you, a 12th grade student, is studying in school, a 10th grade student in Emirates is studying, and an 11th grade AP student everywhere else is studying. Our school education was a wow before 2001 when they decided to cut off half of what you usually learn (who in a right mind in the 21th century removes chapters rather than adding chapters?).
I will not mention universities because I do not know the level of higher education in Lebanon. The point I am looking at however is media. Our beloved, sectarian, politically-divided, brainwashing media. The media that we rely on so heavily to keep ourselves “up-to-date” is what is tearing this damn country apart. The fact that the national TV (TL) is a joke and you still get static noise caused by the microwave background noise in the cosmos (again, if you are the typical Lebanese you should not know what that is. so move on) and the fact that if you want to watch a “decent” station you have to choose the one that coincide with your parent’s political party, is called brainwashing. Our media is brainwashing us through the goods it offers us (a great website, an amazing mobile application, a clean HD image…).
The final point I will make in this post is shows. The media reflects the IQ of the people. Watch BBC, you see all sorts of educational shows (The Atheism tapes, The Earth, Bomb Squad Men…), English people watch BBC, since BBC puts all sorts of documentaries, the English people is considered educated. However our Lebanese TV stations broadcast nothing but religious documentaries (ones that coincide with the station’s political views) that create more and more extremism . No TV station reported the discovery of the Higgs, and only reported the Curiosity Mars landing because a Lebanese was on the crew. That’s how desperate we are. We are a people who watch 5-6 jokes’ program daily, we are a people who listen to washed-up actresses on radio stations explaining how they landed the job without sucking up, we are a people that read … Oh wait, we don’t read, because we are too busy reading either jokes off whatsapp or surfing 9gag, a place for everyone with the IQ of a cavemen’s pet stone.
Now I will leave you with two segments from an inspiring movie “The Network” (1976). Please watch them. Thank you for reading and have a pleasant night
Where do I start! Okay, here it goes. Since I won’t be going to tonight’s tweetup I thought I’d invest my time and describe my exciting day at AUB today!
I’ve always wanted to visit AUB; crawl the campus, relax on the Green Oval and admire the architecture of every building. Today I had the chance to do all the things listed above.
We hopped in the buses at 8am, got stuck in the traffic jam in the Carantina area and when the “Beiruty” beauty blazed my wide-opened eyes I knew we were somewhere near AUB. Suddenly flashbacks sent shivers all over my body when I saw everything in Beirut! Briefly these flashbacks showed me and my mother walking on the streets of Hamra and on the Rawcheh. I knew I was going to experience yet another flashback when we arrive to the main gate (Every time my mom and I toured the streets of Beirut she’d point her finger towards the main gate and tell me “This is AUB, be good in school and you’ll go there!”). But I was a bit disappointed when we landed in the “Western” Side of the University.
Seconds after our landing, previous schoolmates -who are currently AUB students- announced that they were our tour guides. I was keeping my friend (Mohammad Hijazi), an AUB student updated all the time with text messages so he could give me a special tour 2 more schools followed us towards the football/track field, then towards the movie.
The movie was about AUB, a brief history and a list of domains and faculties. After the 30 minutes long presentation we were divided to groups. Minutes later we were on our way to the tour. We crawled towards a crowded building (I don’t remember its name but it’s related to biology because I heard a couple of guys talking about some flies in a jar), but what frightened all of us was the long stairs straight afterwards! We kept on climbing, and climbing and climbing till God knows what angel we’re going to run into.
Finally we arrived to heaven, and I literally mean heaven! It was the core of the AUB. Everything was so peaceful, everything was so green and every university student was so serious!
Then I lost track of the information given to us by our tour guides and I kept following the mass admiring the beauty of the architecture, the green trees and the quietness. I remember walking behind the “Nicely Building” (Is that right?) towards the green oval. That’s when Mohammad texted me and asked for my location, and I texted him back the information. Turns out that the green oval was a place to chill, to listen to music, to relax and to sunbathe!
On our way back I looked up and saw this hoodie and I said to myself “I know this hoodie, it’s M”… I managed to get his attention from some “bsst”s. We said hello, and it was time to head back to the tour. M joined us and showed me around as well. We kept on talking until we reached a building related to environmental studies, somewhere after the girl’s dorms. We stopped there and hit three booths where one informed us about sound pollution, the second one about acid rain and the third about bacteria I guess.
This is when we arrived to the famous zoo and met the humble zoo-keepers. And just as the name tells, it’s a zoo! If you wanna know more about these zoo-keepers, the hippies (we met two of them) and other bunch of groups? Check out Mohammad’s post “Breakdown of Typical AUB Students” here, very funny and a must read!.
Our last stop was near the admissions office. And it was time to hit the road again, direction school. We filled in a survey (You might know what I chose according to what I’m going to say later) and we said goodbye to AUB and rejoined our schoolmates with just a hope to study there.
Briefly, AUB is just the university I had in mind, even better! It’s the university of my dreams ever since I knew about it in detail this year! Now it’s time to make a list of the goods and the bad. Here it goes:
-The Good Stuff: (I would use the word awesome)
1. Everything is so quite!
2. Everything is so green!
3. Amazing architecture, from old (dates back from mid 1800s) to new!
4. NO SMOKING! I hate smoking, and I thank AUB for putting this rule. I enjoyed a smoke-free tour.
5. Animal respect! I like how students treat the cats there! I also found out that harming a cat can lead towards a serious warning!
6. The civilized world there!
7. The high academic level and the numerous choices of faculties.
8. Everyone talks in English! I enjoy talking in English.
9. AUB is like a mini-village.
-The Bad Stuff:
1. The tour was short.
2. The zoo-keepers were annoying.
If AUB was a restaurant I’d give it 4.75 stars (over 5 stars), if AUB was a movie, I’d give it 2.8/3 as a rating. I guess I’ll see you again AUB next year when I’m applying to study there!
a 16-year-old student.
In the highlights of the Arab revolutions (Libya, Yemen, Syria…) Lebanon stands out as the most democratic Arab country. Or is it?
“The outer world knows about the presence of a problem in Lebanon, when they visit and live among us they can’t seem to find this problem! And so do we! We can’t seem to find this problem!” Our SAT course teacher said.
Come and think about it, yeah we do not know about this problem! We all know it’s a political one, so we blame politicians. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a bit of responsibility lying on them. Why can’t we find this problem!? Well, it became a master-of-disguise, learning from past mistakes, it finally knew where to hide from us.
Since this problem is old, let’s go back in history. Most people would go back to the pre-civil war and post-civil war where everything seemed to be OK! Well, it was, but this period is what I like to call it a “over excitement episode where the individual is living in a state of denial”. I would go further back in time to the end of the first world-war.
Before I start let me just open myself for you and tell you that politics mean nothing to me and I was never interested in it. But I thought I’d blog about my point of view, because people with this point of view are rare.
So back to the subject. End of the WWI, Lebanon finally got rid of the Ottomans who ruled us for 400 years. 6th October 1918, Chicri Ayoubi and a group of 100 soldiers came to Beirut (before it was Lebanon’s capital) and rose the flag of the Arab’s revolution on top of the Government House. 9th October 1918, a French General ordered the removal of the flag and claimed Lebanon.
This sudden French arrival is due to the secret Sykes–Picot Agreement that French and English established during the war (1916). The Lebanon we know currently was only Mount-Lebanon at the time. The Bekaa valley, the North, the South and Beirut belonged to Syria. Just after the end of the WWI, many Lebanese delegations went to the Peace Conference in Paris and proclaimed what’s going to be called The big Lebanon (the current Lebanon).
After this flash-back, we arrive to the core problem. Syrians, including Beirut’s citizens demanded to remain in Syria, while Mount-Lebanon’s citizens demanded to expand Lebanon. Most Mount-Lebanon’s citizens were Christians, and Beirut’s citizens were Muslims. When Gorro announced The big Lebanon back in the 1st of September 1920, Muslims became on red alert. Because The big Lebanon was a French production whom they refused. This little fact, that the French already knew about it, was not taken in consideration. The output was a sectarian problem that French did not try to mitigate in the near-future.
Now let’s talk about the French Deputation. More specifically about the Deputation’s Deed. London, 1922, a deed came out, more like an International document that includes the form and how Lebanon and Syria’s going to be ruled by French. It contains 20points and an introduction. Some of this deed’s points are:
- The French Government is responsible for the loss of any Lebanese and Syrian land.
- The French Government puts a Constitution for Lebanon and Syria within 3 years.
- The French Government takes care of the Lebanese ancient monuments.
To what degree did the French contribute to this deed? Well, the constitution took more then 4years to be put in Lebanon. The Escandarona land was given to Turkey. Many southern Lebanese villages were taken by the Palestinians. The French did took care of the monument, but they were all transfered to Paris. The Deputation did introduce some new options in Lebanon but Lebanese were never trained to know how to use these extras (No wonder no one knows how to direct the Lebanese governmental offices).
Now let’s go in time just before the big day! The Independence day! I don’t have the right date but somewhere between 25th March 1943 and 29 August 1943. Alfred Nakach got annoyed by what General Katro suggested so he assigned Dr. Ayoub Tabet as the Lebanese President. The president released a decree organizing the seats of the parliament (32 for Christians and 22 for Muslims). This also created a sectarian problem that was later resolved.
Now if we skip the elections and hit the time where everything was starting to get messy, we realize the presence of the “National Charter”. This charter clearly stated “Christians must abandon the French protection ideology and the Muslims must stop calling for the fusion into the Arabs.” You know you can’t make someone do something against their will! They both shut up for a while, now we notice the revival of these ideologies.
Now let’s step forward towards everyone’s first destination; the civil-war. I don’t know much about the civil war, and I never bothered myself to ask someone, because I know they’ll translate the facts to their political’s benefits. Also Wikipedia has a good point of view worth sharing “The Post-war occupation of the country by Syria was particularly politically disadvantageous to the Christian population as most of their leadership was driven into exile, or had been assassinated or jailed” (mentioning Michel Aoun and Samir Geagea).
And let’s finally look around us. Some parents actually teach their children if a classmate is Christian/Muslim (not of their religion) then they shouldn’t hang out with him/her! So sectarian discrimination is being taught! We might as well look around us, the president is still Christian Maronite, the PM (Prime minister) is still Muslim Sunni and the Speaker of the Parliament is still Muslim Shia. There’s an attempt to make Lebanon a secular country, but will this strike most of the statements highlighted above, or will it make things worse?
If we gather these highlighted sentences in a list we might find that the problem is revolving around sectarian discrimination. But is it THE PROBLEM or is it just the tip of the iceberg? Well, no one knows for sure what’s the problem and odds are we’ll still be ignorants when it comes to solving this problem.
“All the world’s problems will be solved before Lebanon will find THE problem” Could this be true?