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Tuesday , September 21 2021

The end of 66 years of love

Lebanon, in its current state, is a victim of three parties — its politicians, its brotherly Arabs, and before this and that, its entire people.

There is no dispute over the damage caused by politicians. Perhaps there is also no doubt that the Arabs have used Lebanon to settle their differences, so they supported this leader, fought that feudal, financed the leader of one party and armed the head of the militia, and this is all that they could do best to shift the gun from one shoulder to another, but about the responsibility of the poor Lebanese?

The answer will not satisfy those who refuse to admit the truth. The deep-rooted religious and sectarian fear, militias, and other matters disturbing the security of the homeland have prompted the Lebanese — for decades — to be led by their instincts unconsciously, to elect someone who provides them with personal safety, often across the sect, not the national interest.

It swept Lebanon at times to the north and at other times to the south and found everyone complaining about the corruption of their leaders, but everyone re-elected them eventually. This is how the Lebanese destroyed Lebanon with their hands, their electoral vote, and their position, the political class that we see and the same has attitude has run supreme for half-a-century or more, and that will remain as long as Lebanon remains.

We see no silver lining on the horizon for real reforms or any breakthrough in the situation for a common man to breathe a sigh of relief. The elderly know that reform means accountability, and they do not want that to happen or rather will not allow it to happen.

They also know that hard currency has become scarce, fuel will soon disappear, cooking gas will evaporate, bread will dry out, price of medicine will soar and its existence will become non-existent, and the Lebanese will do nothing or rather best to say they can do nothing.

Lebanon will be the first country in the world where the army will starve, and whoever watches the manifestations of amusement, clothing, parties on its channels will be perplexed by this contradiction.

It would also be perhaps the first country which is not at war and yet has no insurance coverage. Whose home or furniture is burnt, or car is broken down in a traffic accident, or his workshop collapses under the ruins of a building, will often get a generous compensation in dollars to deposit it in his bank account, but he will not be entitled to withdraw it and has to spend out of his pocket to buy his house furniture and fix his car.

There is no individual, as far as I know, more intelligent and creative than the Lebanese. There are no people more stupid than them; they are fit for everything except to be patriotic. Patriotism requires teamwork, and they have become completely unable to do so.

I think or hope that the Lebanese, after reaching the bottom for a while, will come out of this current tragedy, but it is painful that he will return again and for a third time to his sect and canton. There is absolutely no guarantee that he will learn from the ordeal, especially since there are stalkers, armed militias and displaced persons in millions.

Thus, the Lebanese has no options as the black joke says:

Either to go to Rafik Hariri Hospital for treatment or leave the homeland through the Rafik Hariri Airport, in search for another homeland! Or still better meet the fate of Rafik Hariri.

Iran and America may reach an agreement, and things may calm down in Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic may reconcile but the chronic Lebanese disease that has exacerbated over centuries through accumulated historical errors will remain alive.

The feudal lord, the politician and the head of the party need a lot of money to maintain his fiefdom, for his party to continue and for his leadership to take root and this money does not come without corruption.

I set my foot at the Beirut Airport for the first time in July 1956, and have not stopped since that day. Lebanon became my horse stable and a source of imagination and fondness, a child and a teenager, and my passion as a young man, a husband and a father, and then a mature man who plans to spend the rest of his life there, perhaps to die and be buried among pine trees, and let the chirping of birds, the scent of roses, and the voice of Fayrouz be the last things I will ever experience, but it seems that the course of things may inevitably be the end in a part of the barren and dusty land of homeland, at the end of the sixty-six years of love.

email: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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