Since I came back to Lebanon from the Gulf back in 1999, everyone is puzzled over how I do not belong to any political party, movement, current or any form of political belief, and how I despise them all. They keep telling me that it is physically impossible to live here and not be some kind of a follower.
I have lost all sense of patriotism, at least the notion of patriotism as described over here, not the real, the pure form of patriotism. Unfortunately, that form of patriotism is not practiced anymore. Hate me if you wish, I don’t give a flip!
I lost my patriotism when I left Lebanon back in 1986. Before that, I used to get very tempting offers to leave and go work in the Gulf. I always said no. I always believed there was a hope and that the country, my Mother Land will prevail. What a fool I was!
I lost my patriotism because patriotism came to mean only one thing n Lebanon: Follower. If you follow some single-minded, under-educated, over-rated and totally spineless politician, then you’re a patriot; but if you don’t you must an agent of some super power!
I refuse to take part in a pavlovian experiment. I refuse to be told what to do, feel or think. I refuse to be conditioned. I refuse to be taught about the love of a country. I refuse to be categorized. I refuse to be assimilated by some collective consciousness guided by brainless individuals.
Am I rebel? Hell yes!
But then again, name me one rebel among our politicians… And please, for a change, think before you answer!
The dictionary describes a rebel as “a person who resists authority, control, or convention.”
I live on another planet, where there are no politicians, no politics, no causes, no parties, no movements, no resistance, no governments, no speeches, and no dogs drooling over the ring of a bell!
I had this dream: Two towns far, far away in some remote area, where no vehicle could drive and no human could walk. One of the towns is called “Aïn-Wazir” and the other is called “Kfar-Nouweb”. The former will house all of the ministers and the latter all the deputies. They will live their middle ages at leisure, fight, insult each other, do whatever they wish, but out of sight! And those who love the scene can follow!
I don’t think anymore. Instead, I dream. Thinking does not help. Dreaming gets me in a trance where politicians and politics are gone, and the country is doing great and I’m a patriot again.
John Lennon may have been high all the time, but he sure was right!
This is Lebanon. To be, you have to stop thinking. Your president must be a Maronite, your prime minister a Sunni and your head of parliament a Shia… Same applies to all public positions within the government. They don’t have to be educated, they don’t have to be experienced, they don’t have to be knowledgeable. All they have to be is from the right religion at the right time!
And you want me to be a patriot?!
Sorry JFK, but I will have to swap the words in your famous statement. When it comes to Lebanon, and after over 30 years of pain and 350.000 “real” martyrs, it should read like that: