I don’t think, therefore I am!

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.

And my answer is simple: I don’t “live” here, I “stay” here!

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:

“Ask not what you have done for your country. Ask what your country has done for you!”


18 Responses to “I don’t think, therefore I am!”

  1. October 15, 2010 at 16:58

    Absolutely AGREE!
    I’m living in that state of mind…remember I mentioned on Twitter that I’ve been News-less for a while…I love that.

  2. 2 carla
    October 15, 2010 at 17:45

    Couldn’t agree more!

  3. 3 Theo
    October 15, 2010 at 18:03

    Very refreshing to hear someone express their God given sovereign right ‘not’ to buy into the ‘nonsense’.

  4. 4 Dar El Akhdar
    October 15, 2010 at 21:51

    You speak for us all!
    I simply hope that I won’t be forced to leave, what will always remain MY country, anytime soon 🙂

  5. 5 Alia
    October 16, 2010 at 12:11

    There is nothing more pathetic than the Lebanese.
    I seriously dont understand when lebanese ppl r gonna wake up!!! “If they did”
    Lebanese are goverened and emotionally manipulated by the dumbest politicians on earth..
    I really can’t express how amazing this is…Brilliant article!!

  6. 6 Nivine
    October 17, 2010 at 17:58

    In my opinion patrotism is not about politics, or political parties, or any other man made concept
    It’s merely about giving tahmks to the land that was gracious enough to accept you, allow you to live on it’s soil and give you all the good in it’s land.
    So instead of overecomplicating things, why don’t we give thanks and be greatfull that we found a place we can call home.

    • October 17, 2010 at 18:11

      Thank you for your comment. Allow me to tell you why it’s not about over complicating things as you say:

      1- We make the Land, the Land does not make us. The land without us is simply nothing, just a piece of empty land.

      2- We elect people (that some like to call politicians, but I like to call civil “servants”) and pay their salaries from our own flesh and blood, called “taxes”. Those servants are supposed to serve us AND the land.

      3- When they get corrupt, or even better, “we” get corrupt and get payed to elect those jackasses, things go wrong. Since they hold the power, they sell us AND the land.

      So, the concept of Land is relative only to what and how much you make of it. Ages ago, the Land was for everyone. We drew borders, created wars and “causes” just out of greed and lust for the Earth’s riches. To camouflage it all, we created a new word: Patriotism.

      So, with all due respect, where there is no freedom, there’s no Land. And where there’s no Land, there’s no patriotism or anything to be thankful for… unless maybe the “Land” be thankful to us for tolerating all the pain and sorrow watching it being raped by politicians and their followers.

    • 8 Theo
      October 17, 2010 at 19:07

      There is nothing complicated here.

      Not one instance of this ‘give thanks and be grateful’, you make mention of, exists anywhere on earth, where the “lands” are governed by ignorant, barbaric and insane religious or political figureheads.

      But the real insanity lay with the majority who stand by, while they allow a minority, those elected to represent them, to brainwash them with patriotic rhetoric, whilst simultaneously leading them over a cliff edge and into a precipice.

      There is nothing to be ‘patriotic’ or ‘thankful’ about that.

  7. 9 BeirutiAdventures
    October 19, 2010 at 02:20

    “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 guess you can add me to this “list” of impossibles, who don’t claim a political party to follow. Its not the fact that you (and I) do not claim a specific political group and so on that is most striking, it’s the reaction you get when you tell people this. It’s like you MUST be in a group to be “Lebanese”. More people should follow your footsteps and forget about these groups!

    I’m glad you linked this in a comment on my latest point.
    Keep up the awesome work!

  8. 10 Dan
    October 20, 2010 at 19:47

    I don’t follow anybody and hate them all (if i know them)….It is definitely not necessary to love a country because u were born there (what a reason!)…sorry to break it up to you: You are not a rebel you are reasonable

  9. October 22, 2010 at 14:40

    I don’t follow anyone…

    I believe mostly in every word you said… but I couldn’t help but wonder if we’re not choosing the easiest way to deal with a problem…

    I don’t think you’re a rebel at all, neither am I… I think we’ll be rebels when we’ll start doing something, when we’ll strive for a change… do everything we can, take risks…
    So far, we’re just neglecting authority… we just don’t care… we’re leaving it alone, letting it be and do whatever it wants… we’re not doing anything…

    “And my answer is simple: I don’t “live” here, I “stay” here!”
    If you were living here… what would you do ?

    • October 22, 2010 at 15:26

      Thank you very much for your reply. I did actually “live” here for years. I did a lot but this is not the forum to talk about my achievements or doings. All I can tell you is that if someone like me got to this point, trust me, it is a hopeless situation. Throughout our modern history, so many tried to do a lot. Look where they ended up…

      As far as I am concerned, I will “stay” here because I have no choice to “live” elsewhere. Unfortunately, I was not blesses with the riches to buy myself a foreign passport. Still, I am indeed doing something, just as you are by replying to my post. Each one of us is doing something his own way. My way, is to write and engage people like you and all those who commented, to create a collective intellectual storm. Maybe… just maybe, if one day we find a politician who speaks good English, knows what Internet means, and actually reads blogs… Something will be done.

      I am not a politician or a civil servant. Until I get elected to be one, we have a plethora of civil servants whose job is to do something. That’s what they’re paid for. That’s their job. Unless…. They, too, “stay” here.

      Thanks again for your input

  10. 13 meinlebanon
    October 26, 2010 at 12:05

    As a non-Lebanese I am not qualified to comment on the political situation in Lebanon, but I will say that almost everyone I know is so far removed from politics here! How do these people still get elected into office? I don’t get it!

    Love the new you @ebyking!

  11. 14 Hiba Hassanieh
    June 4, 2011 at 19:45

    As they say:masses are asses!!!Thats why they go on and on electing those people to “represent us”

  12. June 13, 2011 at 21:13

    It is absolutely true! I used to think of myself as weird for not belonging to the leader of ‘my sect’ whomever the hell it is! And I was (and still am) sick at the way people think and justify atrocities. People find it weird when I criticized politicians whom (according to them) should be my leaders….Oh no never!

  13. October 5, 2014 at 06:36

    It’s great that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as from our discussion made here.

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