Friday, June 10, 2011

Lebanon Would be Better: with Less Salt and Pepper (wink wink)

A couple of months back, a couple of boys (almost 20 yrs old, well they ARE young!) Karim Badra and Sherif Maktabi, decided upon a project where they tried to "make Lebanon better in the best way they can."

I came across this SUPER FANTASTIC idea of theirs in a couple of blogs I've been reading here's one and here's another,  and then I read about it in the Daily Star.

The dudes, bless their young hearts, decided they would make a sort of "huge suggestion box for Lebanon" which wasn't really a box at all but a spray painted line saying "Lebanon would be better" on a wall in Ras Beirut, under which they wrote “Lebanon would be better if I” in black spray paint 25 times and added below each heading an equal number of black lines, leaving a cup full of chalk near the wall.

Of course, any one passing by would be curious to write what he or she thinks is the way to improve Lebanon in his or her opinion.  How else can we arrive late everywhere?  But at least this time it's for a good cause, right?

Lebanon is known for its many varied and contradictory opinions.  We all know that, and somehow we seem to find that a lovable trait.  If only it didn't lead to wars, displacement, corruption, elitist attitudes, ethnocentric mentalities, dogmatic souls, and things of the sort.

Anyway.  Some people decided to take the initiative and remove the "I" from the "if I" and suggest a way Lebanon could be better.  Some took it seriously, and some didn't, and some came a couple of days later and scribbled all over the suggestions like the immature pissing dogs that they are.  Excuse my Arabic.

So to make a long and sad story, short and hopefully resuscitated, I would suggest that we start our own little wall over here.



O kay.


I will etfaddal awwal shee, and suggest my 2 cents.  or dirhams, or liras, or whatever.
In my humble thirty-two-year-old opinion, I believe Lebanon would be better if I politicians AND the PEOPLE (i.e. the public) actually understood the meaning of public service.

Shoo ya3ne? eh shoo ya3ne??

ya3ne, service OF the people.  Not the other way around like we've had it happening for generations. And all for personal benefits and re-"elections" of the same darn faces.  Politicians thinking the world owes them something!  "za3eem" oo kaza.  It's nauseating.

(Perhaps Camel milk will help?)

Abu el Khel (Gibran Khalil Gibran) said it about a zillion years ago, I'm not trying to invent the wheel, he said in the New Frontier  Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country? If you are the first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in a desert, and JFK took the credit for it of course, but being the Gibran-mentioned parasite seems appealing to most if not all of the Lebanese suits out there.


So what does yourself think?  And please refrain from mentioning unicorns, fairies, getting laid, more asians, burning Lebanon down and starting over.. These have all been said, so let's try to be a little original, and mature. Not in that sense buddy.  Mature, as in the opposite of immature. 

And this post is not written in chalk, so no one can erase or scribble over it. Ha!

(come to think of it, having unicorns wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.  Phallic symbolism aside, they're said to signify grace and healing.)

We could certainly do with a pinch of that.


  1. Lebanon would be better if it were an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, but Malta already occupies that geographic location. Tant pis!


  2. if taxis stopped calling after us. [beep beeep beep] "la wein rayhhaaaaa... ma bet redd... shoo taysiii"

  3. HaHahaha yes that would be a plus! :-)

    And LK, if ONLY!!!!!!! but alas Malta beat us to it.. so what should we do!

  4. If the Architectural department stopped tearing down the historic buildings in Hamra and replace them with $3 an hour parking lots!!

  5. yah wouldn't that be great! and gemeyzeh too. we really don't know what we have. everything's taken for granted, from the shores to the mountain tops, to the wealth of history or the damn sky that's blue almost all the year!

  6. Lebanon is not a place, it's an identity. That identity is falling apart. Lebanon used to be a place when arabs were in tents.And then it was a fine place.Now finish. Lebanon can become a better identity if we don't think of labanon as a place. Capish...

  7. I suppose you have a point hameed, but sometimes I doubt it's even an identity. It's just a bunch of people living on a piece of land thinking they've formed a country. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it feels so true and I know I didn't invent this either, rahbani said it perfectly. But even with that thought, there must be a way those bunch of people can inter-live without having to constantly and relentlessly compete for space and stupid titles.

  8. SK (not trying to offend anyone)June 12, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    I might not know how to make Lebanon as a country better because I never lived there. But I do know from my visits the driving is crazy scary. So I think maybe Lebanon would be better if People abide by the traffic rules and regulations. Maybe starting there would be a step towards some sort of order in a place filled with chaos.
    And in reply to the identity comment, I think that part of the problems that occur between the Lebanese and most people is turning their nationalities into their sole identity, then each individual or group of individuals decide what the (TRUE Lebanese identity) is and they fight! But what do I know I’m not Lebanese, I just sympathize with what it could be and what it is.

  9. I would say, add a pinch of Modesty. If we just season our mentality with this secret ingredient, maybe we can start showing each other respect while driving, or maybe greeting one another in an elevator, or maybe just maybe, when u r lower middle class and can still afford to have maid, u would treat her like a human being. Maybe if we stop looking at this Lebanese identity as this great, unique and indestructible concept, maybe then we can start working on our so many imperfections!! And maybe if parents start taking better care of their kids instead of ruminating all the rotten political, religious n social values, then maybe Lebanon will have the hope of a brighter future!

  10. Sk and Mirrey I think you just inspired me to write another post! So I'll reply to your comments there :-)
    until then, thanks for reading! and Mirey you're royally pissed off huh? :-D Miss ya.