An anecdote heard in the latter days of the 1970’s, when the civil war in Lebanon was still raging helps explain:
It was a day God, almighty, had set aside to hear grievances from any of his creations, famously made during those 6 days, before resting on the 7th.
Alaska was the first one admitted in. It thanked God for the beautiful place it was made to be, but timidly regretted the harsh cold weather it continuously faced. God agreed, and graciously awarded Alaska, some sunshine, and a warmer summer. Alaska was extremely happy and grateful.
A big stretch of desert was the second to be received. It claimed to also represent the other deserts. It thanked God for all the gorgeous dunes, the many colors of sand and oasis, they all enjoyed. However, it did draw attention to the extremely high temperatures they are constantly being subjected to. God nodded, and ordered all deserts to enjoy cooler nights, some rain, and awarded many of them underground treasure, lots of oil, but these would have to be found first.
The silhouette of the third guest was barely visible, when God voiced a rare displeasure: “You? What are you doing here? By God, what on earth do you still wish to complain about? I have awarded you, sea and mountains, snow and sunshine, the greatest weather, mostly blue skies… I have even mentioned you more than 70 times in my book. And you remain ungrateful?” Lebanon quickly replied: “Lord, I am extremely grateful, it is just that one little thing that I am still missing. Would you take the Lebanese, off my back?”
As funny to some or distasteful to others the above may sound, this “joke” and hundreds of others that ridicule the Lebanese are homemade and kernels of truth.
Most of those from abroad who have known people from Lebanon would attest the Lebanese are individually talented, educated, warm, welcoming, outgoing, adaptable, multi-cultural, and multi-linguist.
The Lebanese have also been called “Bons Viveurs”, well-travelled, worldly… Yet many of these callers, familiar with the situation in Lebanon have also wondered how those same Lebanese are content with what is obviously lacking in their country?
In Lebanon, the psyche has for decades been overwhelmed by a milieu and an ambiance that suppress citizens ambition, and outlook. Quality of life, among most of the Lebanese, is now at an all-time low. Happiness, creativity, and fulfillment have really taken a hard beating. One can easily attribute the main reason of this serious malaise to the political system, where electoral laws are mapped in such a way, that the Lebanese end up electing, time after time, representatives from the same small number of powerful families.
At Lebanonese.org, we believe that the Lebanese of all confessions, especially those millennials, are seeking and willing to invest in planning and achieving radical change. Most support a new constitution, and an electoral law, that puts the nation, for a first time, in the hands of her citizens. Most voiced action which would abolish, once and for all, the kind of politics which rendered citizens creatures susceptible to, and maneuverable by confessional and political affiliations.
The main difference between what this site calls a Lebanonese viewpoint vs. that of being Lebanese, is a change in perspective.
At Lebanonese.org, we believe that a new perpective, a new citizenship attitude, an alternative way to think… are all capable of surmounting the mental havoc that has been inflicted on the people of Lebanon.
Unfortunately, a “Lebanese” attitude, a mixture of nonchalance and resignation, has become a prevailing way of life for so many. This outlook amounts to a laissez-faire environment, closer to shooting oneself in the foot time after time, and bordering lawlessness. A Lebanonese frame of mind however, along with a new focus, will have a radical positive change on the psyche of the people of Lebanon. It will render self-mocking anecdotes, such as the one above, certainly offensive and unacceptable, rather than funny.
Here is how a Lebanonese frame of mind would fare against that of a Lebanese?
Lebanonese is a Path for a New Citizen Outlook
and a New Lebanon.
|Engaged Politically||Passive or a Follower|
|Serious When Needed||LOL is a Lifestyle|
|Proud||Proud Only in Front of Foreigners|
|Employed||Most Likely Unemployed|
|Always Seeks Knowledge||Summers are Especially Fun|
|More Likely Married||Obliged to Have to Remain Unmarried|
What are They?
|Continue to Pay 2 Electrical Bills|
|Traffic Signs are Clear, Posted,|
and Adhered to
|Gets Rear Ended is He/She|
Dares to Stop at a Red Light!
|Top of homes Red Roof Laws Obeyed||Roof Pillars and Iron bars|
Permanently Erect and Visible
for maybe, one day,
an Apartment Addition
|Builds an impressive CV/Resume||Begs a Politician / Clan Leader for a Job|
or Seeks to Become an Expat at any cost
|Writes the Definitive Book|
on the History of Lebanon
|Unaware of his History or|
Sides with one version
|Lebanonese||True! Several books have Been Written|
on How to act Lebanese.
|Emails a member of Parliament|
objecting to or supporting a bill
|Carries his “Zaim” or clan|
Leader on his Shoulders
|Would Elect Members of Parliament|
from across Lebanon
|Elects the Same 5,|
Mostly of his own sect.
|Would carry a Candle or a Sign|
when She/He takes it to the street
|Would burn a tire and|
adds to the pollution
|When in Government Employment,|
She/He is focused on their
task to Serve the People
|When in Government Employment,|
he may take mornings off
to drive his taxi, takes bribes…
|E-Gov is the Modus Operandi||Calls any official clerk a “Rais”|
or big boss, hoping to speed up his business
|Has a Citizen Number||Must constantly invest time and money|
to obtain a new “Ikhraj Qayd”,
a type of certificate of existence,
valid only for six months.
… And the List can go on and on and on.
The political rights and the quality of life of the Lebanese has been decimated by visible and unstoppable corruption. It is now a matter of life and death of their citizenship if the Lebanese do not act. No one else will act on their behalf, and certainly not act in their interest!
In support of those demanding change, Lebanonese.org believes there is a remedy for the symptoms above. It is a new constitution and a new electoral law that makes of every representative a speaker for the people. It makes politicians responsible for their tasks. It changes the government organizational chart in a manner that does away with politicians’ attempt to divide and allocate the loot among themselves. It puts an end to the use, misuse, and abuse of the Lebanese Citizen by their Zaims.
The Lebanese Citizenship, in practice, has failed! That is why the remedy is to be driven by a Lebanonese frame of mind. This one embraces an instinct of “What’s good for Lebanon, is good for me”. Lebanonese is spelled in the obvious way where “Lebanon” comes first and precedes the part which denominates it as adjective and refers to the new citizenship. Just like “n”, when added to America forms the adjective of a proud Citizenship.
Lebanonese.org invites you to join its ranks and aspire to a version of a Plan and Path which you will enhance, approve, support, and call for, the soonest before the next Parliamentary (By May 2022) and Presidential Elections (By October 2022).
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