Blog Article: How to write about Lebanon? By Tia Najjar, IB2

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

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How to write about Lebanon? There’s only one way: “no way”. Lebanon is…oh wait, is it? “Lebanon? Where is that, I’ve never heard of it”, some might respond. “Oh my God you’re Lebanese! Are you a terrorist? Do you live on the roads? Do you know what the internet is? How do you live with all this garbage!?”, others may say. And on the contrary, many would react with “no way! Lebanon, let’s go party! I could really use some good hummus and tabbouleh at the moment…”. So, what am I? Let me sum it up for you…I’m Lebanese!

Lebanon, that tiny country located on the boarders of the Mediterranean Sea. You see it? Right there, next to Syria, Cyprus, and Occupied Palestine… Found it? So tiny, yet so huge. So rich, yet so poor. So poor, yet so generous. Corrupt, problematic, confused, but pure, beautiful, familiar too. A country in which you’re constantly surrounded by family, strangers yet acquaintances, who are willing to give their all in a time of need. But you also have rape, kidnappings, and loose criminals…

Yes, we do have a government, that we elected…wait what government? “Man, the government is so corrupt… I mean like what the heck, there’s a rule for stoplights now! No way I stay in Lebanon.” “Omg! How cool we don’t need IDs to get in! Finally, I can drive at 13! I love Lebanon!” A president? Meh, can do with, can do without…even if it’s as long as a year. Don’t worry though, we have one now, we’ve reintroduced this concept three years ago… Where we follow blindly, yet are aware of every choice we’re making. Hard working, but lazy. Hopeless, and hopeful.

Lebanon, where all people are family, the land of Churches and Mosques. No no, it’s not what you’re thinking…they’re built wall to wall…Where Muslims and Christians are brothers, yet religion, and political parties are the core of our problems. Where we kill our brothers with no heart, yet attend their funeral with deep sorrow.

A country where you can ski in the mountains, yet a trip to the beach is not a bad idea either…it’s just two hours away. No money, yet restaurants are fully booked. So much garbage, yet one of the most luxurious downtowns. Classy women, yet prostitution is a booming industry. People…so straight to the point, yet so sneaky.

Lebanon? A flag with a green cedar at its center, yet the cedar is on fire? A place where sacrifice is at its core, yet crisis is a source of entertainment? I wonder what the non-Lebanese watch on the news!

Lebanon? Can’t live with it, can’t live without it…We want to leave, but we just always come back…Seeing it, is something, being it, is another… So now that I’ve told you about Lebanon, in the simplest complex way, you tell me, how would you write about Lebanon?

By Tia Najjar, IB 2, 2019