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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The End of a Bad Dream and The Beginning of a Bad Reality

I originally wrote this on August 11, 2006, I am posting it now untouched.

Too many days and too many lives lost after the beginning of the sad affair that we have all experienced one way or the other, the fighting is drawing to a close. For me and for countless others dispersed in countless cities all over the globe and more importantly in Lebanon, this signals the end of a bad dream, the end of a nightmare. We have witnessed systematic destruction, death, and the force of ruthless players who view us merely as pawns in a game much bigger than we are. Now, we are left to awaken only to find that in place of the bad dream, we are confronted with a bad reality.

We look at our Lebanon only to see all the lives lost and all the destruction we have been dealt. So we look beyond, and staring us in the face are monumental challenges. Challenges the likes of which the Lebanese have seen many times before. We have an economy that has been all but shattered, an environmental disaster on our coastline, and the threat of the spread of disease. We have at least tens of thousands of refugees with no homes to go back to, and whether we like it or not some threat of worsening sectarian strife. These are challenges that we have overcome before, and with some luck, hard work and international assistance, will overcome again.

But the biggest challenge of all, the challenge that Lebanon has failed to overcome time and time again is that of averting disaster. Our nation has failed to admit that we have an ailing socio-political system, and even when it has admitted that, it has failed to cure itself. Thus, on our shoulders lies a heavy burden, the burden of responsibility to ourselves and to our country. It is up to us to make sure that none of the conditions that set us on a collision course with each other are ever allowed to fester again. It is up to us to ensure that we will never again be tools used by others, be they "brotherly" neighbors, "friendly" countries, or flat out foes. It is up to us to alleviate the squalor, marginalization and poverty that allows fanatics and fundamentalists to fester in our midst. And it is up to us to realize that no one but us will do it.

There will be great difficulty as there as those amongst us that want us to fail. They will accuse us of breaking national unity and of serving foreign interests. They will do their best for us to fail, giving speeches about pride and honor, reneging on their promises and stalling for time. Meanwhile, they form or support militias, import weapons from foreign countries and devote themselves to the service of alien agendas. We are up against a battle for people's minds and loyalties, and the equation is simple. Formation of a modern state founded on the principles of rule of law, tolerance and diversity is victory. Anything short of that, and we are back to the Lebanon of the 1980s, if not now, then inevitably in the not so distant future.

The war was our bad dream, this is our bad reality, but the future is ours to shape!


Avraham said...

Very true and to the point. We need to turn our precious resources away from fighting each other, and fully in the direction of building healthy, prosperous and spiritually meaningful lives for our families, our community and our neighbors. Let's celebrate the beautiful land and the gift of life that the Creator grants each one of us every day. When we all take this attitude and this approach to living, there will be more than enough to go around for everyone.

Lirun said...

but do u really think the internal divides are money related?