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On Other Blogs: From Beirut to the Beltway

On Other Blogs: Jeha"s Nail - مسمار جحا

On Other Blogs: Blacksmiths of Lebanon

On Other Blogs:The Beirut Spring

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The First Flag of Lebanon... Immigrated to Canada

On the occasion of the Independence Day of Lebanon, I thought that this gem from Now Lebanon is the most deliciously sad bit of irony, if there ever was such a thing.

In particular, the author of the relevant report , decided to visit Bshamoun and the house in which the free members of government in 1943 sought refuge from the French who had incarcerated the president and prime minister among others. In any case, to cut a long story short, May the granddaughter of the 1943 owner of the house - and the current occupant of said iconic residence - is at one point prodded repeatedly as to the whereabouts of the first flag of Lebanon. Loosely translated, the conversation went like this.

"Where is it?" She is asked.

"Its rotting but its preserved."

"Yes but where?"


"Preserved where?"

"In Canada"

"Why in Canada?"

"My mother took it with her when she left."

"Why did your mother leave?"

"To be with my brothers, they are all there."


"Because this country is not big enough for its children."

I guess in a way, its fitting that the first ever flag of Lebanon, ends up in Canada, thereby fulfilling the Lebanese dream... of immigrating.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

When Silence is Golden

Every time president Michel Sleiman represents Lebanon at an international event and the press reports excerpts from the speeches he gives, I take a deep breath, sigh, rub my forehead and wonder. Most recently

He told the U.N. interfaith conference in New York that Lebanon is a place for coexistence and a country functioning as a "laboratory" of interfaith and cultural dialogue.
Lebanon is "rich in its diversity…Lebanon is qualified in having a wider room for interfaith dialogue," he said in his address.

You gotta love the way the faiths "dialogue" in Lebanon. In fact we should take this model and generalize it to the entire world. Nothing like sectarian warfare on a worldwide scale every few decades... Makes me wonder whether I am living in some alternate universe or whether the president is, or whether he just thinks that the world is too dumb to notice that his words don't match our history or our politics... Its just painful.

PS: I just noticed that the title I chose for this post is fitting - on more levels than what I had intended. This blog has been quiet for quite a while and most other political blogs on Lebanon have seen very little activity recently as well. To this blogger, our collective silence is a testament to the disgust we feel towards the situation in Lebanon. I don't even have any idea why of all the recent events in Lebanon I chose to comment on this one...