The Impossibility of Pride.

Sometimes it’s tough to figure out how you’re supposed to feel about being Lebanese. I got called unpatriotic for not getting behind the Vote for Jeita campaign. Apparently, I had to blindly support something purely on the basis that it was something everyone in the country agreed on. Presumably we can all also all agree that kittens are cute, so let’s go ahead and put one on the flag. It’s not like we have many Cedar trees left anyway.

My main problem with the New7Wonders campaign that Jeita was part of was the, now well-documented, fact that it reeked of con-artistry. It felt like a scam from the very beginning. But then we Lebanese are suckers for a good scam. We get scammed about a dozen times a day, and we grumble in silence to ourselves.

Earlier, I was pounced on by a bunch of friends because I had no desire to go watch Where Do We Go Now?, Nadine Labaki’s latest cinematic offering. It was my patriotic duty to watch it apparently. Well, I don’t know how you decide on your cinema-going schedule, but patriotism doesn’t have much to do with it. I saw the trailer, it bored me half to death, so I decided not to watch it. The same happened to a lot of Americans with Transformers 3, but they weren’t ostracized or lynched on a town square as if they’d burnt the stars and stripes.

I have an Almodovar DVD box-set I’ve never touched. Does that mean I dislike him? Does it mean I hate Spain? No. No, it doesn’t. It just means I’m lacking the intellectual curiosity to delve into them at this point in time, and that I should be less trigger happy when I shop on Amazon. But I’ll get around to watching them, then I’ll make my mind up about them in my own time.

That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the fact she’s getting a ton of international recognition, and winning awards, quite the contrary. I just chose not to watch it. I probably will someday, and from what I gather from like-minded friends, I’ll like bits and pieces of it. But the vitriol to which you’re subjected for not toeing the party line, is quite shocking. The level of discourse in the country in general is reaching worrying levels of incivility. In a way, I think I avoided watching it because I was concerned I wouldn’t like it, and that would put me on the defensive when discussing it.

We’ve slipped into a worrying pattern in Lebanon, where true conversation is frowned upon. We’ve turned into a nation of Dubya Bushes, where every verbal exchange has to reach the inexorable conclusion that “you’re either with us, or you’re against us.” Any form of independent thought is discouraged outright. You cannot claim to be non-political. You cannot argue with something supposedly patriotic. Basically, you are faced with the impossibility of rational thought.

In the last couple of days we’ve had a reason to be deeply ashamed to be Lebanese, in a way we can all agree on. A couple of our politicians took it upon themselves to hurl insults as well as office furniture at each other on live television on Monday night. The YouTube video of the incident quickly made the rounds and went viral in a matter of hours, reaching hundreds of thousands of views. It was also the most watched video on BBC News yesterday, and on a bunch of other websites around the world. It’s a shame that viral videos are normally of kids saying cute and silly things about Halloween candy or X-Factor contestants belting out cheesy tunes after a video montage of how they were adopted by a pack of monkeys when they were 6, but ours are about bickering politicians.

The experience of watching the video was cyclical. The first time I watched it, I was just disgusted. The second time, I was saddened. By the third time I was laughing. By the fourth, I was thinking maybe it was time to find that tattered suitcase, fill it up, and head for the airport.

Political discourse has never been a shining beacon of civility in Lebanon, not by any measure. But the increasing polarizaiton is having a trickle-down effect on the population at large. I mean, I probably care more about the Large Hadron Collider than I do about Lebanese politics, but you cant help but feel its insidious effects on a daily basis.

People look to their leaders as an example, whether they voted for them or not. It’s much like working in a company, if you think your boss is a bit of an idiot, you don’t take your job too seriously. If he or she is aggressive, you become aggressive. If you admire them, you aspire to become a harder worker and to achieve more. So when we see our politicians endlessly calling each other names and engaging in infantile and corrupt behaviour, can we really expect the population at large to aspire to more than this.

Maybe we could do with a little less testosterone in our leadership. A friend of mine on Facebook posted a status lamenting the fact that the role of women in Lebanese politics is reduced to being featured as mothers and sisters in the insults of male politicians. I’m afraid she’s right on the money with that one. Maybe if we had better people representing us, who actually conversed with one another rather than at eachother, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today. It’s becoming very hard to be proud to be Lebanese, however pretty Jeita is.

On a brighter note, the Lebanese national football team beat South Korea in a world cup qualifier yesterday. And the country went nuts. You’d think we had just beaten Brazil in an actual World Cup final.  But all we’d really won were three points. As Anthony Semaan over at the Football Supernova points out, “Lebanon have not yet qualified. Not only do Lebanon have to beat the UAE in February to officially qualify to the next round of the Asian Qualifying section for the World Cup 2014, but if they do win, they will have to qualify from another pool of 5 teams – with 8 matches to prove themselves over the course of a year between 2012 and 2013”. How can we explain the euphoria after such a victory? I’d say it’s a symptom of a country thirsty for something to be proud of. And those eleven men on that pitch did make us proud. And I hope they keep doing it, because we haven’t got much else going for us right now.

40 Responses to “The Impossibility of Pride.”

  1. Ogie
    November 16, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    Nasri, you’re right. But I think aside from talking about it, aside from taking pride in football, we have to hope, right? I hate nationalism because in the end, it’s fake. It’s a huge facade that is supposed to bring everyone together. But I also think it’s something that’s necessary because there’s very few alternatives that work (correct me if I’m wrong). Especially in a place like here in Lebanon. Were people excited yesterday just to go to a free match in a stadium they never get to sit in? Or were they actually happy about Lebanon’s victory? We Lebanese love to celebrate, but the real question is when people will actually celebrate their fellow Lebanese on a consistent basis, even if it goes against what their politicians say, even if these people are not in their religion, even if it means that they have to take a stand against polluting and looting the country of all the good things it actually has.

    We talk about all of this stuff. But what’s the solution?

    P.S. That MTV fight… how professional and amiable, eh?

  2. Al
    November 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

    Do you know why your work is a piece of art? Because it came at exactly the right time. My facebook and blackberry news feeds yesterday were flooded with jokes/cheers/links etc.. about MTV’s fighting match in the morning and the football match in the evening. Today, NOBODY is discussing the monstrosity that happened in Tyre. Because, just like you said, no room for rational discussions.

  3. Fadi
    November 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    I think we need less testosterone in daily life, not just politics. How else would you explain the guy who steps out of his car and wants to get into a fight just because he didn’t like you honking your horn at him in traffic ?

    As for the role of women, if more women in politics are going to deliver the same stellar performance by the likes of Nayla Tueni, I’m not sure that would do.

    I agree that women are largely misrepresented, a fate they share with the mentally well-balanced Lebanese, who eventually get sick of hoping that the rest of the country will come to their senses, and pack whatever’s left of their hopes and dreams in a tiny little suitcase and go look for like-minded people elsewhere.

    I’m not one for nationalism, but unfortunately next time someone asks me where I’m from, and I say “Lebanon”, the first thing he might think of could be those two politicians fighting, and I know that somehow I will end up feeling somewhat apologetic of my nationality..

  4. Sareen
    November 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Loved this article! Regarding your last point, I think the Lebanese wanted to celebrate just about after they lost their position as part of the new *cough* scam *cough* 7 wonders.

  5. Nathalie Dib
    November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    Nasri,

    I do agree with you that this whole Lebanese chauvinism is really too much, but i understand it. If you have a kid who’s failing in everything at school let’s say, won’t u go all cheerleader on the kid if he scores well in some of his exams???Same for Lebanon. That doesn’t mean you don’t still think everything else is madness.

    Also, Politicians fighting on tv is not a Lebanese trait of character. It happens in many other countries and civilized ones i might add. So can we please stop the drama and just think of it as 2 losers fighting about a topic not even related to Lebanon! I’m not supporting it of course and i truly believe its a shame but it really doesn’t deserve all the “brouhaha”.

  6. Sareen
    November 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    I meant to say “celebrate just about anything” in the above comment :)

  7. Gaby
    November 16, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Right on the money!!
    Its such a shame to be Lebanese these days and how you describe your reaction to the MTV video is exactly how it went down on my side as well. I totally agree with Fadi’s comment as well regarding the need for less testosterone in daily life! Lebanese have gone beyond frustration, it has become an official national epidemic.

  8. Nasri Atallah
    November 16, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Ogie – Well, hope is by definition something you hold onto while your aspirations aren’t fulfilled, so I’d say hope is pretty much all we have to go on. The problem with celebrating punctual events, is that they don’t necessarily fit into an overarching narrative. So, we’re happy about football today, but does that really fit into a discourse of national pride?
    I don’t know what the solition is. It’s looking pretty bleak and unsolvable to me.

    AI – Thank you for the kind words. I agree, what happened in Tyre is inexcusable (as were the similar attacks on similar places in July). I hope there’s an appropriate response, and a safeguarding of people’s places of work and leisure. Luckily there were no casualties.

    Fadi – Less testosterone would definitely be a good thing. I’m taken aback sometimes by the speed with which everyday situations descend into violence and aggression around town. You know, some well-adjusted and civil people try to keep a positive outlook, and fight (peacefully) for their country and they try to ix bits and pieces of it. But I’m not sure the country wants to be fixed. The clientalism and corruption makes it sick to its core. Maybe it’s a losing battle.

    Sareen – He. Any excuse to celebrate. It was a great result though! For a team that must feel neglected because everyone has decided they get to support teams half way around the world. Must have felt nice for them.

    Nath – Oh, believe me, I know politicians fight around the world. I actually went through a few top 10 lists of parliament brawls yesterday (Taiwan and Ukraine are my favourites, in case you’re wondering). There’s always something shocking about seeing grown men in suits, who hold positions of prominence, resort to the most basic violent reactions. Whether it’s in Lebanon or the US Congress. I think there should always be indignation at that. And in the Lebanese context, it fits into a pattern of anger and division and mutual disrespect. That’s why it’s more worrying to me.

  9. Ali Sleeq
    November 16, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    You must be a Zionist agent. Prepare to die.

    *sarcasm*

    … or not?

  10. Gregory v. Bonin Mac James
    November 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    “Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious”… Oscar Wilde said it all… Thanks for another brilliant, witty article by Our Man in Beirut.

  11. Alec
    November 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Maybe parents should spend more time on becoming/teaching their children not to be with these or those in the political scene. That would give those bastards less importance and natural support as your kids age.

    on other stories: The majority of Lebanese still dont know the difference between a sidewalk and a road.

  12. Ronman
    November 16, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Spot on. And as always well written. Perhaps you should find that? tattered suitcase. I did that, though I used a fairly new one.

  13. Umm K.
    November 16, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    It’s nice reading from a fellow SOAS alum.

    I believe my husband, who is Lebanese, shares your exact sentiments. He’s struggled with it for years, actually. Lebanese near us in the US tend to be especially flabbergasted (and angry) by the lack of my husband’s enthusiasm for all things Lebanese. In fact, I probably get more excited, being the born and bred naive American.

    I think for his generation in particular, it’s hard to get enthusiastic about anything when you still haven’t gotten over the fact that you’ve lost your entire childhood and youth to the war.

    He has admitted excitement, however, about the Lebanese soccer–er, football team! :)

  14. Umm K.
    November 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I should add, that in my mind, I’m equating enthusiasm and excitement with pride…perhaps I shouldn’t think of them as the same?

  15. alex
    November 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    yesterday i made some terrible remarks about syria based on its treatment of citizens, not just now, but since years, and i also said that lebanese citizens who vote in support of syria should *insert expletive here*

    then i got called un patriotic and that i don’t want to protect the country

    this was based on the fact that apparently syria is the only thing protecting lebanon at the moment.

    Well, i said, in that case, i hope they ALL voted for Jeita Grotto

  16. Aya
    November 16, 2011 at 7:30 pm #

    We can not be proud, because we do not even have the right to be. we have become so shallow, so ignorant, so unthoughtful!

    My friends have been updating their statuses expressing how proud they are of ‘lebanon’ after the national team won, when only a few days back, they have ignored voting for jeita, made fun of the voters, some of them even saying “who cares if we win”.
    this is not about whether Jeita won or not. it is not about whether Jeita is privatized or still owned by the local government, which was the frequent excuse of the non-voters) We, as human beings (to begin with), must have our thoughts and actions in harmony. these two have to be consistent. otherwise, we r just.. mmm insane, nonhuman, paradoxical!

    imagine that a friend of mine replied saying that “jeita requires 0.1 dollar from me whereas the football game does not. i like things that are for free”! imagine how ignorant and shallow!

    i can not believe that such people have come to existence!

  17. Charbel
    November 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Eh wallah “thirsty for something to be proud of”

  18. Nasri Atallah
    November 16, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

    Gaby – Thanks!

    Ali – LOL that’s the standard response isn’t it.

    Gregory – Thank you very much.

    Alec – I know! being a pedestrian in Beirut is like a deathwish. I try to only walk when it’s not rush hour and I won’t be crushed, but then the valets take over the pavements with their cars. Sigh.

    Ronman – at this point I’d settle for a weekend bag.

  19. G.Tarazi
    November 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

    Great article, great timing, as always.
    “You cannot claim to be non-political”… but u are, this article is so political. It is also patriotic in a sense that it rejects “fake patriotism”, like u rejected “fake joie de vivre” previously.

    There’s certainly a will for less testosterone in the country. Labaki’s films’ popularity proves it.
    But less testosterone isn’t enough. We also need more estrogen:

    One of the solutions proposed by Labaki’s female characters to distract men from fighting, is sex. But – oddly enough- it is an imported sex, brought by ukrainian prostitutes.
    What does this tell me? Probably that the estrogen ambassadors aren’t confident enough to do it themselves.
    As far are we are concerned: “sex, but no sex”…

    All the best.

  20. Nasri Atallah
    November 16, 2011 at 9:39 pm #

    Umm K – Greetings fellow SOAS survivor. The enthusiasm is cyclical too. You get very excited about the potential, and you’re more crushed for it when the reality hits you in the face. And calling the game soccer is inexcusable ☺

    Alex – Vote Jeita! Woohoo.

    Aya – I kind of agree with your friends though, in this very specific context. True nationalism shouldn’t cost the price of a text message. Pride shouldn’t be part of a private competition.

    Charbel – ☺

  21. Caline M
    November 16, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Nasri, I think you should represent us.

  22. Nasri Atallah
    November 17, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    G. Tarazi – Thank you, as always :)
    I stick by non-political comment. I don’t consider what I said here to be political in the Lebanese sense of the term. ie it is not partisan. And when I say I’m not political, I mean I don’t follow or engage in Lebanese politics (calling it politics is pretty generous, it’s basically tribal wheeling and dealing). I’m obviously political in the broader sense, that I have what would be called (in US terms) a liberal view of the world and civil service etc.

    As for your point about the sex, sure. I’ve often argued that if everyone got laid more often there would be far less traffic accidents!

    Caline – ha, thanks

  23. DS
    November 17, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    I received this link as a broadcast (these I usually ignore) but for some reason I decided to open it. I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this piece. Well written! Which is why I feel the need to comment.
    You bring up valid points. Jeita campaign was thrown at the lebanese public out of nowhere demanding votes without really much of an explanation about what benefits it would bring. The politicians’ fight was just another reminder of tension and conflict we’ve been living in for years. This time, though, everyone (even those who have given up and have avoided keeping up with politics) was reminded and directly involved.
    You mention leadership and how the public imitates their leaders behaviors, whether they choose them or not. In reality the population at large is concerned with one pattern of behavior: behavior aimed at providing the basic services and facilities needed for its survival. Once that is provided, maybe then (as we get closer to what we call civilization) can we start speaking of pride and nationalism. What do I get out of being lebanese? Decent healthcare? Education? Job opportunities? Jeita? But it is what I am and there’s no reason to be ashamed of it. The americans are thought of as stupid, not cultured, the french dirty, the arabs terrorists? Does that mean we should all be less proud of who we are? I think it just means that were a step closer to knowing what we want to be. And that’s a tiny step forward, no?
    This takes me to the next point about women. I don’t think its about women being more politically involved. I think a woman’s status in lebanese society is a bit confused. We go back to a comment previously made: sex but no sex. So as for women here, I don’t know what they want to be in lebanon.
    Thanks for the food for thought. The fact that you write about these things means you still believe in something lebanese.
    All the best and sorry for the long messy comment.

  24. F.
    November 17, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    This is extremely well-written and applies to the whole Arab world.

    The freaky part is you’re referring to my friend here:

    “A friend of mine on Facebook posted a status lamenting the fact that the role of women in Lebanese politics is reduced to being featured as mothers and sisters in the insults of male politicians.”

    What a small world!

  25. jane
    November 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Nasri,
    desolee, mais il ne m’est possible d’etre spontanee que dans la langue de tante Eugenie. Quand Labaki a sorti son Caramel ca n’etait absolument pas un chef d’œuvre, loin de la. Mais, Caramel et sa lesbienne d’estheticienne a change la configuration mentale de ma mere-grand de 75 ans qui a subitement accepte, mais pas compris, que les lesbiennes ca existait. Je sais, c’est loin d’etre un grand pas pour l’humanite mais ca reste un grand pas pour mon aïeule et pour d’autres puisque ca a fait que les gens ont ete quelque part obliges d’en parler plutot que de le denier. Tu me diras, y a d’autres moyens et on n’a pas forcement besoin de bien s’epiler pour y voir plus clair… C’est terrible a dire mais si. on en est encore la. Le dernier Labaki n’est pas non plus un chef d’œuvre, mais comme pour le premier il fait passer un petit quelque chose, qui ne va surement rien changer mais qui parle a un niveau qui peut etre entendu par la masse. Et il a fait parler. Le seul hic, c’est que le message est tres vite dilue puisque beaucoup ont un regard tres exterieur sur ce qu’ils voient. Plutôt que de faire des liens entre ce qu’ils ont vecu de la guerre, ce qu’ils ont entendus, et ce que le film aurait pu apporter comme tremplin de questionnement quelconque, ils projettent tout ca et tout devient totalement etranger et donc rien ne change. C’est tout aussi vrai pour nos deux chouchous de la mtv. Tout le monde est offusque et rigole mais 99% de la population reagi tous les jours de facon aussi primitive… jeita, la coupe du monde….on est libanais qu’en competition avec le monde. On n’existe que dans le conflit.

  26. Todd
    November 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Another thought-provoking and enjoyable post!

    As a recent arrival to Beirut, I will withhold judgment on the Lebanese mentality towards patriotism and how that relates to supporting Lebanese products. About this I would only say that my impression is that Lebanese people are products of their environment, and as such they are as complicated in their allegiances and actions as Lebanon is complicated in its history and politics.

    About the Jeita Grotto thing in particular, I have been here long enough to at least witness the final months of the campaign. I think you (and Gino and others) are correct that it is a scam. However, I think it is also entirely possible that the Ministry of Tourism also realized that it is a scam. When we add it all up, the Lebanese government probably gave a few million dollars to the N7W scammers, and spent a few million more subsidizing votes and advertising within Lebanon. One management consultancy (Grant Thornton) estimated the value of winning the competition at $1billion over the first 5 years. I presume this estimate was commissioned either by N7W or one of the other finalist countries, and as such should have almost no meaning or external validity (obviously any such estimate would depend heavily on the circumstances of the country in question). Nonetheless, I imagine the Ministry of Tourism was operating under the assumption that the expected value of winning the competition was positive, and probably more than enough to cover the few millions of dollars they spent. Why do I say this? Well I presume everyone who is criticizing the “expected increase in tourists” is thinking that this is the only source of revenue. But my guess is that there was some sort of licensing deal, where visitors to any of the other winners of the competition would buy merchandise bearing the trademarks of Jeita Grotto, and there would be some significant revenue derived from such licensing deals. Of course I am operating mostly on guesswork here, because the fact is that the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Information (as far as I can tell) never clearly communicated what the expected benefits might be to Lebanon of winning this competition; their strategy was to play to emotional/patriotic fervor.

    Now, the second (equally plausible) possibility, in my opinion, is that the Ministry of Tourism realized it was a scam, and was willing to spend, say $10million, on a scam simply on the chance that even a tiny contribution of positive international publicity will have a long-term effect. The truth is, for many of the world’s tourists, Lebanon has an image problem. Sure, all of my twenty-something friends from Europe and the US are jealous that I moved here. But their parents, and my parents, and their friends, lived through the 1980s. A decade’s worth of negative press seems to take a long time to forget. Taking part in this scam, and the limited positive press that is derived from it will probably make little difference to Lebanon’s overall image to the tourists of the world. But it also certainly doesn’t hurt, and I think it’s possible that if I had access to all the information the Ministry of Tourism used to make their decisions, I might come to the same conclusion that $10million for this scam wasn’t such a bad bargain.

  27. Rana Martin
    November 29, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

    Thank you for your post. Can i just add that the lebanese, in general, (yes i know, i know) don’t take criticism very well. Try criticising their work, it’s like you’re insulting their mothers. I had to go through the same pseudo-patriotic peer pressure a lot recently. Also, the “with us or against us” divide is very scary to me, it’s clearly a narrative inherited by the civil war and shows just how much our desperatly frustrating country is segmented. This patriotic dominant discourse actually points to a failed nation, rather than nationalism.

  28. Greene
    November 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Oh no! Totally unrelated but: I just read in the scan of that glossy magazine (read the superior sneer) that ‘Our Man in Beirut’ is a reference to the BBC and not Graham Greene, nor the stupidity of intelligence services or hilariously abstruse ‘native’ gossip. Would have been such a brilliant meme for so many things Lebanese.

  29. jane
    December 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    nasri , just out of curiosity , did you watch ” where do we go now ” yet :p
    “thirsty for something to be proud of” eh wallah you are right

  30. V.
    December 5, 2011 at 11:36 am #

    Well said Nasri! just got to know about ur blog yesterday and this was the first post i read this morning.
    I have been living abroad for many years, i am anti-politics and dont even like to watch the news of lebanon. I am very proud i have been raised in a lebanese family but i am not at all proud of the country itself…

    It was really sad and frustrating when everybody started sharing the politicians fight on facebook, did they think it was so funny to broadcast such a shameful scene to the entire world?!

    I did not vote for Jeita and was impatiently waiting for this whole thing to be over… it made me sick seeing all those ads, banners and campaigns on the roads when i was visiting, if they are so good in marketing, why dont they focus on fixing the bad things first before having Jeita as a wonder?

    i believe many steps shall be taken towards the improvement of this country, first of which is that lebanese people need to grow-up and stop being shallow…. they need to be proud of themselves and not the passport they r holding or the political party they belong to…

  31. Nasri Atallah
    December 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    V. – I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and sharing some frustrations.

  32. Nasri Atallah
    December 6, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    Jane – Not yet. Shame on me, I know. :)

  33. Nasri Atallah
    December 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Greene – I was thinking war correspondant rather than spy when I came up with the name. I now realize spy is cooler. Maybe I’ll lie and say that was the idea all along lol

  34. Nasri Atallah
    December 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Rana Martin – Thank you for all your comments. And your blog is cool :)

  35. Rana Martin
    December 7, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    No, Nasri, my blog is awesome.

  36. beirutbeat.com
    January 9, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

    I thought you were supposed to be British and therefore pathologically ambivalent about nationality.

    Unless, that is, you are on holiday in Greece and a troupe of pot-bellied, sunburned, drunken louts stagger by hurling guttural obscenities at locals and dropping their cheap swim trunks to reveal flabby white backsides.

    In which case you feel nothing but shame.

  37. Fouad
    January 10, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Hey Nasri,

    I’m new to your Blog and just read “The Impossibility of Pride.”
    I see the point that you make and agree with you 100% on the logic in your thinking.

    But i have to say that it all makes sense to me on the way most of us Lebanese carry on… For a country who’s main headline topic has been been politics and adversity for so many years, the people need any excuse (literally any excuse) to shift the limelight onto something else. I think it gives people a break from their daily grind and routine.

    I consider myself well-traveled, and upon people i meet knowing that i’m Lebanese, i always get the same comment..”we’ve never met any people who love their country and/or are proud of it as much as Lebanese” .. and i think most here would agree.

    ….and as much as I am rational in my thinking and never follow anything or anyone blindly, I must confess that I voted for Jeita, maybe out of Pride, maybe not. But this beautiful patch of land needs any chance it can get to promote it in a good way and hopefully as a destination for many tourists (That way they can judge it for themselves!!).

    Your thoughts?

    Fouad

    Having said that i’

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