Mne2leba Ta3ate

Knowing some people can truly help. They could provide you with a job, get you out of a tough spot, provide you with a decent future. The saying goes: behind every comfortable man in this country is a super “wasta” taking care of things.

Some people’s wasta is so strong it gets them to evade jail time entirely for trading massive amounts of drugs, ruining the lives of countless people in the process. It’s fairly straightforward: mne2leba ta3ate. (we turn their drug trading to drug use).

I will not mention acronyms or allude to names or people or political parties because the issue isn’t specific to one side of Lebanon’s political spectrum.

But do you know those major drug scandals we hear about in the news?

I know for a fact that those who are in charge of the whole affair never get reprimanded. All they get is a very, very minimal jail time that serves to “clean their system” while the bigger fish take care of all those extra loose ends that may have remained.

If you want to trade drugs in Lebanon, make sure you know someone influential. That someone could be a parliament member, it could be an family with a full blown military wing, it could also be a major political party head. Because if you know such people, you will never get caught. And even if you get caught, the only thing you get is a slap on the wrist while someone else pinches your cheek.

Good boy, they’d say. He turned his whole life around.

As for all those poor souls whose lives this good boy ruined, well, tough luck for them. They don’t know someone who can make jail time easier for them.

Mne2leba lal tajra ta3ate. Because breaking the law, ruining the lives of so many people and not facing repercussions for it is how things are done here. And they have the audacity to want to keep their shamelessness secret.

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