As a Lebanese, you certainly do not need to travel. You have everything you need in the confines of our infinitely beautiful country.
I mean, why would anyone want to go do anything outside of Lebanon? We have the world’s best beaches, the prettiest women, the best nightlife, the best nature sceneries, the best food, the best wine, the best everything this world has to offer.
And in case you got bored, don’t worry. There’s almost always something happening somewhere. Who would want to have the boring routine life of those pesky Europeans and Americans who think they’re better than us, with all their rules and regulations. Seriously, why would anyone want to be limited like that?
As such, ladies and gentlemen, we are in good company on a worst passports of the world list. Not that it should matter, right? The list (link) ranking the world’s worst passports has us with all those places that we love to bash, always thinking we’re better than them, always thinking their people are so much lesser than us.
Who’s on that list? Countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea, Kosovo, Pakistan, Palestine, Nepal, Sudan, Sri Lanka. Even while typing those countries, my head was listing every single joke that we, as Lebanese, have made about the people who come from those places. I guess the joke’s on us now. Those women will be livid they’re on the same list as their maids, no?
Certainly, many will now say that I’m being overly negative, that I’m being overly melodramatic when it pertains to the situation in our country, especially when it comes to the matter at hand. There will be those who have absolutely no problem with this situation because having it the other way around would mean Lebanon being in bed with all those imperialistic nations that are ruling the world and forgetting the struggles of the region we’re in. There will be those who have absolutely no problem with all the paperwork required to have countries possibly consider granting you access, maybe, to their countries and who find that addressing the issue is not important because, seriously, ma fi a7la men lebnen.
Perhaps such rankings make sense. We are in a place that can push even the most resilient and positive of people to their breaking point. Some of them even decide to leave. And I know I’ve talked about such a thing before – it’s basically why I was hesitant to write about the issue again. But is the ranking making sense reason enough to be content? What is the solution?
Talking about the state of the Lebanese passport isn’t because we like to have paperwork-free vacations in France, which I personally would love to have. It’s because our passport situation is a clear reflection of the situation that our citizenship and country bestow upon us, one that many love to turn a blind eye to because it doesn’t go hand in hand with the good image we want to portray of Lebanon and the joie de vivre we are all known for. Or maybe some of us are.
Getting our passport up to par has a pre-requisite, which is getting our citizenship up to par. It means pushing every Lebanese not to want to seek out a better life elsewhere. It means having a state that can provide for us the basic necessities in the best form possible, and then some. It means having decent roads, electricity, water, internet, equality, security, accountability, democracy. It means not having our passport system be so corrupt that we have to pay $200, effectively making our passport the most expensive in the world, for something that is this worthless.
Some of those elements are a struggle, sure. But they surely won’t happen with politicians who are content to have a diplomatic passport that can take them anywhere, who renew their mandate whenever they feel like it and who, whether we like it or not, would get re-elected anyway. The hell with us, it seems. And such an issue, in my opinion, will never be redundant. But nevermind me because seriously, fi a7la men lebnen?