You’re Lebanese. You wake up every day and, wherever you are, your mind revolves around the same thing: what’s happening in your country. If things are going well, you worry they’d go bad. If they’re bad, you worry they go even worse. We always worry. We always try to imagine we can get things to change. We try to make things change. We have tried. We felt we succeeded at one point. And then everything came crumbling apart.
Life in Lebanon is like a chess game. Those who stick it out till the end mentally are those who triumph. I’d like to think this is not the end. I’d like to think that everything all the thousands of martyrs died for is not going down the drain. I’d like to think the people we looked up to did not lose their lives for a country that was always stillborn.
I mean, who are we kidding? Have we ever been truly a nation? We, Christians, ruled for a while. We did not rule fairly. So the civil war erupted. You can believe the cause of the civil war to be whatever you like. But what is definitely sure is that conflict is rooted in injustice. People who feel they are equal do not need to revolt. Then began the Sunni rule of the country. And soon enough, other people “felt” they were subject to injustice, issuing a cascade of events leading to what’s happening today. Have we ever been truly united? Ever since I can remember, I’ve never heard of my country other than being a division of camps. You remember those movies about rival summer camps across the river competing for a certain prize? that’s how things have always been. That’s how things will always be.
I’d like to imagine that a radical change in the “operating system” of this nation is enough to kick it into high-gear. But then we can’t even agree on what type of alternate nation we want.
I know many people who feel sad today. They feel sad because they see their country crumbling and they can’t do anything about it. I am one of those people. You put up a face through the mess. But deep down, you don’t remotely feel well. You feel as if your vote has been taken away. You feel as if all your work in the past five years is suddenly worthless. And because of what? because a certain group felt “as subject to injustice”?
You – we – are now the Opposition again. I believe we always were the Opposition. We excel at being the Opposition. There is nothing we do better than being the Opposition that inspires people’s need to change, instilling in them the will to fight for their country, for their rights, for their every being.
And honestly, even though the previous opposition called itself that way, I believe it did not even deserve the title. An opposition is basically in power when it was the power to crumble a government, which it did. An opposition does not use the street in an abusive manner via a fully conscious decision, which they did. An opposition does not cry wolf every time it thinks something might possibly happen if a certain scenario were to unfold, possibly damaging its status – and with crying wolf we mean making everyone freak out. An opposition does not really get to choose who runs what in the country. But they did. An opposition should not get a choice in who takes on certain legislative positions, but they were given a choice and their choice was acted upon because, as I’ve said many times before, March 14 felt that certain rights of certain parties need to be respected – like deciding who gets to represent them.
So for all matters and purposes, Hezbollah and Co were not an opposition. They were as much in power as the March 14 movement was. Following Newton’s third law of motion, they were the action and March 14 were the reaction. March 14 couldn’t act because anything they did meant an implicit threat using an arsenal of weapons that’s all too frightening – even for a military power, such as our neighboring state. Hezbollah and Co were not oppressed. They were actually enjoying a stay in power since the early 1990s, even calling for a demonstration on March 8, 2005, to thank Syria for its work in the country – a work that left at least a major sect of the country, Maronites, in ruins after years of political persecution. Hezbollah and Co even lost a general election, even after being shown as frontrunners in many polls. This means the majority of the Lebanese people didn’t want them to rule. And that was not respected as well.
So for those who are pissed, let me say this… I understand you. And I feel you. But don’t be. We, as people and movement, will be triumphant. Because at the end of the day, what is right and correct will be triumphant. And we are the only ones who, in time, can bring out this country from its everlasting stillbirth.