This July will mark my 8 years of moving to South Lebanon from the cement jungle that is known as Los Angeles, California. Since embarking on this strange endeavor, I can tell you I’ve experienced way more than I would have if I had stayed in the cult-like bubble that is the United States. Here, in Lebanon, I have been smacked back into reality on a daily basis…granted, it has made me a pessimist but what good is life living under false hope if it’s just going to lead you to more disappointment?
And I’m sure Lebanese people know all to well about disappointment. There hasn’t been one generation of Lebanese which hasn’t witnessed some sort of violence whether it be Israeli brutality, like war and occupation, or internal violence like a civil war which tore our country apart.
In short, I want to tally up the corruptions of Lebanon, which might actually be fun, of the barely born 2012. You see, thanks to revolutionaries in Egypt and Tunisia, the thought of a revolution has been instilled in my blood. I catch shake it off…I want it so badly. And hopefully I can convince others to join me.
Perhaps Lebanon has not gone through anything different than any other Middle East country or isn’t particularly special. And like every other Middle Eastern country, the Lebanese have chosen to keep silent about their countries ever-growing flaws and just roll with the changes. Yearly, Lebanese are often subjected to all kinds of political corruption, one of them being that 28 billion of their taxes go into the pockets of Lebanese MPs who are not even in the parliament anymore.
When more money is going into the hands of retired politicians then helping disabled children or perhaps tackling Saida’s trash problem, surely this would anger Lebanese into standing up for their rights. With the recent uprisings sweeping the Middle East, the Arabs have had zero tolerance for any sort of corruption that comes their way.
But, alas, the Lebanese have remained silent. In all fairness, Lebanese do know what is right and what is wrong. On May 3rd, Lebanese decided they wanted to tackle another issue at stake: the continuing rise of gas prices. With 20 liters of gas being at a whopping 40,000 Lebanese pounds (26 USD), a protest was to be held but was then postponed until May 24th for “negotiations”.
What fazed me about these “negotiations” is that it is possible an attempt to simply shut Lebanese up. What could the government possibly do after negotiations? The most that will probably happen is lowering prices to back to what they previously were which still makes Lebanon one of the most expensive countries when it came to gas prices. I’m not a fortune teller, but I know Lebanese will not react to this and just accept whatever happens after these so called “negotiations”, even if they are just paying 300 ll less.
Lest we forget the recent poisoned food scandal, where tons of poisoned meat, chicken, fish and dairy products were allowed into the country to be sold to it’s civilians. I cannot sit here and simply not blame the government, who obviously does not check what is being let into their country (maybe all that money going to retired MPs can be used to investigate import/export). My family, who own a small market in the South, have found many spoiled produce including dried beans and cereals that were infested with bugs like moths and worms. Most recently, a few laban (yoghurt) products that still had 2 days until their expiry date which looked like it had been expired for a year.
I have become afraid to to even eat in this country! But instead of storming government buildings, Lebanese have just insisted on not purchasing so much food anymore which ultimately weakens the economy, making things even more expensive than they already are! Read “If the food is bad, what is good about Lebanon?” for more information about the poisoned food saga….
Now this might not be a new problem, but don’t you worry, I have not forgotten about the electricity crisis. That got it’s own blog post here.
I can sit here and bring up every issue Lebanon has, but I think I’ve said enough. Not only are all these problems nauseating, but I keep scrolling up and that laban photo is grossing me out.
Laban photo aside, I am left with one question: where is Lebanon’s revolution? What I stated in this blog is simply a drop in the ocean of Lebanon’s difficulties, a drop that we, the people, can slowly dry and build a liveable land on. Don’t Lebanese feel pressure from other revolting Arab countries to better their own? I cannot understand the mindset, where if Lebanese don’t like something, they simply leave. Abandoning your country does absolutely nothing but make it more vulnerable. While I am not condemning protests for Syria and Bahrain in Lebanon, I would much prefer that Lebanese looked in their own backyard and thought, “hm, maybe I should be the one asking for rights.”