Monday, August 23, 2021

Lebanon: Defeats should not define us.

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly based on a Hussein Hajj quote
Yesterday on Linkedin Tahaab Rais posted about a man who was writing his own headlines instead of reading the depressing ones in the press. Things like "husband loves wife today". You can read the post here. Now this has been a strange weekend for me. Not my usual deep-thinking mode. More like thoughts passing through my head as I was reading. And I added a reply to Tahaab's post. Here it is verbatim: "being in Lebanon is not exactly an easy thing these days. I thought: OK, I lost an enormous amount of money at the bank, electricity comes in batches of 2 hours a day, I have not had any serious work since (I am afraid to think since when!). Meat, water, power all of them rationed. And still - I am able to care for my elderly mother (at 86 is it not a picnic), a friend just gifted me 5 boxes of impossible-to-find meds of hers, I am still able to pay the bills (again, no mean feat!), I live in a beautiful house (I actually almost single-handedly restored in 2003), and I inherited around 1000 books from a British journalist who had to be medically evacuated from Lebanon (which I read when the power is down and summer light still up!). All this to say, OK, the world is bleak right now (specifically in a place like Lebanon), but am pulling through (certainly not easily). That old man is correct - 2020 should not define us, Defeats should not define us as well. The world goes on, so do we."
And so here we are - who would have thought I would be putting a positive spin on what happened? But - again - I can lament as much as I can about what happened, my generosity included. But this will not change things. Or the outcomes. Without any doubt, this was a case of trial by fire - not just for me - but for the whole Lebanese population. Still, it was a perfect storm as I called it earlier, with each element just feeding the others. But again, onwards and upwards.
Defeats should not define us. But that one hell of a defeat.