Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Lebanon: a legacy of anger and resentment

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly

Do you remember the Egyptian TV program "mirath al ghadab"? (which could be translated as "a legacy of anger/resentment). I don't think you do.

Ok let me start with the drawbacks: In the program Mahmoud Yassin marries his highschool student Chahira (husband and wife in real life) something which might not fly today.

The upside: An incredible story about a father, two brothers, an inheritance, cousins bickering, and a dreadful climax. It all starts with the ominous theme song.

The reason I am mentioning it is because recently, a friend told me that Lebanon was cursed in the bible. There is a passage in the old testament which could allude to that, I will let you judge about it yourself. But, bible-cursing or not, one thing is for sure: We are, somehow, cursed.

I don't think there are voodoo dolls that could represent a whole nation, but what do I know?

Still, whereas I am a "little" young (though not very) when the mid-80s financial crash happened in the middle of war (I was born 6 months before the onset of the Lebanese war), I could actually really remember it well. War - the great 1975-1990 war - is still a trauma Lebanese did not recover from. Add to it decades of instability (think 2006 war for example) and all the events which engendered the 2019 crash, and there you have it. Severe, successive crashes in give-and-take literally one generation (there are 3 generations in one century).

That's too much.

Honestly, too much.

I spoke before about how unlucky we were with out set of politicians in Lebanon. But also how the average Joe is also complicit in the situation. Of course, none of this is "fair" (what fairness has to do with it, is a little stretching it I guess), but perhaps it is a recalibration of Lebanese living within their means (see here),

All of this is truly emotionally difficult to live on day to day basis. Yet, apart from going on - cursed country or not, little can be done.