My one and only plea, to all the Marchs and Februaries and Summers and Springs, to all those in power and those aspiring to be, to Nasrallah the charismatic, to Aoun the enigmatic, to Geagea the fanatic, to Jumblatt the lunatic, to those stuck in their serails, their churches, their mosques, their tents, their visions, their rights, their demands, their affiliations, on both sides of the fence, to the Lebanese, THE LEBANESE, on the streets, in martyr square, in houses, in apartments, in palaces, in cities and in villages, down on the coast and up in the mountains, within the borders and abroad, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.
To all of you who have a sense of belonging to this land and all of its people, those of you who cheer for Lebanese teams when they come back with a trophy or a medal or nothing at all, to those who are proud of Lebanese achievers, artists, scientists, businessmen who, against all odds, reach for the stars, and touch them, not just in Lebanon but all around the world, to all those who feel this is their home, their land, their roots, their tradition, even those who don’t carry a passport but have been part of us for long enough that they feel it is where they belong, to all of you, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.
To all of you who stand on the edge of the mountain, in the streets of Chtoura overlooking the vast, green and ochre patchwork of the Bekaa valley and see Lebanon, who peek at the sun and the sky from between the columns of Jupiter's temple and in the eyes of an old farmer from Baalbeck and see Lebanon, who grab a fistful of earth and blood from Bint Jbeil, Maroun el Rass, Saida, Sour, Haret Hreik, Zahle, Marje3youn, Ayta el shaaeb, Ghaziyyeh, Bekfayya, Trabloss, Ashrafiyyeh, Qana, Qana, Qana, and feel Lebanon, who drive down the coastline from Nahrel Kabeer to Nakoora, from rocky shores to sandy beaches to establishments of pure concrete, where boys play with the 7askeh and swim like little fish, and middle aged men spend hours holding their sinnara, waiting for that big farrideh but not really, because they will later tell stories about it anyway, to those who stop in Batroun, Shekka, Jounieh, Rawsheh, Khaldeh, Rmaileh, Sour, who wash their faces with the fresh drizzle of the murky sea that cradles the worn out wooden boats of those fishermen looking to feed their families, to those of you who wet their feet and fill their palms with the salty blue waters and smell Lebanon, to all of you who wherever they go, north, south, east, west, take the same bite out of that man2oushet zaatar, eat the same kibbeh, kafta, fattoush, tabbouleh, samak mi2leh, hommos, baba ghannouj, wara2 3areesh, ka3keh bi knefeh, bi2lewah, znood el sett, and taste Lebanon, to all of you who listen to Fayrouz, the mijanah, the 3ateba, the nay, the zajal, the derbakkeh, wadi3, mil7em, salwa, saba7, and hear and sing Lebanon, to all of you who watch the dabkeh and dance Lebanon, I have things to say to you I wish you could hear.
I wish you could hear me telling you that Lebanon has more enemies than you think, from Israel who destroys our land and kills our people, to the Palestinians who want to make us the new Palestine, to Syria who doesn't acknowledge our existence and wants to make everything that is ours its own, to the United States and Iran who use us for their grander schemes of domination and power. None of those are our friends, none of them should be our allies. We are all we have, and we only have each other and this land that brought us together. We are all one, and if we distance ourselves from all external influences, and I think we can, we will unite, and we will see our common history, our common roots, our common future, our common land through the untainted lenses we don't yet have.
And the weak of faith who say that there is no such thing as Lebanon, that it is an artificial French construct, an illusion, a dream fostered by the Rahbani's and carried on by the wishful populace, to those who believe in ascribing Lebanon to some greater geopolitical entity that does not complement it but strips it of its heritage and identity and throws it into the dungeons of memory, they can move along to a land that doesn't have children of its own, but borrows self-made orphans to fill its sinking void. And to those people I say, if you don't believe in Lebanon, it's not because it doesn't exist, it's not because of your historical understanding or political erudition, but because you can't feel nor taste nor smell nor see what the Lebanese feel and taste and smell and see, and because you don't belong except to your own big egos and independent souls.
Let you and people like you freely choose their path. But to all of us who believe in Lebanon, let Lebanon be the only path we choose, and let's choose it together as brothers and sisters, as one people, with one purpose, and one love, let's do only that, and we shall most definitely prevail.