Friday, May 09, 2008

Definitely back, and maybe for a while

What an incredible time to turn back to blogging. Custom certainly has it that
when clouds turn black ahead and above our naked heads, we seek shelter and comfort
in most usual and unusual places, like bathrooms and corridors, words of prayer and
books of faith, virtual spaces and web pages, underground shelters and geographically remote havens of safety and calm. But no matter where we turn, it seems we always turn to one another, gathering forces, all forces, hopes, fears, bodies and minds, to face
and brave the inevitable, if not alter its course.

So here I am, after an absence of roughly a year and a half, turning my eyes and thoughts to all those marooned, like me, on the isle of uncertain tomorrows and dwindling dreams.

But dreams there are, and there will remain, finding form with the slow and heavy breaths of courage and persistence, and opening the path for new ones, always ready
to materialize of flesh and stone, no matter how idyllic, and foolishly ambitious
they may seem on the day they are conceived.

Yesterday and today, I was thrown head first in the climaxing bitter Lebanese political reality. A reality I had, until then, managed to adorn with positive spins and optimism, relatively effortlessly, despite ongoing political strife and paralysis. As of yesterday, my mission suddenly turned close to impossible. For the first time, I honestly wondered about how sound and sane I was when I decided to return, supposedly for good, on the first of October 2007. Thing is, I rationally cannot even come close to justifying my choice. Not then, not now, even less now, and possibly not in the future, although the future might hold the answer to all such queries. But I came back, and I'll stay, for as long as I humanly can.

And I'll stay, not for the lack of other options. My green card is in my hand and my degree allows me to work and thrive anywhere in the world I choose to be. I'll stay because I believe in the impermanence of juvenile, corrupt, power hungry theocracies and political systems, and the constancy of the communal, solidary human spirit when it is freed of its ill-informed, purblind obedience and allegiances.

Lebanon is an ancient land but a very young state, built on a divisive, falsely unitary constitution. The development and maturation of a political system and a
sense of nationalism that goes beyond the successive small circles of loyalty,
is a painstaking process, and blood has been and will inevitably be shed.

The likes of Nasrallah unwillingly, and unknowingly, contribute to the development of such a national identity, even if at first glance, the result seems strangely out of reach and contrary to reality. We witnessed it two years ago, when all Lebanese stood side by side, true to their country, in the face of brutal military invasion by Israeli forces. The price one has to pay to achieve national unity is often hefty, but it pales in view of what there is to be gained at the level of the nation and the people.

The reasons I came back and will stay are many, and I can wax sappy and poetic describing them, as I have done in the past. The bottom line remains simple and straightforward. Lebanon is young and beautiful. Its people are good hearted and strong, but they have fallen victims to diversity misjudged and misunderstood, and to the feudal/religious/sectarian legacies that cannot but be eventually forgotten
and overcome.

Many have become cynical and have lost faith, though it is much too early to surrender to grim fortune. I'm here now because I believe that my country and I will grow together, and believe me, the potential for growth is immense, and commensurate to how much we're willing to wait, give and sacrifice.

And to all who used to and will still read, welcome back to my Lebanese dream.


Blogger Delirious said...

You said it, Fouad~

In the end, my friend, Lebanon's nothing but a dream...

5:21 PM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Stop whining. A dream is nothing but a project if you are willing to invest. It's not like we're living in Burkina Faso. Look around you and see all that we've been given. Political unrest? BIG DEAL. Do you think the great countries of the old continent were born in four days and three nights? With all this shit and under gun fire, I would still much rather be here than in the plastic beauty of solitary confinement in the greatest country on earth (the US in case you were wondering). Things can only get better for us, Have faith and strength and endurance. This is all temporary. You'll see.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Delirious said...

Call it whining if it pleases you. I only call it the harsh reality.
Look around you and see all that we've been given, you say.
I say look around you, Fouad, and see the mentalities that surround you. The hatred. The divisions. The sectarianism. The racism. The absence of tolerance, of dialogue, and of acceptance of the other.
Do you think I'd want to leave and go elsewhere? You know me better than that I think.
All I'm saying is that I used to have hopes, beliefs in the human race, in the Lebanese race. Now I can see how naive I was. C'est tout. I've awakened. And I have to make do with it, I guess. And accept that there are certain inalienable truths: Lebanon will always be a land of conflicts.
Because of its people, figure-toi, who never ever learn~

4:46 PM  
Blogger cathryn said...

Glad you're back - I've missed your thoughts and our conversations.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Mirvat said...

7amdellah 3al salemeh to you and your family and welcome back to blogging. you're needed around.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Fouad said...

Thanks Mirvat, Allah ysallmek.

Thanks Cathryn.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Delirious said...

Bi khsous the dream...

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful surprise to see you here! Did you know that research has shown that blogging improves memory, helps boost immune cell activity, and reduces viral loads in AIDS patients? Considering your "new" environment, this is an excellent way to rejuvenate yourself..

-Lebanese Cowgirl :)

3:46 AM  
Blogger Ran said...

It is such a joy to read your words again.

Welcome back:)

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Yassar said...

Hi Fouad. I was checking on your blog and I was surprised by your comeback! I always liked your comments though I disagree on some of your ideas :) Anyway, welcome back, and hope all is well with you in Lebanon. We miss you here wallah. I wish the Vandy days (the nice looking .... boys!) can come back. Yassar.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Hoda said...

Like your blog

3:46 PM  

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