Conditioning ourselves for our forthcoming civil war

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With an interesting track record of Lebanese people and entities occupying public venues and establishments for their various agendas, it’s not entirely true that anyone in Lebanon is surprised with recent events such as the occupation of our national electricity company, EDL, or the Tripoli-Beirut highway at Qalamoun. We’re not amused, but we’re also definitely not surprised.

What is there to be surprised about? We are insulted on a daily basis. The standards of our quality of life are lowered by the minute. We take different violations for granted as part of our daily lives. When compared to the principles and savoir-vivre in contemporary republics, our existence is a laughing matter. It’s funny that we still believe ourselves to be somehow superior. We’re ridiculous.

We are too immersed in our “Lebanese-ness” that everything is somehow out of focus. We still think we’re welcoming, generous, creative and innovative, while the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that our government seems to be planning a soon-to-be ignited civil war as we lend them a helping hand without any shred of suspicion or awareness of what is going on.

That’s not very smart. The current theory that the Lebanese people are over the idea of a national civil war because they have been-there-and-suffered-that is obsolete. The resurrection of our 1975 national civil war is not exactly the only reason we would fight again. Some of those who remember are too old. Some are still spiteful. Some would do it again and some who are scattered in different host countries are too comfortable to be bothered.

The war is coming. It’s not coming back, it’s simply coming. A new one, that is. Everything happening nowadays is an argument that confirms this hypothesis. Groups of Lebanese citizens are assaulting Syrian men and women fleeing the war in their homeland. This makes us inhuman, which is perfect for war. We are being forced to block roads and occupy buildings in order for us to be heard, because the media only chooses to communicate our stories and voices when hyper-dramatic scenes are involved.

Somehow, it’s easy to sympathize with people burning tires these days since only suffocating pitch-black smoke is recognizable as a proper pick-up line with the homeland. It’s easy to hate them, too. If you’re on your way to work or back home, you could shoot them. Shoot them? Of course you would. “Every Lebanese must have a gun to protect themselves from mayhem their country can’t handle,” is one of the most popular recurring epiphanies on the streets of this place we try to call home.

Like what?

Well, the now infamous terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is negotiating the release of a list of extremists from Lebanese prisons and is slaughtering members of the Lebanese army as a countdown exercise. Imagine Lebanon actually giving in and releasing these people. The act of negotiating with this terrorist group is more than enough. But let’s take this further. Let’s imagine the possibility of other groups of people to win such debates with our government. More violence, more violence! Every Lebanese must somehow own a gun. You never know.

This is not very otherworldly; most of this land’s people are armed. The rest will catch up. As prices go up and wages go down, it becomes easier to use our guns. After waiting in line for visa appointments to eventually get rejected, we can start visualizing people we would like to shoot. Our justifiable anger slowly becomes blind and violent. In the meantime, the situation in the north of the country is getting worse. I believe that a lot of people there have already rightfully given up on the idea of belonging to this country. I hope they don’t find solace within ambushed promises of extremist cults though. The people down south have given up on Lebanese authorities for quite some time now. The people of Beirut are on their way.

We live in a ticking time bomb of anger. It’s true that people have felt much pain during and after our renowned war 30 years ago, but that won’t stop anyone from participating in this, almost designed, war to come. After Lebanese officials of all sects have habituated us to the idea of complete defeat, this war is not going to be a religious war where these sects attempt to erase each other off the face of the land of the cedars. No. That won’t make much sense now. By then, everyone is just eager to destroy everything. It’s going to be one fueled with pure oblivious anger; one that is a loud scream of “I can’t take this anymore!” and savagely acting on it.

The world will watch us, amused, as we kill each other, then attack our parliament and every public institution and break its walls with our bare angry hands. We will burn electric poles and strangle each other with their useless cables. We will turn everything to dust, and won’t rest until we’re too exhausted for anything but falling down, staring at whoever’s still alive and the limbs of whoever’s dead, and cry as international cameras roll.

Raafat Majzoub is an architect, author and artist living in Beirut

Comments

Raafat: your second paragraph...
"What is there to be surprised about ?"
You are a sponge, you absorb the sentiment around you a feel it.
Then you write about it.
"THEY" are wrecking the joint deliberately - bit by bit .
A deliberate erosion.
Who owns Lebanon & therefore lets it fall to slow ruin ?
The landlord who has no immediate plans for the land at the moment.
But /& just in case there are any quandaries as to the ultimate demolition & clearing of the site for future development - it must be worthy of demolition beyond any redemption.
Who owns Lebanon - exactly which oligarchs that they would have the power to do all this.
Raafat ... you are a sponge & you absorb the sentiments around you & you react according to those sentiments, I read it in your writing. You need to go further, you need to go looking for & pick up the intellectual energies of the perpetrators. If you can do one you can do the other...you are a receiver....think about it.

It ain't gunna happen that way........

The Daily Mail ran an article on the R.I.P. bullet - have a look & know that you want one - a few - what the heck, even a box full.
Tell everyone to have a look & that you have a box full for the right point in time..............

I like what you have written & very important - you made me chuckle even.....if only you could do it on video.....for me in English & with the kids of the Middle East - (wise arsed) world wise, kids with mouth even & girls - there must be girls - get Rosie to sit in on the talks so you don't look like you are doing something wrong.
Do it right & it would work.
You see I think that you can talk it ad-lib better than you can write it.

One need to learn how to turn the tools at hand to good use Raafat.

From the perspective of the media.
It is like someone who has taken a liking to you & they think you have to be friends / feel that you owe them because you are the media / have to be receptive to them because the need bastard can help you / bla, bla, bla -
You & the Prof. say "the media"
"what do they want from us ?" cry the media

"because the media only chooses"
What is it with you & Prof. As'ad & the @#$% media
The MEDIA of any description or persuasion are not your saviors.
They are the establishments lap dogs - at best.
You are helpless while you look to incorrect / impotent & stagnant venues for assistance & allies.
People talk to each other & they have an alliance & they have potential tell the media they will tell your enemy & you are defeated.

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