Lebanon, with its millennia of history, is now at the crossroads of two contrasting paths: one that drags it into the abyss of the past, and another that propels it towards a brighter tomorrow. The choice is not just political; it’s existential. It’s not about East vs. West, but rather shadows vs. light.
The Lebanon That Shuns the New
First, there’s the dark Lebanon, a realm where Barbie becomes an enemy of the state. This is a land where creativity and art are not celebrated but scrutinized, dissected, and often silenced. In this version of Lebanon, personal freedoms are not a birthright but a subject of debate. Here, the mere act of expressing oneself becomes a subversive act, often met with disdain and sometimes with violence.
This Lebanon is a place where the streets, instead of being the epicenters of change and revolution, become battlegrounds against those who dare to demand their rights. It’s a place where violence is the go-to solution for winning an argument. The vulnerable are not protected but attacked, and women, instead of being the backbone of society, are relegated to the fringes, their rights trampled upon – whether in inheritance, child custody, nationality, or even the fundamental rights to be, to need, to be free, to be happy, to live life in all its vibrant hues.
The Lebanon That Embraces Tomorrow
Then there’s the other Lebanon; a Lebanon that doesn’t just tolerate differences; it celebrates them. It’s a land where the streets resonate with the voices of those ensuring everyone, irrespective of their background or status, has a seat at the table. This is the Lebanon where creativity is not just encouraged but is seen as essential, where artists are unafraid, bold, and unapologetic in their expressions.
In this Lebanon, pens are mightier than swords, and they write not to appease dated ideologies but to chart a course for the future. It’s a place where looking forward doesn’t mean forgetting the past but learning from it. This Lebanon refuses to be a pawn in the games of warlords and populists. It’s a nation of people who stand up for freedom, democracy, and the universal values that unite humanity.
Beyond Ideologies: The Battle Between Absurdity and Common Sense
The struggle Lebanon faces isn’t merely a dichotomy between conservatism and liberalism. It’s not just a tug of war between theoretical constructs or political ideologies. At its core, it’s a clash between the absurd and the rational, between dogma and common sense. It’s more philosophical than many might imagine, transcending the mundane debates we often find ourselves entangled in.
Consider the simple joy of attending a concert. For many, the choice lies in deciding whether to attend or not. It’s a personal decision, reflective of one’s tastes, moods, or even schedules. However, when the very existence of the concert is denied, when the sounds of music are muted before they even begin, the choice is snatched away. What remains isn’t conservatism or a different viewpoint; it’s an act of pure fascism. It’s a suppression of choice, of freedom, of the very essence that makes us human.
Every individual’s right to validate their choices is fundamental to their existence. The act of choosing, whether it’s attending a concert, expressing an opinion, or living life in a certain way, is a testament to our agency as individuals. When this agency is usurped, when choices are limited not by personal preference but by external diktats, the debate moves beyond political ideologies. It becomes a battle for the soul, for the right to live life on our terms, for the freedom to choose, and ultimately, for the essence of what it means to be human.