On the evening of Oct. 18, I got ready for bed awaiting the break of dawn but my alarm is getting quite old and so, on the evening of the 19th the alarm went off late to wake me to a massive blast. I felt the trembling streets, saw shattered glass. The police sirens were getting louder as they got closer to the scene; the saddest of it all is that I had to wish farewell to eight fellow civilians who passed away and were among more than 100 people injured.
I am Lebanon addressing you. I am a country of freedom my people have the freedom to be the judges, the prosecutors, a jury. My freedom extends to providing citizens with enough C4 and TNT that can destroy an entire block. The everyday main course is a recipe for disaster, consisting of alcohol on the streets, bullets sold in groceries and houses packed with guns since the 70s civil war. In one of my small villages recently, over 80 young men were caught dealing, smuggling or abusing drugs. This is the ultimate freedom, the poor get poorer and the rich get filthier – I am Utopic.
Unlike the rest of the world, the month of April in Lebanon is 29 days which makes us decades behind; and this is because the 8th of April movement has been ripped out by supporters of the 14th April movement, and vice versa. These two movements have tarnished the month of April in Lebanon with their two dates. However, this will leave us with a nationwide crisis, those neutral civilians who are with neither 8th nor 14th will be compelled to rip-off both the movements leaving them 2 days behind, so the parliament assembled to solve the crisis. A few chairs went flying into the air, claps and slaps were heard, vulgar language echoed the halls, and after few days of burning tires, a conclusion was reached: those of which support none will have to use 11th of April as a means of creating balance… Genius! Thank you dear parliament we elected you for exactly this reason.
Hope! A four lettered word with a million meanings, driven by this same belief, a friend and I were seeking a solution to the problem, so we came up with the most simplest of equations (A + B Divided 22 = 1) A: 8 “of April”, B: 14 “of April”, and the product will ultimately reside as 1, and this is in resemblance to 1 country - 1 nation. Nevertheless, Lebanon’s math school books doesn’t recognize the number 1 as a numeral maybe that explains why we have over 30 different sects and parties in our tiny Lebanon.
I decided to take a step in an attempt to find the spark that might shed light in this darkness. So I confronted a Lebanese compatriot just to ask him, “In your own opinion what could be the solution?” I found the response to be delightful, quoting “get rid of all party movements and leaders, let them leave us to rule our own existence” – but the answer was too good to be true so I quickly bumped it with a second complementary question, saying “and you my friend who do you pay your loyalty to?”
The agreeable moment shattered in a blink of an eye when he named a party and its leader, a mind baffling paradox. When I tried asking the same two questions, I almost got the same response from every Lebanese until I started doubting myself… Do I subconsciously, or depending where I’ve been born and how I’ve been brought up, pay loyalty to a party and its leader without knowing of it?
We are the fuel that those parties run on so we are the solutions as well as the problem. Ironically it wasn’t far away when I was reading about the Fibonacci sequence of life, and for those of you that don’t know what the sequence is about, allow me to explain briefly. It is a sequence developed by the great mathematician Fibonacci during the renaissance age.
This sequence implies that everything in the universe, even the universe and its growth was equivalent to the sequence and its numbers but Lebanon did not exist during the renaissance age. And now that we have the knowledge, we are able to defy the Fibonacci sequence, try implementing it on the growth of Lebanon and it will fail miserably due to the unreasonable variable and external influence that affect our unity and in return our growth. But no one can deny the fact that we are dreamers! Dreamers of a day were we are living a better future, that one day Lebanon will regain its past glory before the civil war was unleashed. We are dreamers, day dreamers! In those few seconds in bed before we daze out to sleep, when our vision goes blurry and wavy as though a pebble was thrown into still water, and definitely before we wake up on the roar of the next explosion!
In the mist of the ache, perhaps we are waiting for the dream to come true!
Samer Abdul Khalek is an MBC staff member and has previously blogged for Al Arabiya English. He can be reached at email@example.com