Today I started #Lebanonissoschizophrenic hashtag on Twitter.
After a 14-day trans Canada road trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, I flew to Lebanon on July 1. I find it fascinating how we, Lebanese, learned to survive and even have fun in such a troubled country.
Here are few observations-turned-tweets I just sent out tonight:
- Most foreigners want to visit Lebanon. Most Lebanese want to leave!
- Lebanese womyn enjoy the freedom of going out in public wearing almost nothing but not the freedom of giving their nationality to their children!
- They call it “The Green Lebanon” but most mountains are now eroded with construction!
- The government fails to supply enough power to its citizens yet this is how lit Beirut waterfront is:
- We have the most liberal online presence in the Arab world but the slowest Internet!
- We have poor infrastructure that leads to horrible traffic jam as we drive to a live concert by Enrique Iglesias or Charles Aznavour!
- Beirut is named the “gay capital” of the Middle East while article 534 still criminalizes homosexuality in Lebanon!
- Security is at stake yet Lebanon has at least 6 international festivals running all at once. I can barely find a ticket to many of the concerts!
- My friend borrows money from me and she drives a car I can never afford!
- Everyone complains about the economy but new buildings are sprouting everywhere you look!
- When a woman tells you she is getting a tattoo it is most likely for her eyebrow, eyelid, or lip contour!
- Some pay hefty sums on plastic surgery but would not spare a dollar on a family doctor! Lebanon has one of the highest numbers of plastic surgeries per capita in the world. Banks advertise for loan specially customized for your plastic surgery needs and Lebanon is becoming a popular destination for plastic surgery tourism in the region.
- We live in our parents’ house till we get married and we complain how our private matter is of their business!
- A woman might pay half of her monthly income to buy a dress that she can only wear to one event.
- Everyone claims to be secular and when a sectarian protest breaks the streets are full!
- Our Lebanese society loves our legendary drag queen, Bassem Feghali, but despises any man who appears or acts feminine.
- Most Lebanese have double nationalities yet we discriminate against foreign workers! Lebanon has a high rate of suicide among foreign domestic workers. Ethiopia has blacklisted Lebanon and prevents its citizens from flying there for work. To be allowed to leave Ethiopia, workers claim they are flying to Dubai but later get smuggled into Lebanon.
- Most Lebanese will seek another nationality to find a new home somewhere else and after they immigrate all they think about is back home.
- You can’t figure out how to hate it even if you try hard to.