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.
It is so true
ha ha ! verdades con humor !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Indeed schizophrenic, as schizophrenic as its citizens.
I could be a perfect example of what Hasan describes; Lebanese/Canadian, living in the states since 2007. I moved to the US for training purposes (also an AUB medical graduate), always counting down the minutes to my next trip home.
I just came back from Lebanon 2 days ago and am still trying to get over my vacation blues (my wrist watch still indicates Lebanon time 🙂 ). Despite all what is happening in Lebanon and the area, I had one of my best trips there ever; enjoyed the beach, the festivals (I managed to see Aznavour Hasan), the roof tops, mom’s food. But did not al all enjoy the traffic, and only drove once in 2 weeks, did not enjoy the electricity and internet and water cuts.
My trips to Lebanon always left me with mixed feelings, feelings of not belonging there nor here. But this time I left home with a firm desire to go back, and a firm sense of belonging to that chaos that is my country. Maybe this is my schizophrenia
Thank you for reading and for sharing your experience. I can’t agree more with what you said.
So true sp when they borrow moneyfrom you and you cannot afford to spend what they spend
3anjad! Thank you for reading
A wonderful read, thank you for sharing!
I have the double nationality and im still unsure if i want to leave. lets be honest, with all its problems, Lebanon is awesome 🙂