I was born to Lebanese parents. In Beirut. I went to court for about 11 years to get my Lebanese ID, yeah yeah long story for another time. That document states my birthplace as my dad's village. To this day, I feel little to no connection to it. See, I was more or less raised in both my mom's village and in Beirut. When the family spent its summers in the paternal turf, our home was located in the mountains, practically in the middle of nowhere and away from the village houses. I used to love those months: they gave me the perfect opportunity to think and reflect. On my own. And about any imaginable topic. This was the perfect occasion to read as much as I wanted. Well almost. I was set a limit by my parents on the number of books I could read per day. And I transgressed the rule at every possible opportunity, guilty as charged! Speaking of a quiet rebel. Observing adults and listening to what they said and watching what they did was sometimes confusing to a 9-year-old. I resorted to books to explain to me what it was all about. Well, I tried. My mom's psychology books were soon set away and I was told I was too young to read and understand them... I grew up feeling alienated from most people in my birth country, feeling at home elsewhere but always longing to come back to Lebanon and my roots. Roots that I perceived differently as what commonly and customary behaviors were set to be. And it would take me roughly 3 decades -and a Revolution- to start feeling a connection with the people of my country. And what a strong one!
It's November 5. And so many are referring to the famous English Folk Verse "Remember, remember! The 5th of November, the gunpowder treason and plot" and I cannot but feel proud. I am proud of this generation that I have watched grow. I have even become friends with a group of them. My perception of the generation that spent its time glued to its iPads, listening to music on its iPods, and simply didn't show any concern about the ramping pollution or anything going on in the country has obviously changed. This same generation, mostly born after the 1975 Civil War, took the streets, relentlessly, peacefully, carrying only the Lebanese flag and also demanding the Lebanon of tomorrow. The Lebanon that will take care of its autistic citizens just as much as any of its citizens, and that will cater to the need of the elderly as well as the younger generations. A Lebanon we all aspire for, where our youth will not be educated in view of exporting their talents abroad and rather will be happily serving their respective communities and the whole Nation. Yes, we can now declare that a Lebanese Nation is being born. It is still stammering and it is very clear. It cannot be missed. It can be seen in the public spaces and the writings / short movies. And yes, many do not want to be part of this population. And it is perfectly their right to stand aside. As long as they don't start wanting to impose their views of the world, they can only be an enriching part of the People.
Hence, it is this spirit, passionate and impetuous, that is making my heartbeat in unison with the Lebanese people. My fellow rebels. My compatriots. I am so grateful for being able to witness history unfold in front of my eyes. Heck, it is being written as we speak! For instance, releasing white doves from the center of Beirut. For the first time, walking among the crowds, shoulder to shoulder, does not drain my energy. I can see and feel an unprecedented and intense vibe. A positive one. Aiming at creating something ambitious and glorious. Dreaming of and demanding a better tomorrow. For us. All of us. With no exceptions. When you go to the squares you can see a CEO and a lady selling flowers, a student or an unemployed middle-aged person, all standing together and singing the National Anthem together. People from all communities, from different backgrounds, educational and social levels are meeting as one. Demanding the same: They represent this Phoenix you can see in the picture at the beginning of the article and they will defeat the Hydra who represents the corrupt cast and their followers. The People are extremely creative. No surprise there. It is more this feeling of solidarity, of all being Spartacus that is bedazzling the "dragons", whom the people finally realized were not immortal. And this is how the Hydra is doomed to fall at the attacks of the Phoenix that will be reborn. Maybe not today. Nor next week. The uprise will go on until the ones who need to go simply do. This is just a statement that People do not want to go back to how it was. Utterly, there is a generalized sentiment just as Che Guevara once said: "it is better to die standing than to live on your knees"...
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