Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Forgotten Sons !

Although born to the land of the Cedars, I embarked in the mid eighties on my quest for greener pastures and ended up in England. Too cold and disconnected I felt in the beginning; so I travelled back and forth to the next best thing (France notre mère patrie), only to find that we did share a common evil.

My travels took me to different places where I encountered many different cultures. But what I found (in retrospect) disturbing was that, we Lebanese have not yet moved forward. Most of the countries I have visited and lived in have had their fare share of strife documented in their history books, and such a page was turned. But we, Lebanese, still live reminiscent of our bloody past, refusing to turn the page; and moreover anxiously awaiting for the next (bloody) chapter.
My curiosity took me to Belfast Ireland in order not to better comprehend, but to compare. Maybe it was the evil part of me who felt the need to get a whiff of freshly spilled blood or maybe it was just my own twisted way to fit in.

I was somehow disappointed, for I was touched by the goodness of every single soul I encountered.
16 years later I thought I had tamed the devil in me, and I came back home with open arms and an open mind. This Euphoria did not last long. The animal instinct in me started resurfacing and finding a breeding ground within the smallest memory I could recall from my stolen childhood even at the expense of the few good days I had before the war. Before all hell broke loose my grandmother use to sing us to sleep to Moustaki, Grecco, Reggiani, Aznavour…etc; and what springs to my mind these days (when I think of such artists) is (could not find Moustaki's version on youtube):

Endless nights whilst I was listening to Cohen (before I left into myself inflicted exile) have I been moved by his words and how I could relate to them; today by admitting to that I am a traitor. A traitor to those who decided to have a selective memory, to those who forgot that at a certain point in time they were convinced that me, and the likes of me would be better off dead; and so they tried.

This is supposed to be my golden years, and I came to spend them “bi trab baladi”, but “baladi” has changed to the extent that I feel it is no longer mine. No, I won’t give up, I will reclaim it. I will shed my blood again if need be. I want the “cocody”, “spinneys” by the airport road, the Latin Church at the beginning of Hamra street, “Toyland”, Aysar 3amer” …etc; I want my son to witness all that and never to have to feel the need to carry a weapon against his fellow brother and fend for his life. One major hurdle to my aspirations is Hizbullah. And in order to spare my son's blood, I am willing to shed mine so that he will not have to go through what I had to in order to preserve "his" freedom and this land that is his home.

N.B: Where is Joseph Sader??????

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