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My Lebanese Dream

http://www.agoravox.com/article.php3?id_article=5054
Bachir Gemayel


During the past 5 weeks, I have continuously followed blogs, news, forums, and analysis from around the world in regards to the crisis we are in. A lot of what I have read is full of hatred, rage and frustration. It suffocates me to see people hating each other so easily.

I really wish we lived in a world of peace. (Isn’t that a cliche? Hoping for world peace. Sounds like a joke really). I really wish there was no such thing as armies and weapons (now I sound like a 10 year old). Utopia seems impossible to grasp.

As a Lebanese, I feel threatened by Israel and by Syria . Our political differences are not 5 weeks old, but decades old and both countries are a lot more powerful than Lebanon is. I can’t go back in time and fix this, I can’t point fingers at anyone for placing us in this position, since what’s done is done. At the moment, Lebanon is geographically in the wrong spot (wouldn’t it be nice if we just pick up 10452Km2 of land and place it in the middle of an ocean… away from everyone else?) What are we to do now? Do I feel threatened by Hizballah? Definitely, but I feel more threatened by their influence on Lebanon rather than their military power.

I am a Lebanese Catholic and Lebanon is a country where the Christians can live freely. I would not wish to see it become the next Iran or Saudi Arabia . I love the fact that Lebanon has always given all sects the choice to live as they please. You may choose to drink or not to drink. You may choose what you want to wear, you may choose what to wear at the beach, and you may choose what clubs to go to. Those are only matters of the surface but being a Christian means a lot more than that. It’s not just a matter of lifestyle but of practicing your religion.

Not all Muslim countries are like Iran . I live in Kuwait and I am allowed to practice my religion relatively freely. We have churches here where we can go and pray. We are allowed to have bibles in our homes and we are allowed to wear our crosses. I believe it is the fact that I grew up in Kuwait and have always been surrounded by Muslim friends (Sunnites and Shiites) that I have learnt so much about Islam and I respect their religion just like they respect mine.

My fear is that someday, in Lebanon I will not have the freedom to pick the lifestyle I wish or to perform my religious duties.

What is it that I want for Lebanon ? I want a country in which the upcoming generations will not know the meaning of war. I want the upcoming generation to be able to live in a secure and stable country. I want to see the economy flourish. I want to see people mingling together regardless of their religious beliefs. I would like people to know the true meaning of life by living it and not by witnessing death.

The beginning of the end will come if we are divided upon ourselves. We should overstep all petty considerations. The enemy’s only weapon consists in breaking our ranks and pitting us against each other… Let us rise above selfishness and partisan politics, and be one single united party, the party of Lebanon .”
Bachir Gemayel