I Live…(The Dismal Version)

  • I live in a country that boasts one of the world’s earliest examples of urban planning yet lacks any such planning to speak of today
  • I live in a country where people are denied access to a hospital because they don’t have the means to cover the cost of healthcare
  • I live in a country where every Maronite dreams to become President of the Republic, every Sunni dreams to become Prime Minister, and every Shia dreams to become Speaker of the House
  • I live in a country where murderers and crooks have been granted amnesty, while the innocent-until-proven-guilty languish in overcrowded prisons awaiting a sentence
  • I live in a country where people identify themselves by their religion first and foremost and not their nationality first and foremost
  • I live in a country where the importance of political prisoners is based on the foreign country in which they are detained, and not simply because they are unlawfully detained
  • I live in a country where priests and sheikhs are clergy and leaders of the faithful by day, and laymen and corrupt by night
  • I live in a country where people get ahead because of their connections, while others emigrate to get ahead based on their capabilities and talent
  • I live in a country where laws are changed to cater to the interests of a few, or temporarily amended to meet the interests of a few
  • I live in a country where simultaneously some people party till dawn, while others are under cover from bombs, trying to stay alive and make it to see a new dawn
  • I live in a country where each political party and/or sectarian grouping prides in the foreign country that bullies it, pays it, rules it
  • I live in a country where conspicuous consumption and opulence is applauded, while some people still rummage through garbage bins to make a living
  • I live in a country where people brag about breaking the law, while being fully law-abiding citizens abroad
  • I live in a country where foreigners brag about how locals break the law and use their connections, while wanting to do exactly that in a country where everything goes
  • I live in a country where women are still discriminated against in the workplace, at home, and by society at large
  • I live in a country where men believe that more is best and bigger is better
  • I live in a country where people teach their kids English and French before Arabic and think they are doing their children a service
  • I live in a country where five years is considered too long to start getting a return on an investment
  • I live in a country that praises people from the West and discriminates people from the East
  • I live in a country where people are still scared to speak their minds, to name and shame, for fear of what others might say
  • I live in a country where “a mountain of garbage” isn’t just a metaphor
  • I live in a country where people know the history of other countries before, and sometimes not even, the history of their own country
  • I live in a country where stealing from the government isn’t considered a corrupt crime, but a necessity, an issue of sectarian security, or simply a right
  • I live in a country that claims ancestry from those who created the basis for our modern alphabet, while some families pick amongst their children because they don’t have the means to send them all to school
  • I live in a country, “no this is not a country, this is a bunch of people put together.”

I…

…live in Lebanon.

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