Dear Britain: An Alternative Reply from Lebanon

our Banksy replica, Mar Mikhael

our Banksy replica, Mar Mikhael

Dear Britain,

We appreciate the letter and thank you for the Independence Day wishes. Coming from a country that is fully equipped with a public transport system, functional infrastructure, as well as separation of church & state – well, we’re grateful for your advice.

It is true, we need to stop listening to everyone else and focus on ourself. However, maybe we can learn from each other. The fact that you have a reputation for raising our youth (the school systems, the language, and eventually adopting them when they arrive on your shores for graduate programs) is just one of the many things we could try to implement in our own way. If we invest in our rising stock of brainpower, we may have a fighting chance at becoming a force to be reckoned with. Indeed, we are good at networking in a world that will be built on networks but this cannot be used to allow a mass exodus of an intelligent and capable workforce. Unfortunately, one of our best exports is our bright minds and so many of our neighboring countries are benefiting from that.

Like most countries, we have many people that are not as privileged as others. These are the people that need the most empowering, employment, and empathy – such things that are out of reach because our government is in limbo and crippled at its best. Perhaps we are “so much better than we admit” but, in all honesty, being humble is not one of our strong points. You are right when you say that we should prioritize Lebanese interests and demand more from our leaders. That’s not a statement coming from a “higher power”, it’s common sense; yet another thing that is not our specialty.

Although we are aware that your motives for writing such a letter may be also in your best interests, as a population, we should learn when to embrace any form of support when we are on our knees and in need of someone in our corner.  We know how the public scene works and how difficult it can be as a foreigner who tries to appeal to the masses. We know your a busy-body that gets a lot of attention on social media. We know your representative donated blood on the day of the Bir Hassan explosion. We know you reach out to our youth and have conversations with them, making them feel like their opinions matter; this is something we have yet to master. Regardless of why, thank you for setting a good example.

Anyway, thanks again for the letter but we have to wrap this up – we’ve got a lot to do and tomorrow’s the first day of our new chapter.
Allah yberek fikon w kilkon zo2,


Using achievements of the past or petty remarks about dental hygiene is no way to justify any form of condescension. Just be thankful and continue to work hard on your own efforts toward making Lebanon better.

One thought on “Dear Britain: An Alternative Reply from Lebanon

  1. Pingback: Bambi’s Soapbox: Top 5 of 2013 | Bambi's Soapbox

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