I am NOT a martyr

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A movement has started on Facebook. The page “I am NOT a martyr” is dedicated to those who are frustrated with our situation and tired of being collateral damage to the violence we never asked for.

It’s simple, post a selfie with a proclamation of something you want/don’t want in your country and add #notamartyr. You’re not a martyr unless you choose to die for a cause you believe in in the hope for change. When you die for others’ “causes”, you’re a victim.

Take back your country. It’s not a huge act, but it’s a start.

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How Close is Too Close?

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This question keeps popping up in my head. When these assassinations and tragedies occur, I wonder “how long do you wait until it hurts someone you love?” How long do you choose to continue living in this situation until another strikes and it hurts someone you care about? There is no safety. “Stay home” they say, but you don’t even know if that is where there is no danger. When you’re afraid that the road home – the road that is supposed to lead you to your haven, the place that you feel untouchable and safe- is booby trapped, when that road is compromised and you are scared for your life every morning, when you can’t cruise for fear that your careless waste of gas may actually lead to death or destruction – all of these daily activities that should be normal…

When the bombs get closer, and not in a geographic sense, it all becomes hazy. When it could be your own father, your best friend, your colleague that you walk to work with from the parking lot every morning. When they are the ones in danger, you wake up. The problem is that it’s always someone’s father or someone’s friend. Do you wait until it’s your own to act? Do you wait until it’s a personal tragedy to fight for change or leave the country? Not to sound morbid but considering the size of our country and the fact that Lebanon’s degree of separation is 2 rather than 6 combined with the rate at which these horrible things are happening, it is only a matter of time before it hurts you or someone you know in a life-changing manner.

I’m so tired of typing words like this.
It’s always a personal tragedy. It’s always too close. When people die, it’s always too close.

5 Signs It’s Christmas in Lebanon

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1. Airport Check-ins
…or Facebook statuses that say “Beirut.” The time has come for everyone to fly in for two weeks and have mana2eesh, fateh, and hangovers all while still getting over their jetlag. Some only have four days to see friends, Faraya, and their 35 cousins. Suddenly, bars have customers over the age of 21 because all the Lebanese youth are in town again.

2. Traffic
The flood of visitors who want to be out and about, the shoppers who need to grab gifts and cook dinners, and the poor employees who decided to work through the holiday season – they all get sucked into another dimension where time stops and you’re frozen somewhere between Ashrafieh and Zouk. There’s some distant sound of bells and Nemr Abou Nassar but you’re not quite sure if it’s Christmas time or you’re just trapped in the Matrix. WHY IS EVERYONE HONKING IF NO ONE CAN MOOOOOOOOVE…

3. Dinner Parties
Brunches, lunches, and holiday gatherings. So many wine bottles, poinsettias, and gift-wrapped chocolate sets going around and so many dinners that you’re in a food coma for 14 days straight. Have a second slice of pie and don’t let the haters stop you from doing your thing. And don’t wear anything skin-tight until April.

4. Snowing in Kfardebian
Pictures of snow. Snow on roofs of cars and melted piles of it on the highways. Face-mask tans. People canceling plans because they’re in Arez. EVERY OTHER PICTURE ON INSTAGRAM. This message also comes in the form of an email from Classic Burger Joint: “Now Grilling in Kfardebian.” Winter is no longer coming Stark, it’s here. *slurps Coke* #snow

5. SMS Flood
Kilo biftek bi 5,500 min TSC, Buche de Noel bi 29,999 min Spinney’s, Escalope bi 3000 min Abu Tony. Oh yeah, and Happy Holidays.