Today marks two anniversaries for Lebanon: 15 years since the liberation of the South and 1 year since the beginning of our presidential vacuum. Twelve months of a second round of headless chicken syndrome and yet, I find that there are signs that Lebanon’s community is still there. We are still pushing forward, trying to create a country out of what we have.
Instead of having Lebanon associated with suicide bombings, political ambivalence, or whether or not it can withstand the increasing number of refugees, there is evidence that this place is made of more than the troubles it carries.
It seems there is more to a country than the person who runs it – there is its people.
The community is those who are fighting against domestic violence. They are the youth who give the staircases in Mar Mikhael a fresh coat of paint. They are the organizers of street festivals that remind us of the beauty of our Mediterranean sunshine and attraction to life. The community is the designers and artists coming together for Beirut’s 3rd Design Week. They are the people coming up with a civil campaign against the privatization of Dalieh. They are the activists pushing for more public green space, equal rights of migrant workers, and ethical treatment of animals. They are the dignified Armenians who ask for recognition of a crime against humanity rather than an apology or vengeance. Sure, they’re the ones throwing and attending the parties and concerts too. The community is those who are not waiting for a president to create their Lebanon. The community is made up of people who are building it anyway.