If you look back
in history at the situation in Lebanon during the civil war, it was horrific. Civilians
required different forms of identification, each one used at different checkpoints of different religious areas of Beirut. Children trying to mimic the different accents
so that they can pass by unnoticed, hiding from the groups of soldiers and militia that were ever-present in the country.
What would you do if you
were a family, trying to survive in this struggle?
Leave whenever you had
an opportunity, as many of them did. The war was not going anywhere; Christians
and Muslims across the country were getting killed everyday. Why would you want
to be in such an environment, watching your beloved country get destroyed by its own people? Why
would you want your children to be exposed to this kind of violence and bloodshed? You
wouldn’t if you had the chance…
People did leave,
who were sick of seeing their country being torn apart and wanted to look for a better life for themselves and their families
and I don’t blame them. Look at what they have become. Many Lebanese have become successful over the years and feel that they are not ready for a life ‘back
home.’ The instability of Lebanon is still ever-present, with corruption and greed still being conducted by most of the politicians and businessmen
over there. So why should they come back? Because
it’s their country? It is, and it is not.
A country with a
government like Lebanon’s is not appealing to the outside world. President Lahoud,
who is a puppet controlled by Syria,
as well as past leaders such as General Aoun who came back and sided with his enemy, Bachar Al Assad. You have leaders like Nasrallah who are fighting a religious war, not a war that is desired by the Lebanese,
for the Lebanese. How can Lebanon participate in this? They’ve been through so much already.
It must be remembered
that Beirut was a city so beautiful that it was compared with the greatest
cities in the world; it was known as the ‘Paris’ of the
Middle East. Now it has been turned into rubble. Why would people want to return to this, when they remembered such a place? It is difficult. People left at a time when Lebanon, and the Middle East, was undergoing
a dramatic change.
Unfortunately, Lebanon changed for the worse, allowing itself to be controlled by other leaders in countries
like Iran and Syria. Leaders who are not concerned about Lebanon, but rather their neighbor, Israel.
In order for the
Lebanese expatriates to return there has to be significant change in Lebanon, in terms of leadership and governance. Our leaders are obliged to help
the people and represent the people, not act as dogs, siding with people because of fear and greed. The sad thing is that this change will take a long time, and it has to happen internally rather than externally. Once everyone sees this change, they will come back and Lebanon will become the country it once was.
So who is to blame?
Nobody knows, but one could say it is the Arab leaders. Selfish, corrupt, greedy dictators that have never united because of fear when they have the potential for
greatness. The Arab world needs great leaders, leaders for the people, leaders for all Arabs. Otherwise,
Lebanon and the region as a whole will never develop, while conflict
will be a part of everyday life.
One can also put blame on the Americans for their ignorance in believing that it is so simple to transform a nation
run by a dictator (for over 20 years) to one that is democratic. How can that
happen? The change needs to gradual and accepted by the people otherwise it will
never work and poor, innocent people will suffer the consequences as has always been the case.
It is much bigger than
the support of the Lebanese expatriates; it requires the support of every Arab nation. People
have been suppressed for so many years, they have no one to believe in, no one to lead them, and they need a voice.