Two pictures from Beirut, representing severe symptoms of the problems

FIRST picture (published in the An Nahar on January 7, 2020):

The ad in the above picture reads as: *Remove your dirty hands off the justice system”.

This demonstration took place yesterday, January 6, 2020 in the streets of Beirut. Other actions also occurred in front of Governmental institutions, including two telecommunication entities, and banks as well as the Lebanese University (asking for its independence).

Bambi salutes the courage of these people (against all odds…). When the legal system of any jurisdiction is too dependent on any powerful political force and/or corrupt entity, we can say good-bye to the realistic hope for a healthy democracy. Luckily, there seems to be a slight yet realistic hope for a change in the legal sector there, it seems. Indeed, Lebanon has many talented professionals. What a shame not to benefit from their reformist and/or visionary actions.       

Second picture (also published in the An Nahar on January 7, 2020):

For Bambi, this picture is hard to look at for several reasons: (1) It represents an elderly man with a deep sad look in his eyes. Because he is Lebanese, this man could have been Bambi’s own dad or uncle, who knows? Bambi feels for his sad expression of feelings. His picture was taken in the Memorial service, organized by the Lebanese Hezbollah last Sunday, for the Irani General Suleimani who was recently killed by the Americans in Irak; (2) The second sad reason is when Bambi stops to imagine the personal story of this man? Why is he that attached to the killed general? Was he himself a fighter with the Hezbollah in his youth? Or did he lose a child in Syria where the Hezbollah went to war behind the back of the Lebanese Government, so to speak? Or is he simply a man of his context and time… or, is he simply too brainwashed by a fanatic religious ideology?; (3) Last but not least, perhaps the saddest part is what this man is wearing on his head. On the yellow flag of the Hezbollah, it is written: “Death to America”, a slogan the Iranian regime has always loved to repeat for years (of course now more than ever).

The tragedy here is that this man is Lebanese, not Iranian. The picture was taken in Beirut, no Tehran… Next to this man, there were probably hundreds of other men, women, children, wearing the same bandana with the same slogan.

Today, Bambi read in the same newspaper that the President of Lebanon, Mr. Michel Aoun, wants to ensure that Lebanon will remain out of the USA-Iran conflict. Noble intention? Likely but how can this realistically happen when people (including him) know who is in charge, not just in the country but in the whole region?

Plus, will any Lebanese strategy resemble its older official policy (of neutrality) a few years ago when the Syrian war started? Plus, how could Lebanon be truly protected, if external forces decide otherwise, and/or when a (large?) part of its population wears the same bandana as the elderly man in the picture above. They sadly wear it not just on their head, but more alarmingly, they hide their own eyes with it, following what their leaders tell them to do.

With this regard, when Bambi recently visited Lebanon, she met with a childhood school friend (after 30 years!). The friend reminded her of a story that she has forgotten about herself: Bambi was the delegate of the class and it was civil war times back then. When militiamen came to force high school students, of all the nearby institutions, to go applaud to a certain politician, Bambi stood up and firmly said: “We are not sheep and we are not going with you!”. Sadly, the heavily armed men decided otherwise in the end. All the students of all the schools walked out of their schools to attend the event in question… except Bambi herself. Well, she went to hide in the washroom to avoid being forced to go applaud to the politician in question ?.

On this rather now amusing note, Bambi hopes that people will open their eyes to see matters critically and to take a look at the whole picture, before jumping into conclusions… and filling their hearts with hatred.

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