Tomorrow (in an hour in Beirut) on November 22, Lebanon will “celebrate” its “independence”. The latter refers to the end of the French Mandate, in 1943, after 23 years of rule.
Sadly, Lebanon is VERY far from being an independent nation– today more than ever. Indeed, its fate depends on so many countries of the world. The fate of its residents is at the mercy of the tyrants of their country.
One of Lebanon’s residents is Bambi’s dear friend whose name is Georges. Mr. Georges Abu Arraj expressed the sad reality of his country so elegantly in the language of Voltaire. Bambi will share his beautiful poem with you below, along with a quick English translation. Thank you Georges for moving Bambi’s heart today. Thanks also for your generosity when she asked you if she can share your writing on her blog. She is honoured that you kindly accepted.
“Indépendance et Dépendance…
Chaque année, nous fêtons notre liberté
acquise, d’un mandat gouverneur.
Chaque année, nous célébrons avec fierté,
défilés, choeurs, et péroraisons d’orateurs.
Serons nous un jour assez perspicaces?
Pour regarder notre reflet, dans la glace?
Et décréter notre indépendance,
du besoin, de la corruption, et, de l’ascendance.
Serons nous un jour perspicaces,
et reconnaître un système inefficace.
Qui nous a mené à la résilience,
à un occupant des plus coriaces?
Chacun son tour, pour décider de notre sort.
L’un s’en va, l’autre s’en vient.
Le pays scindé, entre oui ou non, au consort,
puis arpenter sûrement, vers l’est, le chemin.
Indépendance où est tu?
Ceux qui t’ont conquis, ne sont plus,
les géants sont partis
emportant, la gloire de ma patrie!”
Georges Abou Arrage
21 Novembre 2021
Here is a quick English translation, and please Georges forgive Google Translate (Bambi’s faithful friend… so indirectly yours too :)) for not being able to do justice to your talent:
“Every year we celebrate our freedom acquired, of a governance mandate. Every year we proudly celebrate, parades, choirs, and perorations of speakers. Will we one day be insightful enough? To look at our reflection in the mirror? And decree our independence, of want, of corruption, and, of ancestry. Will we one day be insightful, and recognize an inefficient system. That led us to resilience, to one of the determined occupants? Each in turn, to decide our fate. One is going, the other is coming. The country divided, between yes or no, to the consort, then surely walk east along the path. Independence where are you? Those who conquered you are no more the giants are gone carrying, the glory of my homeland! “ Georges Abu Arraj November 21, 2021
To conclude this post on a friendly, optimistic, and patriotic notes, Bambi will end with the following:
(1) Georges Abu Arraj is multi-talented (entrepreneurship, engineering, languages, and… good citizenship!). Bambi featured his writing/him in an older post from July 24, 2020 (shown at the end of this post, if you are interested);
(2) If nothing surprises us until then, Lebanon seems to be heading toward elections in March, 2022. It seems that about 231,717 expats from around the world (over 33 countries) registered to vote. MANY from North America. Will their vote help bring some seeds of change? Time will tell. We just know that for now, these non-resident citizens were highly motivated to vote (a total number 2.79 greater than in the last elections in 2018; imagine that one double-citizen deer who has never ever voted in her birth country is proud to be among them, even if this will not make any major difference on the ground). They/we are all simply heart-broken to see what is happening to their birth country (Bambi suspects that most of them are recent migrants after the Beirut blast or following the worst economic crisis of the world since 1850s; and
(3). Regardless of their vision for Lebanon, whether trapped in it or expats, Lebanese people love their country so much (minus its multiple crises or wars). To each one of them, Bambi will dedicate the Lebanese National anthem (sub-titled in English). It is perhaps one of the most beautiful anthems in the world, starting with “Koulouna Lilwatan“. This means: “All for the country, for the glory, for the flag“. May the glory of Lebanon know how to shine again, even if it will take many years. May its flag always know how to unite and keep uniting all its people!