“Ce qui est radical aujourd’hui, c’est la nuance” [“what is radical today is nuance”]: thank you Mr. Wajdi Mouwad for your wise words to L’Orient Le Jour

Last month, Bambi had a post about Mr. Wajdi Mouwad’s artistic cancellation saga during his trip to Beirut (shown further below). This morning, she woke up to an inspiring 30-minute-interview with him conducted in Paris by Mr. Anthony Samrani from L’Orient Le Jour. The content is in French, but his wisdom is badly needed internationally, not just in the Middle East.

Mr. Mouwad stated that he does not have any resentment. He considers this story to be an issue among Lebanese people. However, he is especially sad for for the Lebanese comedians who were prevented from working with him and his French team.

Mr. Mouwad’s wise words resonated with Bambi and she will translate them for you here: “Being radical became so banal. Everyone wants to be radical by choosing one side over the other. Me I say what is truly radical today is the nuance. The proof is that as soon as you express yourself with nuance, everyone attacks you. However, as soon as you are radical, people find this a good thing. It may perhaps mean that radicalism has become more conventional. But try to be nuanced and see what happens. You will lose your job. We will prevent you from going to your country. We will tell you you are this or that, etc. The ridge line is perhaps now the most radical thing to maintain”.

The story is about politics here (i.e. the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular), but think of it, please. This applies to any other conflict in the world, topic or scientific, social, or even public health problem from the climate science to management of pandemics to justice for/in the name of this or that social issue, etc.

Another question raised in this interview by the talented Mr. Samrani was related to a topic Bambi happens to have thought about over the past decades of her life: you may not agree, but Bambi is convinced that it would be wise, and more enriching, to leave politics out of arts, science, and… food :). Let’s keep channels of collaborations open and flourishing among artists or scientists from this or that country. This would include Israeli artists and scientists despite the actions of their political leaders. The same logic applies to Palestinian artists/scientists despite the actions of their own leaders. Same for Lebanon. In Bambi’s mind, one must not punish innocent, talented populations for the harsh, and/or neglectful actions, of their leaders. As mentioned by Mr. Mouwad, Lebanese leaders put their benefit above their country’s interests. To come back to food, you may have thought she was joking because she loves to eat. Yet she meant her point. To give you an example, in their own place, “Chef Luigi” (her spouse’s nickname) cooks meals from all over the world, including Iran and Saudi Arabia among other. Indeed, for each day, he can cook a recipe from a different country for over 2 weeks in a row.

For those of you who do not understand French, Bambi tried to translate parts of this beautiful interview for you. Of note, there are many other inspiring parts this chat between one of the editors of the Lebanese L’Orient Le Jour and Mr. Wajdi Mouwad. Bravo to the latter for speaking his mind and for his generosity.Thanks to to L’Orient Le Jour for offering its readers a ray of hope for a more nuanced and thus enriching and fair world.

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