It’s time for Lebanon to recover its lost dreams
The Lebanese people took to the street on Sunday regardless of the politicians who think they are still in control of the people and the situation
The slogan “change is possible and initiative is a duty” which protestors in Beirut’s downtown raised over the weekend reminded me of late Lebanese lawmaker Gebran Tueni’s 1993 editorial of the first copy of Nahar al-Shabab, a weekly supplement of an-Nahar newspaper.
The piece was titled: “Wake up and speak out.” Tueni wrote: “It’s time to reawake the dreams of an entire generation - a generation whose enthusiasm and plans were destroyed. A generation who considers it has nothing to do with everything that’s happening in the name of the present and the future.
A generation who decided to draw a line between itself and this fake reality which is based on visions that are completely irrelevant to the so-called popular will! Is it true that Lebanon’s people are no longer those vibrant death-challenging people? Is it true that Lebanon has become a country whose people are from the past and who are condemned to remain in the past? No!”
Taking to the street
No and a thousand times no! The Lebanese people took to the street on Sunday regardless of the politicians who think they are still in control of the people and the situation.
They took to the streets to reject and rebel against a bitter reality which is the responsibility of politicians who “agreed” among each other to divide gains without considering people’s interests. For 25 years now, i.e. since the civil war ended, the Lebanese have been drowned in darkness. Perhaps Prime Minister Tammam Salam boldly expressed that when he spoke of “political trash.”
The Lebanese people took to the street on Sunday regardless of the politicians who think they are still in control of the people and the situation.Nayla Tueni
It’s true that a number of protestors, some of whom are infiltrators and well-known by everyone, were rude and immoral at expressing their demands and their actions were unacceptable while dealing with security forces.
However this unfortunate reality accurately expresses the tragic situation of the Lebanese people who’ve been suffering from a trash crisis for a month now as a result of political struggles as well as a presidential vacuum which has lasted for a year and three months now as a result of the stubbornness of some parties.
In addition to all that, governmental work has been obstructed for three months due to some the personal ambitions of some politicians. This bitter reality has affected the entire Lebanese people and it’s no longer possible to control it without holding politicians accountable.
In 1999, Tueni wrote: “It’s time to end this farm-like situation which has led to where we are today. It’s time we build a civilized state – a state of law that is up to the level of the new generation’s dreams. It’s time to build a state as transparent as the dreams of Lebanon’s youth – a civilized, strong and fair state where there’s place for neither thieves nor murderers. Come, let’s perform our role as free, vibrant and democratic people. Come, let’s hold those responsible accountable.”
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Aug. 24, 2015.
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni