The lyrics of the song Tar El Balad (The country is lost) written by Nizar Francis and sung by famous Lebanese singer Ragheb Alama say: “It’s time people, to scream out loud. There is no time, the country is lost. Where is justice? Dreams are being put out. Awareness in us has gone to sleep, and the situation is only getting more difficult.”
Once the song, which expresses despair and the damage that troubled all the Lebanese people – for well-known reasons – was aired, a controversy erupted. The most surprising statement came from the friends of President Michel Aoun, including a brave MP who reprimanded Alama and asked him to stick to singing about love and stay away from these remarks “that are bad.”
The Aounist MP added a tune to the tanbur (music instrument) and said in a television interview: “His head must be lost. What does ‘the country is lost’ mean? What is this irresponsibility?”
“The song comes within several attempts to drive people to desperation and push them to surrender and immigrate,” the MP added.
The song’s lyrics are actually merciful compared to the country’s real situation, as acknowledged by the founding symbol of the party to which the angry Aounist MP belongs, i.e. Michel Aoun himselfMashari Althaydi
More pressing issues
So Ragheb’s song, unfortunately, is the reason behind the Lebanese people’s frustration and the reason that’s pushing them to immigrate, while everything in the country is “right” or on the path of being completely right, for ‘independence or quick death’ as the famous “Zaghlouli” Egyptian national historical slogan puts it!
There were hence Lebanese reactions to the song. Alama wrote on Twitter: “A while ago, prominent singer Majida al-Roumi called me and strongly condemned what happened and called on me to sing about reality and about the war on injustice and corruption. We will shake the throne of corruption with our voice, my friend.”
OPINION: On not losing the compass in Lebanon
The song’s lyrics are actually merciful compared to the country’s real situation, as acknowledged by the founding symbol of the party to which the angry Aounist MP belongs, i.e. Michel Aoun himself. Commenting on the incapability to form a cabinet ever since the parliamentary elections, which were held seven months ago, Aoun, the president, said: “The government issue has stumbled. The threats are bigger than what we can bear, and it must succeed. If it does not succeed, there will be a disaster.”
The economic distress, administrative weakness, corruption and favoritism are clear to everyone, and their reasons are many, such as the “no-state” condition that Lebanon is in, given the presence of a fait accompli reality represented in Hezbollah’s heavy dominance on the state.
An armed sectarian party that goes beyond the borders takes Lebanon as its base and as a hostage despite everyone’s will, hence spreading the worst social and political disease among the Lebanese people.
Lebanon is the world's third-most indebted nation with a debt-to-GDP ratio, and it also suffers from growth recession. The country is on the verge of a serious, really serious, crisis but for the brave Aounist MP that is okay, but what’s not okay is superstar Ragheb Alama’s song!
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.