It was the time to go back
to Dubai after a week in London for rest and doing
Our jet had to stop at Mediterranean airport for
We were five passengers: two UAE compatriots, two
friends from Lebanon, and me. We discussed
available options to stop and refuel. So,
where to land?
Well, it was Beirut that came to my mind first.
That wasnít without reason. The famous city had
always captured my imagination. It had a
remarkable role in shaping my conscience. My
suitcases still breathe the cityís pine scent.
Images of its neighborhoods and places have
remained in my memory ever since like a sweet
It was Beirut then and the question was open to
discussion among the trip companions.
The date: 06/02/2007.
Beirut was undergoing heavy internal struggles.
Confrontations between regional and international
powers covered the city with smoke and black
clouds. Different fronts filled the scene with
demonstrations, counter demonstrations, protests
from both sides, and threatening political
statements that were sufficient to start up an
intra-state war not only a civil war.
The place: a space for discussion between love and
adoring, sorrow and pain, hope and despair, fear
We decided not to land in Beirut. And it no longer
mattered where to land. The question became
Avoiding to communicate our feelings by
eye-contacts, our eyes where looking aimlessly in
the nowhere. No one wanted to betray his adoration
of the city that had suicidal harshness against
itself. No other city had showed such
self-destructing tendencies like Beirut.
Then, no landing in Beirut, everyone agreed But in
the sky, my memory went back to morning haze of
Bhamdoon, the snow-crowned cedars of Marya,
Tripoli, the history living in Baalbak, the sea of
civilizations of Sidon, and tobacco farms of the
Can a human being be afraid of his history and
childhood memories? May he or she be reluctant to
recall the experiences of past years? Or can he or
she sever from past neighbors, friends, playmates?
Can a country be harsh against its lovers as
Lebanon is doing? Can a people be so unfair to
their country as some Lebanese are doing?
What are doing? Iím asking you all without taking
part to any party, only your country.
What are you doing to this Oriental gem,
Mediterranean pearl, Arab jewel?
What are doing with the mermaid, springís breaths,
water flows, snow lanterns, your warm emotions,
the spontaneous Lebanese generosity, your Arab
traditions and hospitality and your eyesí joy?
What have you been doing? Once, you have been our
pride, joy, elegance, book, paper, hospital,
university, travel destination, oasis, rest and
We, Gulf people, were proud of your savvy people,
sophisticated culture, metropolitan environment,
lovely habits, logic, openness, love for each
another and your homeland, overwhelming attachment
to your countryís history and honor.
We need to retain this feeling towards you.
We want you to be entrusted again with our pride,
confidence and love. And we will not save any
effort to support you. Your pains are ours. Will
you wake up, regain the rein over your destiny,
and give the utmost priority to the interest of
Where are you now from your past? Iím asking as a
partner, a lover of you and your country.
I tried to figure out why on earth Lebanese are
doing such harm to their country. Well, I confess
that I couldnít. I failed to have any
justification for this havoc blighting indicated
by a prominent poet as the gate of paradise.
However, I will not contend that this has been
made by the Lebanese themselves.
God has entrusted Lebanese with this heavenly
gift, human heritage, and natural miracle. There
is no reason to do what you are doing now.
Lebanese have reached the bottom of their history.
Unemployment is rampant, Arab and international
investors are leaving, factories and even
restaurants are closing, may be irrecoverably,
throwing crowds of unemployed to be victimized by
Migration has become the buzzword among hundred of
thousands of Lebanese who bear their pains and
despair with them to win their living anywhere in
Donít those deserve a while to think about the
current situation? Donít they deserve from you to
recall your deep rooted national feelings, to
regain your honorable past? You were among the
first who demonstrated that homeland is the
synonym of integrity, honor and pride.
Give Lebanon the opportunity to live, to be an
oasis for our world. Go back and amicably and
open-mindedly discuss your differences inside your
constitutional establishments, your inclusive
Parliament, your multilateral government which is
meant to serve people not the other way.
Go back to constructive dialogue, unified stand,
logic resonance. There is no alternative to one
Lebanon, one Lebanese people.
Differences, no matter how deep they are, should
be minor issues when homeland is under threat.
Politics usually become insignificant when
national sovereignty is on stake.
All losses are neglected when the loss of your
nation is looming.
You are required to have some mercy for Lebanon,
your sons and daughters, your seniors, and your
Deny your enemies the opportunity to celebrate
your blight. Try to mitigate your friendsí fears.
No one needs to assure me about your love for your
country. But what is going on now endanger even
the national survival of your Lebanon. Every one
is required to halt for a while and reconsider his
stand, even to make concessions if necessary. No
one needs to be shameful of concession in favor of
No one can be victorious or loser vis-ŗ-vis his or
her nation. The real sought victory is Lebanonís
unity and integrity.
Leave your assumed ditches to the daylight. Go
beyond the walls of disengagement and hostility.
You need to extend our hands to each other, not on
each other. Think of your countryís blights. This
your only possible exit.