03 July 2008

Lebanon grabs me and shakes me up

I am still in shock.

Actually, I have moved to a state of depression. (But am also still in shock.)

For someone trying to settle his family in Lebanon, and thereby deal with everyday matters from the perspective of a resident of the country, not a happenstance tourist, Lebanon is certainly a very difficult place to be. It is utter chaos.
I am sure there are some places elsewhere in the country that are more orderly and user-friendly, but are probably out of reach, financially speaking, for the average low income Lebanese.

When I say chaos, I mean literally, a place that runs on a chaotic array of non-systems of living. With all due respect to the various wonderful anarchists I've met over the years in Detroit, who romantically dream of a time and place one day when everything and everyone will be free from all authority and and all systems and all constraints and all that jazz, well, I think I found it, and I don't think you want to try to live here!! Or maybe you do, I don't know. It might be a fun experiment for a single person or a group of young people, but trying to raise a family here is going to be more complicated than I thought.

Everything is counter-intuitive, irrational, aggressive, vague. From driving, to requesting a telephone line, to talking to strangers, to socializing with relatives, to trying to get a simple home repair, to the gross abuse of the working class by the government and by those with capital, to the gross abuse of the environment by everyone, etc.. The bottom line is: If you are not one of those elites who have gazillions of American Dollars to wave around and make things happen, then you are left to the mercy of the street culture, where every human, be they man, woman or child, is primarily engaged in the act of survival in a jungle of wits, where the last thing you should expect is an honest, straight answer.

I am beginning to develop of sense of caution and apprehension at any word that is promised to me by anyone.

I want to write a book or a long article titled:

الحياة اليومية في لبنان

شطارة أم جنون؟

I am tired now and will post more later. Wish me luck.


Just another depressed Lebanese said...

You should definitely write a long article about this subject.
It's the most important issue and yet, none of the politicians ever talks about it.

Laayla said...

Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum. It is sad and depressing that the environment is like this. I'm very scared of what will happen to me in lebnan as I decide to move there next month. I know it will not be easy and it will be difficult from being to a realitivly comfortable life in America to a chaotic mess in lebnan. I need all the prayers I can get from family and friends. I know this move will not be easy.

God help me!

Sophia said...


That's a big decision and I hope everything willgo well for you and your family. The picture you are painting is somber, and having been there only recently in 2005 and for a short time, I felt the chaos. However, I believe that living in rural areas should be easier. I got the sense that rural areas are self sufficient and people experience less stress there,and there are stillsome good schools in rural areas in Lebanon. However in order to live in rural areas you have to belong.

You might have taken this decision based on your longing to the country but the country we dream of is a construct,it does not exist anymore, sadly...

From my heart I wish you happiness in Lebanon.

poshlemon said...


I will not deny that things are chaotic in Lebanon. I have not been there since Christmas and it already seems crazy from just watching the news.

Lebanon has turned into some cesspool. It is quite difficult to point out positive things over there. But it's about how you manage. My mom has managed, my friends, my relatives... There is something about Lebanon that by spending some time there you automatically get drugged into tolerating whatever the hell Lebanon has to offer.

I will be in Lebanon for a good 6 to 9 months starting September. I am quite scared too. But what consoles me is that I'll get used to it. So will you and your family.

Please. I await your article. I am not too good bi fash el khele2 so I look forward to you doing this on behalf of all angered Lebanese including myself.

"the Dude" said...

Lebanon is so rich & chaotic, therefore complex and lively like a roller coaster ride.

This comment is like that.

Sometimes I wonder if 'Lub' of Lubnan is the original root form of 'love', as I think in Russian 'lubish' = love starts with root of 'lub', though it can be pronounced as 'liuubesh' also.

I put this very human video at my blog: dancing

During my mental homework, solving the problems of the world (yes, I'm guilty of such ridiculous notions), while in Eureka, Nor. Calif. US, I decided to ignore politics and focus on simple human condition improvement using a corporate form, manufacturing Traix 'trace' (better alternative to petrol vehicles) by the Palesraeli corp. based in Lebanon but with plants in Syria, Jordan, etc. as well.

Well, I can lead, but also cannot follow, so do not challenge or define my faith or culture, I am merely another human. My name is officially David, but I am Daud di nor calif. salam ~ shalom ~ selam

Lira said...

Good Luck IBJ

Anonymous said...

Salam Alakum, I hope you and your family are in the best of health and are safe and sound. I was saddened to read what you wrote, i seriously would of assumed that life in Lebanon would be pretty nice, at least what my friends have always told me...

The looks of it, I wouldnt be sure I would raise my children (in the future lol) in any environment like that, thats why i disagree with anyone from here taking there family and raising them in Iraq, well yea thats a different story but all in all its a really bad environment for little kids, because they will adapt to that sort of culture, fresh minds. I do pray to Allah that He eases is it for you and your family and protects you all, be3oon Allah :)

so, does that mean we wont be seeing you back in Dearborn again? I remember one time you cheering me on to go into Architecture and I have decided that I am going to study it, FINALLY! though family isn't really with me on doing so :S , I am taking classes at HFCC right now and hoping to transfer to Lawrance Tech., do keep me in your duas please :)

May Allah bless you and your loved ones always.

your student, Rasha Algahzali

transient said...

well, old friend, this shaking is primarily your spirit being awaken violently from a long and dark state of slumber, there is no euphoric celebration of reality it can only be this way. Then truth will be known and life will begin. This transition is necessary as was that damned 17hour confined to a sardine can flight, painful but necessary. The return has occured, don't undo it and relegate back to the matrix.