Having lived and worked in five continents (Asia, USA, Europe, Africa, and lately Australia), we never cease of thinking about our birth place and country of origin, Lebanon, known previously as the Switzerland of the Middle East.
The little our kids know about Lebanon was enough to make them want to visit every year and even settle there. Despite the unstable situation we never missed a year without visiting this crowded, polluted, chaotic, but beautiful, warm, and vibrant country where East meets West. With every visit we discover something new.
Lately we discovered the amazing northern mountains during a 3 days trekking trip.
This country never ceases to amaze us.
Whether your passion is skiing, swimming, site seeing, trekking, driving mountainous roads or the night life, you can easily be accommodated and if you have the energy you can do them all in a day. Despite the war, stresses, and instability the creative mind of the Lebanese is always apparent. The architecture, media field, artistic creation, and leisure are as good as in any of the countries we lived in.
This doesn’t mean we don’t experience some disappointments. These include the public sector, the lack of environmental protection, lack of power, lack of water, and disrespect of the traffic rules to name a few.
The warmth and hospitality you feel is rarely felt anywhere else around the world.
While we vaguely remember Lebanon before the civil war broke; our parents never stop reminding us of the Switzerland of the Middle East. We now tell our kids and we all hope and wonder if these good old days where no discrimination, hate, and green or red lines will ever come back.
We understand the frustrations the people living in Lebanon go through and we do relate to them, but giving up is not an option. It’s true that we left Lebanon, but we never stopped believing that one day we will come back and settle there.
Wherever we go, we spread the good word about our country and we hope that all the Lebanese living in the Diaspora do the same. It is frustrating that the news talks mostly about the bad and rarely the good.
It is such a disappointment to see the split experienced in Lebanon being transferred to the Lebanese community living abroad.
Why can’t they unite? Why can’t they push for a United Lebanon instead of many Lebanons? Why do they follow a political leader blindly instead of following their own dreams and principles? Why do our politicians never change? Why do we practice political inheritance?
No one destroyed Lebanon but the Lebanese themselves. We blame the rest of the world for our miseries. It is time to stop blaming and start building, believing, and uniting. We have had enough instability and we owe it to Lebanon and the helpless Lebanese living in-country to overcome our differences, reconcile and rebuild the Lebanon we want-a democratic, organized, ethical, and clean Lebanon, where the basic needs such as water, power, rule of law, and ethical behavior are never a concern.
We can’t wait to go back to the Lebanon we want and we dream of. It is time to have a real Spring. Most of the Lebanese living abroad are well educated, well established, and capable enough to lead and make a change. It is time to give them a chance!