So I am back; and many apologies for the long absence and mysterious silence. I have been busy lately with work (sigh!) and school, but I am finally done with both, at least for the time being (i.e. until next week). My vacation was supposed to be 2 weeks long but some people are rude enough to demand extra work when it is outside the contract agreement signed… And being a “can’t say no” (naive? stupid?) person, I stupidly took on the task that I did not have to, which meant that there will be further demands (for Monday), because the more you spoil them the more they demand… But, I am determined to ignore, ignore, and ignore, because it is my vacation, and I owe that much to myself.
Having said all that, part of the reason for my silence (since more than one person has inquired so far) has been the fact that I have been really at a loss for words because I feel that whatever I write is merely a repetition of the previous entry – because, as I have told those who asked, we Middle Easterners simply like going in circles (reminds me of the bus song… “the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round…”). I have tried to avoid falling into the trap of paraphrasing news reports on developments (developments? since when did that apply to the Middle East?) in the region, because there are all too many websites and blogs that do that. I like to adhere to analysis and observation on my blog as much as possible. Speaking of observation, I have been observing a unique phenomenon in Lebanon lately. Well, it happens every 4 years, but it is a sight to see… By the end of May, flags of different countries (mostly Brazil, Germany, and Italy) have decorated streets, balconies, store fronts, cars, motorcycles, and so on. A foreigner visiting the country would be amazed at how many “foreign nationals” live in the country… but to the locals, it’s a way of life, a uniquely Lebanese phenomenon, something to be celebrated rather than “overanalyzed” and shunned… I understand that there is some excitement due to World Cup, I understand (ok, maybe not so much) that people might like the way one national team or another plays, but to hang flags (and I mean, not just small car flags, I mean flags that cover entire buildings) and go out to the streets in the middle of the night honking because some country’s team (and if you’re one of those typical flag-wavers, you probably don’t even know where that country is located) won a game, is a little bit too much. In fact, this is not surprising at all… The Lebanese are good at celebrating others’ victories and losses instead of strengthening themselves so that they themselves can achieve such victories. Now the discussion is no longer just about the World Cup, but also about politics, and the Lebanese people’s reaction to their surroundings. This is why Lebanon has never been and will never be independent, or free of the cancerous tumours called elites (zu’ama). There is a fable in Armenian that goes something like, “the fox couldn’t get to the grape, so it said, ‘it’s unripe anyway’ “… the Lebanese, when they can’t get the grape, say, “let me cheer for the lion to get it.” Such is the peculiar world that the Lebanese live in… As for the World Cup, I am rooting for the underdogs (no particular one), as long as it will mean that the Lebanese will bitterly remove their flags. Although, come to think of it, so long as such mentality is there, things will continue to move … in circles.
Moving on, I mentioned I have been busy with school; those of you who also check out my other blog have probably noticed that about 10 days ago I posted my paper for my ethnic conflict class (on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict). I have decided to also post my paper for my Palestine class. The paper is in PDF format, is downloadable (right click & “save link as”) and printable, but not editable.
The paper is 24 pages (plus 2 for bibliography). Please do report any factual or technical mistakes; I started writing the paper 5 days (if you count the long breaks, I did less than 2 day’s work on the paper – minus the reference collection part, which was done a month ago) before its due date, and have not read it over…
Well, enjoy! And I am off to play Call of Duty.