Hyam Yared: Lebanon, “the taking of hostages of a people”

September 14, 2021 by archyde

This story is that of a country which, failing to resemble what it might have been, found itself turned into a cash cow. How many times have I heard my mother beg my father to leave, him this idealist steeped in hope for this project of a young nation that his parents before him dreamed of. “You cannot gain anything without accepting to lose, building nothing – no country – without accepting to die,” he replied.

Many, at the time, chose to stay despite this risk, images on TV showing the death of those, less fortunate, broke or kidnapped by one of these countless militia gangs who participated in the war. , the same as those who converted thanks to Taëf (The Taëf accords, signed in 1989, were intended to end the Lebanese civil war) into “respectable” businessmen, because one day – under the leadership of Arab actors and international diplomacy with such intricate stakes that it is practically impossible to decipher their interests, much less their intentions – agreements gave rise to amnesty for brigands.

The country ready to rejoice at the consecration of devils

Brigand is an understatement. The reality is even worse. And above all we should stop not calling a spade a spade on the pretext that we would risk escalations if we acted without them or too ostentatiously against them, by naming them, one by one, them, their fellows, their hide-and-seek, their pawns, or their brothers. And is it not, after the political vacuum which allowed them to look at us without flinching for months in the doldrums of their carelessness, that our thieves, cleared of having to be accountable, come to an agreement to form, to everyone’s surprise, a government! And the world to cry victory. Even the Lebanese, bloodless to see their lives reduced for months to solve the basic problems of daily life, feel relieved. Obviously, we would have been for less.

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Tired of the living conditions and shortages so extreme that Lebanon looks like a Gulag, we are ready to rejoice at the consecration of devils if their governance provides us with electricity, water, and a generator sufficiently functional to survive until. at the next hour of electricity that the EDL will give us in a trickle – without stopping to demand the payment of the bills -, as we give a few crumbs to better ensure the enslavement of the people by the shortage. It is because the people are resistant under the putrid banner of resilience – this word for no one or for assumed slave. We have rarely done better in terms of voluntary servitude, all the same forced by a political class which has orchestrated the hostage-taking of its people so well that all past revolutions have had nothing against it.

Make the beast presentable to donors flocking to his bedside

But rest assured, good people from here or elsewhere, after two years of cowardice translated by an inability on the part of this same class to form a government, here it is again gathered to restore a cow that is now ashamed of itself. in the regional herd. So they work together to brush his hair ravaged by ringworm, camouflage the scabs, file the horns, treat his gum infection, check the udders, make sure that a few drops of milk come down, was- he adulterated. They must harness themselves to their work to make the beast presentable. Do not scare away donors flocking to his bedside. The long teeth race is now on. It is up to who will manage to have the longest. We have a chance of winning the contest. Ours have walrus teeth, with all due respect for this friendly animal.

It is because the people are resistant under the putrid banner of resilience

“To name things badly is to add unhappiness to the world”, said Camus. Badly tracing the thread of corruption too. Roosevelt said that in politics there was no chance. There is also little in the formation of this government after fifteen months of a vacuum which especially served to the political class to clear themselves of any responsibility in the consequences of their successive crimes. As if the time had come not to abandon the cow to the countless cowherds, the Iranians, the Saudis, the Chinese, the Turks, and so on. It is because many of them seek to milk it – to install their influence above all – in this Lebanon meadow located at the intersection of issues that no longer speak their names. Otherwise what would this new mandate be used for, which looks like it came out of a conjuring hat?

Here we had everything

When, then, at what moment, will it be wise to name corruption by name on the local scene – since well-ordered charity begins with oneself – but also, internationally, since this country has not been emptied of its public funds transferred to accounts abroad and other front companies only with the complicity of a global community. In view of what political circumstances, on what unofficial bases and to respond to what conditions of international donors, has a government been formed today?

This time the Lebanese swear but a little late that they will not be picked up again. They will no longer be fooled by this country where life was good even in the worst hours of the war. Here we had it all. The sea. The mountain. A mild climate. Coastal wealth. Another fertile from the Bekaa. Some water. Houses with red roofs. A charm more intrinsic to the nature of this region than to that poisoned by this Orientalism which has for too long blurred the view we should have had on ourselves. We should also have thought about our autonomy. In the light of these assets which prevented my parents from migrating, despite the war, the destruction of our houses and our cities, the shortage. And our souls bruised like damned Sisyphus.

A city cannot descend lower to hell

The Lebanese no longer want to throw their lives and their hopes into the big Lebanese political bucket. They are no longer ready to sacrifice everything. On the lips, we hear the same cries. “We can’t take it any longer, we’re leaving! I can’t see this country in paint anymore. Beirut to hell with it, I’m off.” “There are enough of them fed up”, yell my eldest daughters echoing from abroad where they are studying, pained by the stories of their friends who are also rushed into this rush for a better future. “To leave is to die a little, to die to what you love”, say the verses of Haraucourt. There are countries where these verses pass for nonsense. Where to stay is to die to what you love. Ask any Lebanese if he prefers the beauty of his native country to the difficulty of exile, he will tell you that leaving is a sweeter death than the one assigned them to a place that will soon arouse nothing but empathy and a few gifts, while he had everything to be this viable utopia to which his complexity had promised him: this plurality which, in the end, only served as a goodwill for those who used it to build their lust on his back.

The Lebanese no longer want to throw their lives and their hopes into the big Lebanese political bucket. They are no longer ready to sacrifice everything

Hyam Yared: Lebanon, “the taking of hostages of a people”

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Someone once told me that in order to love you have to be ready to die. How to tell everyone – friends, relatives, families, cousins ​​- that there is no love lost. That a city cannot descend lower into hell. That this black hole must have a bottom. That countries cannot limit themselves to being nothing but cash cows or cracks. That you have to believe in them especially so that they exist and respond to the logic of my seven-year-old daughter at the end of a grueling walk in the mountains. “After any descent, she told me to convince herself of the courage she lacked, there is a climb, it’s logical!”. “Yes. It makes sense,” I replied, heartily, to the idea that the law of the strongest – in this conglomerate of dictators and elites who rule us – have the last word. on the logic of physics embellished by the faith of childhood.


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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my