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Beyond words

How do you write an obituary for a country?

Every day I receive updates. I read articles. I follow commentary. I speak to people. I watch the news. I check social media. It’s a nauseating barrage of bad news.

Hariri is out.

Mikati is in. (Again.) (His yacht is worth $100million. It’s worth repeating, so we don’t forget who we’re dealing with.)

The currency is crashing.

Jobs are lost.

COVID continues.

There’s no electricity. No fuel.

People are in the dark.

People are starving.

People are dying.

Every day I watch this country in freefall. Where’s the bottom?

Total paralysis as we sit here, silent spectators for the worst possible sport: the unraveling of a country. And its collapse. Good thing this isn’t an Olympic sport. We’ve already got the gold.

There’s not much to say. I don’t dare ask How are you? or, worse, Are you ok? Both naive and stupid questions that are best left unsaid. What kind of answer could we expect, anyway?

For those of us on the outside, we are spectators to the saddest sport – the undoing of a country.

And for those on the inside, I cannot imagine. I’m beyond words.

We’ve been led for generations by inept politicians who have succeeded only in erasing any viable notion of Lebanon from the map. What sort of “leadership” is this?

Meanwhile, we commemorate the worst “anniversary” imaginable – one year since the blast that destroyed half of Beirut, killed people, killed hope. Where’s the accountability?

And I’m not there – anymore. I think of everyone in the country – a vibrant, charming, eclectic mix of people. Huge personalities in a tiny space. (Maybe that’s been our blessing and curse all along, I wonder?)

What of them, these quirky big-personality people? What is the best use of our time in their service?

We watch and wait.

I’m beyond words for Lebanon. This is really all I’ve got. And rage. Lots of that.

I’m here, we say. Where?!

Virtually here. Hanging out in this limbo. Thinking of you all and wishing there was something – anything – we could do.

Send money. Check.

Send supplies. Check.

Get us out. Stay away. Come back in.

The Lebanese are so resilient, people say! And we are guilty of flogging this cliche as well. I’ve ranted about this before. People are only resilient when they HAVE to be. Did we have to prove once again (and again again again again) how (expletive) “resilient” we are?!

Some are optimistic. Cautiously optimistic. I cannot join their ranks. I think of the definition of insanity… same, same. Do we expect different results this time?

We’re all beyond words. Beyond ideas. And – I’m sorry to say – beyond hope.

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