Saturday, March 12, 2016

Why I’m going to Sassine today

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You don’t trust YouStink? I don’t trust them more than you do. You can’t stand empty populist speeches asking to bring down the nizam without proposing anything viable to replace it? I can’t stand them either.

You grew tired of old leftists using the popular movement to get out of the naphthalene closet? I did too. The sight of teenagers barking slogans they barely understand gets on your nerves? Not more than they get on mine. Opportunists posing as activists racing to get media attention make you want to puke? I’ve been puking since last summer for the very same reason.

But I’m still going to Sassine square today at 4pm.


Because my basic rights were stripped from me. My right to breathe something else than garbage. My right to wash with water that’s not poisoned. My right to live in a country that’s not an open dumpster.

Because the people in charge have been taking me for a fool for way too long. Because they stole my constitutional right to vote. Because they made fortunes out my daily plight. Because they keep lying to me as if I was a brainless moron. Because, while hospitals are overflowing with garbage related illnesses, they smile and laugh and take selfies.

Because I can’t forget the faces of all those who died for my country: the soldiers who fell fighting terrorists, foreign invasions and military occupations, the journalists and activists who were murdered because they cried out “freedom” and “dignity”, the friends I’ve lost because they believed Lebanon should no longer be the abused prostitute the political establishment turned it into.

I may not gain much by going to Sassine square today, but if I don’t, I’ll definitely lose the right to complain about anything that’s wrong in Lebanon.

© Claude El Khal, 2016

Photo: Ghaleb Cabbabé

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