Wednesday, January 2, 2019

My (naïve) wishes for 2019

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I made these wishes a few years back for my birthday. Some people thought they were a bit naïve. Maybe. Still, I make them again this year, for the new year. Perhaps a little naïveté would do us a world of good. And I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities in the weeks and months to come for cynicism and sarcasm.

So, without further ado, here are my (naïve) wishes for 2019.

I'd like my fellow Lebanese to be less superficial, less hypocritical, less intolerant, less petty. I'd like them to embrace their amazing untapped potential. I'd like them to shine as I know they can, and as so many have done already throughout the world. I'd like them to be the wonderful human beings I've already seen them be in the past: kind, generous, smart and talented.

I'd like less oversized balloons disguised as breasts, less jellyfish pretending to be lips, and much less Star Trek-looking women at overpriced weddings. I'd like Lebanon filled with Nadia Tueni. As many Nadia Tueni as humanly possible.

I'd like us to stop treating this beautiful country of ours like an old ashtray, a doormat or a garbage chute. I'd like us to focus on our common humanity rather than bicker over our differences and parade our egos in an endless penis competition. I'd like less patriotic songs and more patriotic deeds.

I'd like a more humane society. A society based on equal rights and equal chances for everyone. Where no Lebanese is ever excluded. Where no Lebanese goes hungry. Where no Lebanese lives everyday as a humiliation.

We have a tiny country, with many natural resources and a fertile land. We are creative and resourceful. Our economy can easily flourish for every Lebanese to profit from. What’s stopping us, really, beside our absurd tendency to self-destruct?

I'd like to know that the years spent fighting for a better Lebanon have not been in vain. That despite the many setbacks, disappointments and defeats, this effort gave birth to something, the hope that someday soon, things will be better. Not some sort of illusive hope, of course, but something real, concrete, something to build on.

Happy New Year 2019 to you all.

© Claude El Khal, 2019