A Love Letter to Lebanon
Updated: Sep 9, 2021
As we know it, non-violence is a phase sustained. Soon co-opted by outside powers, coup-ed from the inside, by a military primed against citizens via tear gas and a swagger stick, by an economy investing against the people. But this time, the 7ajje looks into the eyes of the soldier, she curses at the powers above them, and teary-eyed he kisses her forehead like she was his mother. A weak army is a strong sha3b.
Mothers, sisters, women front and centre, outstretching their voices to be heard, their hands to hold and their legs to kick. Revolution is the practice of, not precursor to gender equality.
The means are the ends.
This time, united is the means, and anti-sectarianism is the ends.
Weddings in the crowd are an expression. The energy that emanates from hope, from bodies that return daily to the street, sacrificing and consistent, that is love overflowing.
The country was known for its parties – non-sectarian dance parties. Since the civil war, demolished buildings had become epic nightclubs where fervor peaked under insecurity and the need to escape it. After Hariri’s assassination, “it’s safer underground” was a catchphrase. Now, in a march of reclaimed anthems, the party is on the ground. Escape is in reality.
The exiled fly across the sky, exhilaration seeps through airport queues. Once again, owning space on their land, responsible to demand accountability. Amidst the landfill, the mountains at risk of forest fires, and the rising sea levels, they are proud, not just joyful, but in the bliss of something like having fallen in love.
The numbers used within the words are Arabic sounds or letters. The number 7 is the raspy sound for the letter “h”. The number 3 is a deep “aa” sound.
7ajje is an older woman
Sha3b is a nation of people