Thursday, January 26, 2006

A glimpse of the Levantine Dreamhouse

Abu Kareem,
I have just paid a visit to your blog, which I found genuinely interesting..
You said in your latest post (http://levantdream.blogspot.com/)a lot of what goes in my own mind about the intricate relationship between Syria and Lebanon, and the Syrian People and the Lebanese People.. (I tried to leave some comments, but could not find a way to do it.. Am I missing some obvious way to do that?.. Is it just my lack of experience in blogging etiquette?..)
I think the large majority of the Syrian people empathize with the Lebanese people on the issue of the hardship they endured under the oppressive boot of the Syrian army and mukhabarat.. After all, as you said, who better to empathize with a sufferer than a fellow-sufferer?.. (I personally felt deeply embarrassed and humiliated when the Syrian Constitution was amended in less than 15 minutes to to pave the way for Bashar Assad to succeed his father, creating the first 'hereditary republic' in the modern Arab history.. I felt exactly the same embarrassment and humiliation when the Lebanese Constitution was manipulated and meddled with, to allow that unbelievable folly of extending the tenure of President Lahoud)..
In fact, I suspect that quite a few Syrians today secretly envy the Lebanese, now that they do not have to suffer the kind of oppression that the Syrians still endure.. (I fully appreciate that Lebanon has its own set of very complicated and un-enviable problems, though!..)
I lived in Beirut in the early eighties (1980-1983), and lived through some of the worst episodes of the Lebanese Civil War.. While I do not, in any way, want to belittle the suffering of Lebanon and the Lebanese at the hands of outside forces (wherever they came from), I too could not help but feel that the Lebanese were always more than happy to find faults in others and forget their own.. they always saw their problems as a result of 'external forces'.. never their own doing..
Like you, I was not at all surprised by the way events turned in Lebanon.. I think everything that is going on today, including the rampant xenophobia (or should I say 'Syriophobia'?..) is understandable (However, that is not to say it is acceptable or justified)..
While I can understand why some Lebanese harbour so much hatred towards everything Syrian, I do wish they can differentiate between the true oppressor and fellow-oppressed.. I do wish they would look at their own shortcomings, in order to start to address them..
But more than anything, I wish I would live to see the day when the Syrian people are free of oppression, and are allowed to achieve their full potential...

4 comments:

Abu Kareem said...

Glad you paid me a visit. We are both "virgin" bloggers and I can't figure out why I can't get my comment button to show. I will eventually figure it out.

Amr T said...

Abu Kareem, and Syrian Brit,

I am glad that you both lost your virgity!! hehe

Nice post.

elengil said...

As an 'outsider' I hope you'll appreciate that my comments are made with the best of intentions.

Your comments brought tears to my eyes today because it reminds me that...

People don't go to war, governments go to war. Regular people don't want to opress or be opressed, they just want to live.

It reminds me how hard it is to truly hate 'a person' but how scarily simplistic it is to hate a lable, a group, a government, an idea, a country, an 'enemy'... but how very hard it is to hate an individual person.

The Syrian Brit said...

elengil,
Thank you very much for your thoughts..
You are most welcome, as 'an outsider', to contribute to this, and any other, debate.. and by the way, no-one is 'an outsider' on this blog.. I would like to think that what is discussed on it concerns everybody, regardless of their race, colour or creed..
I am not as prolific a blogger as some of my fellow-countrymen (and women), and I do represent a somewhat different perspective as an ex-pat, but please visit this spot again and again.. I have read your comments on other blogs (Ghalia's Cocktail, to be specific), and I hope that your interest in our country, its people and its culture continues..