21 years old, international affairs student

What do you like about Lebanon?
First I like Lebanese food! The whole mezza, like raw meet, kibbeh
and sawda (the liver) and arak. I like the simple life in the far away villages among old people. In the villages you are always away from the hypocritical Lebanese. You find honest people, clean air, no noise and trees.

What do you hate about Lebanon?
Actually, I hate everything in Lebanon, but mainly the people and their mentality and the shallowness in their way of thinking. They don’t know how to get out of the box. All what they care about is society and what the society will say about their work and things they do.
Secondly, the sectarianism and how people differentiate each other according to sects. It is obvious that you can know people and their way of life by their sect. It is a stereotype but it is also a reality. Like people that label themselves: in Achrafieh, people are francophone, then there are Maronites; in “Beirut”, it is Sunni; people who are always chaotic are Shia, etc.
I hate pollution and Beirut because it is a concrete city. I hate our government. Everything is based on wasta (nepotism). What I hate the most is universities because they don’t teach; they are businesses that take money. I hate paying for education.

Are you involved in an association or a movement?
In Lebanon, most of the time you will be born in a movement according to your people but I am not. I prefer the anti-sectarian movement and to get involved with civil society organizations. But most of them care only about money and not about humans as human beings. To be honest, I can’t label myself in any. I have a problem with getting affiliated with any society or party in Lebanon.
I don’t identify myself as Lebanese even because if you want to feel connected to a movement or a party then you have to feel secure. Being Lebanese is being inhuman. Why should I feel Lebanese when the State does not offer me anything: no electricity, no education and no decent public transportation. And when you get old, you can’t get anything from the government, not even medical insurance.

How do you see the future of your country?
There is an unclear future but I can’t see it bright. It is a long dark tunnel. We had the chance to fix everything after the civil war but all the nations and the politicians destroyed it. And now we are on the edge. I even heard that Lebanon will be labeled as a bankrupt country. I care about the future of Lebanon but I care about myself more and how I can get my security in the future. Hopefully, out of here…

If you had to leave Lebanon, where would you want to live?
I hate North America because they are countries where money talks. I prefer Europe for culture and Latin America for lifestyle and family (in Brazil).

A dream?
Intellectual awakening in Lebanon. We need a French revolution in Lebanon (a similar style) and add social welfare onto it.
We need a real cultural movement, a renaissance, because economy can’t change society. Mentalities have to.

That’s Lebanon I love
It shows that there are creative people in Lebanon.
“General Suleiman go home, all corrupted politicians go home!”
It is a simple song that criticizes everything…

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