I usually don't blog about politics.I don't Facebook or Tweet about politics either for that matter. I've learned at my expense, that in Lebanon, you preserve your friendships and acquaintances by giving as little information about your views as possible. Simply because political stands change with the seasons and there is no need to fight with people who will undeniably follow as soon as their "leaders" decide to change paths.
I do voice my stands for JUSTICE though.
Because I truly believe that no matter how kind of a person we may be, no matter how successfully our careers may have been recognized by our peers, no matter how much love and beauty our personal lives may hold, it is our duty as human beings to speak out against injustice. Anywhere. Everywhere. Otherwise, we're as guilty as the perpetrators. Even when we (make the effort to blindly) ignore what's around us.
That is why I may not be a Palestinian, but the Palestinian cause is mine.
Regardless of what some Lebanese propaganda would like me to believe. We are all one in suffering. We are all one in death.
That is why I may not be gay but the homosexual cause is mine.
Regardless of the fears built on the ignorance that unfortunately seems to grow more and more.
That is why I may not be any minority fighting for my right to exist on a daily basis. Or a majority for that matter, depending on where destiny has decided to have me be. I was not jailed. I was not oppressed. I was not humiliated. But as a human being I cannot but feel imprisoned with all those who have been and still are unjustly jailed. I cannot but be oppressed with those who are oppressed. And I am humiliated with any humiliation endured by others. Because we are all one on this Earth. Because we are all born as strong and weak as each other. Because we are all humans. Because we all feel the same pains. And because no matter what we do, who we think we are, who we truly are, we are all equal in death.
That I speak. And quite loudly, every occasion I get.
However, politics. Nah.
That's probably because politics by nature have absolutely nothing to do with values, or ethics, or humanity.
It wasn't always like this though.
Funnily enough, and despite my current silence, some people still like to provoke me because they remember that person I used to be.
I used to enjoy political debates with intelligent people who could make an argument, hear yours and still accept differences in opinions without labeling each other as "traitors" or whatever language the Lebanese people have brilliantly mastered.
Each and every politician we'd had has used that term, or synonyms, or other amazingly violent terminologies to feed his/her own personal propaganda and let's name things as they are, personal vendetta, against other politicians.
And sadly, each and every follower of these so-called leaders, uses the same vocabulary. It would be such a funny musical if it weren't such a sad reality.
Today in Lebanon things are simple: either you are with "us" or you are the enemy.
(n'est-ce-pas mon Épice adorée?)
I believe strong, nonnegotiable statements like that should only be reserved for the fight against Injustice and I also believe democracy implies various and conflicting views. But that's just me.
Of course the fact that "Democracy" has been stolen and redefined to support personal views doesn't help much. The same applies to "Patriotism".
And it gets even worse when these definitions are based on imported ideologies, pretty much like in colonial times, as if the people themselves couldn't decide what's best for them.
So today, I keep my mouth shut. Well I usually keep my mouth shut (this is one loud exception) simply because I've lost friends, some of them good, old friends, over such debates in the past years.
It seems some have not yet understood that yes, your leaders fight (and insult each other on a daily basis) today, but they reserve the right to reconcile at any time, when they deem suitable for their own personal agendas mind you, not for Lebanon.
In the meantime, your debates have become wars. Arguments are not perceived and understood as such anymore and everything is taken out of proportions, misunderstood, twisted.
Anything being said is taken as an insult directed against your person. And eventually, everything being said does become an insult.
Because for some reason, personal attacks seem to be more effective and acceptable debate tactics (again to defend, or not, politicians who let's face it, don't really care: they're planning to stay where they are no matter what we say or do).
So basically, you've fought like a mad bull on steroids against all those who spoke differently and after all arguments were taken as personal insults, reconciliation is impossible. For you that is.
Leaders on the other hand, they're kissing and making up like hormonal teenagers. Or Ross and Rachel in season; well in any season of Friends which is so much more appropriate than the teenagers comparison since political life in Lebanon is more of a never-ending soap opera with the same characters and the same storyline recycled over and over. And just as in any good soap, all the protagonists sleep with each other at one point or another. And all of them fight to the death at one point or the other.
These are the people who rule us. Nice.
We are the people who elect them. Even nicer.
So why am I ranting and breaking my code of silence?
Maybe because Mia woke up at 4 am this morning, demanding her breakfast and wouldn't sleep until the sun came out, so my brain is fuzzy on boundaries, even those I've set for myself.
It could also be because I just read a superbly well written article by a friend of mine who happens to score with every word. And I wanted to share it with you here. Even if it's political.
Whether you agree with her politics or not is absolutely not the point here. Actually, if you happen to disagree, it's an even more interesting exercise ;) Democracy, right?
Basically, it is a "must read" whichever politicians you may follow or may choose to bash; whichever party you might adhere to or even if you refuse to be involved in politics altogether:
My Coming Out Story by Maya Mikdashi, on Jadaliyya.