Lebanon, a beautiful chaos

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What makes Lebanon such a civilized country, yet under the state of a chaotic mess that ruled this place for more than 30 years, people still come back and talk about its beauty and charm? What is really that attractive about it? How come we only hear bad things happening in Lebanon on the news, yet every year, Lebanese people come back to live here, and many immigrants from multiple nationalities visit this country on the verge of sinking in filth?

I’ve been living here for 9 years. I was born here, in Beirut, and when i was 1, I moved to the countries of the Gulf, from Riyadh to Jeddah, from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah to Dubai, till the age of 12, in 2007. I witnessed in my childhood multiple mentalities, states of mind, influenced by numerous and different cultures: Hindi, Arabic, European, Latin, Asian and even North American. The thing in common in these countries, is the objective, normal routine lives and mentalities because of the big ethnic diversity. Because we lived in a country that wasn’t ours, my family and me, just like millions of other families, lived our lives normally, so normal, that after a while, life gets dull because our only entertainments were cinemas, malls, restaurants, and hanging out with friends.

This appears like a normal life am I right? Then why am I complaining and saying that living there was boring?

Well for the simple fact that, just like others in Lebanon, just like the tourists who come to visit, fall in love with the madness here. By definition, madness means  » extremely foolish behaviour », or even « a state of wild or chaotic activity ». These two meanings perfectly describe everything that is happening in this country. From the nightlife, to the road madness, to the trash, to the people walking in the streets, to the politics, etc… What can’t you say about it? The nightlife is amazing: all the parties, all the pubs, all the people drinking in the streets, talking and laughing with each other, having fun. The road madness, what is there not to say? From the endless traffic the whole day, to the disrespectful drivers who only think about themselves and don’t take into consideration the signs, to even deadly wreckless drivers. Moreover, our latest ongoing problem: the trash, taking over our lands, forests, streets, neighbourhoods. With a population of over 5 million people, each and everyone consuming day by day, and with NGOs and private companies not finding any solution, we are being forced to live in a waste filled land, filling our lungs of polluted air, and our bodies of polluted resources.

So how do people fall in love with this lost land?

The fact that even though we have and we only usually talk about the bad things in this place, we can’t help but feel the actual love and friendship that flow in our blood, that run in our streets. This chaotic madness, is what actually makes living in this place worthwhile and full of joy. Because we are a generation who came and witnessed at some extent the worst sides of a war, the bad ruling of this country, we grew thickskinned: nothing can bring us down, and whatever goes wrong, we always know how to find a way to turn the situation around, look at the good side, take advantage of it, and use it as a reason to have fun, like there was no tomorrow, like today was the last day of our life. We Lebanese have grown to have this attractive mentality, to know have to have fun no matter what, and to enjoy every moment we spend in this place.

As I am writting this article, at this particular moment, i’m sitting in a pub. No matter what I say, and what words I use to describe the mood and the vibes, my writting will never make it justice, people around me having fun, laughing, talking, just living in the moment, as if the time has stopped. That’s what makes Lebanon such a beautiful country to live in. That’s why emigrants come back, and why foreigners love to visit this land.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article, I hope you liked it, and I hope you feel the same way I do about this heavenly hell.

Jad Tabet

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