Wednesday, February 16, 2011

... they will rise

It was a dream, a song, a wish, a sigh... of an event that was not likely to occur. Yet, it did happen. People did rise.

Politics aside, and a bit of harmless chauvinism in, Lebanon was the first to send both halves of its population into the street. Flag waving, street camping, cross-social opposition first featured in 2005 in this part of the world. Lebanese protesters camped some 555 days facing the Governmental House in Downtown Beirut. The act of circumventing demonstrators through "safe passages" was perfected over here.

I was very politicized back then .. I strongly sided with one "Movement" , but I couldn't be prouder to see that even the "opposing party" at the time could gather tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands or a million .. who's counting in a civilized manner and who also waved the same flag, sang the same anthem, and too (the people maybe not the leaders) wanted a healthy progressive country. It was merely a difference in perspective.

It did end in a violent way. Street fights broke out a number of times in Beirut since 2008. What didn't change are the old faces. Some changed sides, some became more radical, and some were forgotten.. but the old ways still rule. The Lebanon the demonstrators called for was not exactly a Lebanon the so called rulers, leaders and cheer leaders have in mind.

In many Arab countries, popular revolt was taken for a joke.. a dangerous joke... yet it is happening. My fear is that when politicians take over.. they tarnish the sincerity of the people.. A few moments were historic, a few years were anti-climatic!

Still, there is nothing more beautiful that people taking control of their country's streets and squares. Will democracy and people's genuine rule suddenly overtake Arab countries. Well, it's a matter of time.... a long time till it actually happens. At the time being, one dream has come true.. The Arab people have broken the wall of silence and fear in Tunis, Egypt, and very soon elsewhere: Good start! A word of warning - Ahead are turbulent years.. Today we celebrate the sunrise.. the shining rays that shatter the darkness of the night. It is usually very hot in desert countries during daytime.. too bright for comfort.. too hot for survival .. The sun will indeed by burning for a long time before the peoples who summoned in freedom learn how to adapt.

A dream came true .. a sigh was answered.. Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow new dreams have to be crafted behind the doors, in the minds of those who will rise again one day ... History is a funny being..

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