By Dr Maroun El Moujabber
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”.
I find myself wrestling daily with the overbearing burden of the same existential crisis that my fellow Lebanese compatriots and expats are haunted by, but I am not here to speak of the causes of our collective despondency, nor am I writing this to cast accusations or hypothesize about who should be held liable for the challenges that we are currently forced to face. To do so would only lead to more stale discussions that will never hold any practical value.
No, the reason for which I am writing this, is to propose what I deem to be the best way to deal with our catastrophic and woeful status quo, and to suggest solutions that each and every one of us can contribute to and partake in, to bring about the much-awaited change that we are all yearning for.
But first, it is important recognize the following:
- The solution requires years upon years of consistent and relentless work.
- A truly viable solution could only be orchestrated by those veritably will to make a change from the inside.
- Any solution proposed by an external party will most certainly cater to some of their needs at the expense of our best interest, and all those who wished to involve themselves in our affairs have historically proven that they value the assistance of the corrupt and the morally bankrupt. (They’re easy to bribe and buy-out)
- Globalization has stripped many countries of their national sovereignty and their ability to make their own, fully-independent and uncoerced, economic and political decisions.
As such, it only stands to reason that we must sow the seeds of positive and constructive change from within, by proposing solutions tackling local and rural development. Why?
Nation-wide changes are next to impossible to implement, and it is highly unlikely that the elections will serve as a catalyst for the kind of “shake-up” that everyone is anticipating. The ruling mafia has roots reaching quite far into every level of the Lebanese society, acting as a deep state impervious to all forms resistance and capable of deterring all accusations and facts with methodical counter-propaganda campaigns, ultimately asserting itself as an-ever present tyrant denying citizens their most basic of rights and depriving them of their sense of dignity and self-worth.
Thus, we must steadily and arduously commit ourselves to making small societal improvements to pave the way for mid and long-term political changes.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we have to ensure that each and every one of us does all that is within their ability to raise the awareness of Lebanese youth regarding their rights, and to more importantly revitalize their commitment to their national duty of succeeding and excelling in their studies and careers.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we must make changes occur in the upcoming municipal elections to exert further non-politicized influence over municipal councils and to ensure that their selected members are truly committed to promoting tangible local development and to bringing about palpable social, economic and cultural improvements.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we must promote agriculture, food manufacturing and sustainable ecological tourism, and as an expert on this subject, I could adamantly state that all what the previous governments had done was predominantly geared towards undermining rural areas and values, and affecting said areas’ agricultural capacities to force people to migrate towards cities. Make no mistake about it, their policies were mostly centered around what our Tunisian brethren would refer to as “Deriding those of Faith”.
“To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia we have to seek renewable sources of energy and optimize the utilization of water and natural resources”.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we have to preserve our environment and reduce wastewater and solid waste pollution.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we have to encourage our youth to return to their villages to perform their creative and pioneering works in the fields of art, information technology and culture, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the true value of such forms of work.
To get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, we have devise an advanced and sustainable structure of governance to democratically establish policies promoting education, culture, art, technology and scientific research, etc.
We have a difficult and long road ahead of us, but I have personally never stopped, not even for a second, from attempting to get rid of the tyranny of this ruling mafia, and for this reason, I have decided to have Italian journalists Roberta Văduva and Lorenzo Somigli as guests, to render the Italian public more aware about the deplorable conditions in which we are living, and to invite them to assist us in finding solutions and to cooperate with us in order to bring some hope back to our beloved Lebanon.
I’d like to end this with a reminder that prayer aids and empowers us, and as mother Theresa is infamously quoted to say:
“If you truly wished to change the world, return home and show your family the love they deserve”.
This paper was originally written in Arabic. It was translated and edited by SIYAK
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