This post was inspired by a very nice conversation I had with two fellow expatriates on the blog of one of them: Confessions from a Lebanese Expatriate: Where did my Lebanon Go? (which is very good and I strongly advise you to follow it)
I see many Lebanese asking if they should leave the country:
Is the grass greener on the other side?
If you are to leave you will get a mediocre boring job in a cubicle.
You will listen to Lebanese radio from your cubicle and suffer.
You will hurt at the torture of seeing Facebook photos of friends back home.
You will take the metro everyday, and read the newspaper everyday.
Your eyes will scream angrily at the small column in the corner about Lebanon.
You will hate Lebanon and you will miss it.
You will love it more but thank God that you are not in it.
Your identity will shatter, as you become a so-called ‘citizen of the world’.
You will belong neither here, nor there.
The word expatriate will plague you…
But you see, for the longest time, I had been clinging to Lebanon for dear life.
I got knocked down repeatedly and I picked myself up and tried again.
But eventually I got knocked down and found that I stayed down.
In fact, I fell further and lower and what’s more, I was kicked.
Kicked in my patriotism, kicked in my hope, kicked in my naivety.
Kicked over and over again until religion was kicked clean out of me.
My faith in my country was standing at the door of my being.
It was clutching at the doorframe fighting tooth and nail to stay inside me.
The people of my country had it by the feet, pulling and dragging it out.
So I left.
I left for the sake of my faith.
I left so that I would come back one day with more to offer.
As for the question I asked in the beginning: As fellow blogger AdelNehmeh so eloquently put it, “The grass is not greener on the other side, and if it is you graze alone”.
SO WHAT IS A LEBANESE TO DO!?