A Lament for Lebanon

Dear Lebanon,

Today is your day of Independence. I can’t even describe how much I wish I could be there. To watch red, green, and white balloons set off over Downtown. To watch your children wave Lebanese flags around. To watch such an amazing expression of al-qowmiya (insert Arabic word for nationalism). But, I am sad. I still miss you. I’ve found it easier to pretend you don’t exist. I still love you. I still care for you. But I’ve found it easier to go on without the thought of you. Still there are some days, such as this one, when I remember how I got up so early, precisely a year ago on November 22nd. And I walked all the way to Downtown to see if I could catch a glimpse of the parade. I had no idea where I’d find you. But I managed to catch some photos of your NGO just before you started marching in the parade. I was so proud of you. I was so proud of Lebanon. Seeing Lebanese fathers take their sons and daughters downtown just to watch what was happening. It was beautiful. I miss it. I miss you. I wish you knew what it meant to me to bear witness to that day.

A Lebanese airborne commando puts camouflage paint on the face of a young student during a combat demonstration at a school in Jounieh, north of Beirut, on November 19, 2010 to mark Lebanon's Independence Day, which falls on November 22. By Joseph Eid/AFP/Getty Images.

 

I love this picture. I stumbled across it on Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish… posted under Face of the Day. I don’t know what else to say. This is a picture I would have taken. I wonder if you’ll ever know how much I love Lebanon… how much I loved you. Is it not worth being honest?

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