Tripoli LB

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My family doesn’t live in Tripoli, they live in a town adjacent to it. And if I didn’t come from there I probably wouldn’t care much about #tripoli_lb either.

It would be an insult to your intelligence if I wrote an in depth analysis of what’s going on in Tripoli. It would be an insult to your intelligence if I pretended to offer solutions or placed blame on specific political moves. I’m definitely not the big political connoisseur everybody in the country seems to be. I know nothing except the fact that my family is considered collateral damage to horribly short sighted people who have chosen to participate in a war that not only affects the people with bombs going off outside their childhood homes but also the people who can no longer reach the city to get to their schools and jobs.

My cousins have missed about a million school days this year. Days they should have spent whining about homework and having to wake up at 6am like normal kids they’ve spent hiding at home not wanting to risk being a casualty. Last summer my eldest cousin was taking her brevet exam under literal gunfire. Need I talk about the irony of taking a history test when it was basically repeating itself outside your window?

She got those four stupid points for إعراب while her parents waited for her at the school gate right downstairs ready to snatch her up and run the minute all hell broke loose. (Some might argue it was already hell, but for them its definition has expanded) The least of their worries was her getting a Très Bien, they were more concerned about her colliding with a rsasa taycheh. So they stood there all week long, making friends with the army men and their tanks and, in typical lebanese fashion, making the best out of a situation that in any normal country would only be described as psychologically damaging.

There’s also the tiny little issue regrading the brutality of destroying the financial heart of an entire region. People have been missing work days left and right. Businesses are burning to the ground. Basic long term thinking would suggest a hellish few years to come for the unlucky few who have decided to set up shop in lebanon’s second capital.

Most people I know work in growing (easily spoiled) produce and distributing it on the Tripoli Souk, a market they couldn’t reach this week. Sweat, blood, money and manpower all wasted.

Some people risk it though. Some need to visit the stores they’ve built with their own two hands to see if they’re destroyed or not. Some need to see if they can squeeze in a few sells to not make their week a complete failure. And some people get shot doing so. It doesn’t just happen to strangers who consciously put themselves in harm’s way like my ignorant mind always thought. Not in a million years would I have imagined a family member of mine getting shot. But he did.

If we were living in a more civilized country – considering any of this were to happen in the first place – we’d shame the government into paying attention to a city that’s covered in blood shed. We’d shame it for disregarding our kids’ education, for ruining people’s chances at comfortable lives year after year, we’d shame it for not doing its job and being so incredibly weak. Unfortunately, our beloved government is so used to being an embarrassment to itself that nothing can shake it. We cannot expect it to rally up a few brains to figure out how to get us out of this mess. It’s so closed off that  looking like the good guy is at the bottom of its priority list. Its callousness is so deeply rooted that even destroying its second capital isn’t a wake up call. I doubt anything is at this point. It’s not even pretending to care about us anymore. Its only strength is being a champion at the art of waiting for the storm to pass. We deserve so much better than this junk.  We’re caught between a rock, a hard place, a bulldozer, a mountain, a train, a wall and an ogre. I’d much rather see this guy, this guy and this guy run this shit hole instead, at least they’ve managed to remind a few people of what’s been going on. At least we’d laugh with them not at them.

Tteklo 3a allah ya jame3a. Counting only one death per day doesn’t mean that countless lives haven’t been ruined too. Let’s just think. We’re obviously smarter than our leaders, maybe one of us will figure something out.

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