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la calle, esta semana

noviembre 19, 2007

En dos días el parliamento libanés se reune para elegir un ‘candidato de consenso’ y de este modo, en principio, romper el impase político que se lleva viviendo en el Líbano desde hace dos años. O desde hace 30, según como lo mires. Todos andan tensados, esperando lo peor y imaginando lo que podría desencadenarse a partir de esta semana (vease por ejemplo http://www.aboujahjah.com/?p=57#more-57 , en ingles)

aquí he un mini ensayo de una amiga, que transmite el ambiente en las calles de beirut en estos días:

A scene of pedestrians walking quickly through out the streets of Beirut
to their preset destination is a warning sign. As if the arriving horizon
is covering the city with dark promises, bringing back a nightmare that
lasted 35 years.

Their destinations are their homes of safe spaces, but soon when the
flying bullets and the snipers deadly jokes performing a symphony of
sporadic noise to the silent city outside, then these homes will turn into
graveyards, of living bodies waiting in despair.

This is the tension of uncertain memories. In a present resembling stories
told by a former militia soldier, once, while finishing his fourth beer
bottle, in an epiphany of regret, that tragically fades in the next
morning.

What Lebanon is currently undergoing is not limited only to the
presidential elections; it would be foolish to pretend that. An
existential and spatial crisis that generations of the Lebanese people
have been going through cannot be limited and solved only by finding a
suitable president.

Portraying the presidential election as the key knot of all these
never-ending conflicts, means that we are procrastinating again the
inevitable tasks of naming the factual reasons of these conflicts as they
truly are. Thus, we again are creating an imaginary setting to hide the
real reasons that would explain the logic of this steadfastness and
yearning to war.

If some Lebanese believe that the Syrian regime is the foe, and some
others believe it is Israel. How would the presidential election be a step
towards bridging this difference? Could the president determine who is the
vital other for the Lebanese, and by identifying this other the Lebanese
would be able to understand the true meaning of sovereignty. Such a
president must be an instant messenger from god and with holy powers, the
kind of leader that the Lebanese people fall for head over heels.

The vacancy of the presidential seat fools no one; this sort of vacancy
becomes an embarrassment in front of international diplomatic presence. A
president needed for a country’s prestige. As unacceptable as this idea
might be for some, it remains a popular perspective that Lebanese share
among them selves. The Lebanese president has no say in war, or in peace,
the Lebanese president decides no allies or foes. A candidate for the
presidency should be neutral; he must be objective to the extent of
detachment. Who will be seated on the chair in Baabda place? Who will be
representing the dominatrix of the Lebanese inter relationships? Questions
that can be avoided at no cost if we would replace them with different
questions, what should a Lebanese president stand for? How close should
this position be to the actual Lebanese politics?

A magnet is pulling people to war. A magnet of sectarian insecurities and
international loyalties, a broken bridge with the past keeps manifesting
it self in the so-called arbitrary acts of violence. If we have never
admitted that we have killed each other for reasons of antagonism, then we
cannot say we might repeat these killing. All records have been cleared,
and rewritten. A new Lebanese identity created in the post Rafik Al Hariri
Lebanon; pre-produced identities sold through Image consumption.

If this war breaks through, we should not complain. We should not run
around and blame people or increase our xenophobia by enslaving more
Syrian workers, Africans, Asians and Palestinians. This time if the war
breaks through we should accept that this is who we are. A group of lost
zealots with self-hatred issues committing crimes in the name of freedom,
resistance and enlightenment. We are our own fear.

If this war must break through, let it be out in the area of Solidere and
let be destroyed again. Let this war if it must break through; erase all
false visions of any future we fool our self to embrace. If this war must
break through then surely, the resistance true face will fall down, and
the men of god could fight openly the men of capitalism.

Sara Abou Ghazal
November 16th, 2007, Beirut

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