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The Lebanese Game of Thrones

I recently finished watching the entire Game of Thrones series, and if you are wondering, that consists of  more than 50 hours of immersion into George R. R. Martin’s world. However, I would not let 50+ hours of my life pass by without learning something, so then it hit me. We live in conditions so similar, although visually less appealing, with characters immensely worse looking than the original cast, we are enduring a Lebanese game of thrones.

Count with me, and there is no particular order here, but these are the country’s most powerful kingdoms:

Amal, Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Future, Lebanese Forces, Hezbollah, Kataeb, Progressive Socialist Party (PSP)

Generations have lived and died under the power of those SEVEN for decades.

throne-game-of-thrones

They want the throne, they conspire, they share the feast and poor people of the seven kingdoms are locked out of the castles and the fortunes. They roam around the realm, and allegiance is sworn just to save lives, because well you never know who might stick their sword in your back if you support the wrong king.

People live in dirt and among trash, some own slaves, while the majority are slaves. The feasts continue, and the little kings save their best tricks for the people’s most important and empowering event: National Elections.

So, what do they do?

They open their castle doors a few days before the ballots are cast and close them a few days after. People start rushing to allegiance, because their mouths are fed, and their streets are cleaned. They are conditioned so drastically over generations to wait for the crumbs, because they have lost all faith in their actual power, and forgotten that the only salvation they have left are the elections.

Except, what better drug is there than to make helpless people believe that they have a choice, when truly the kings are rigging the game?

Lebanon always belonged to one of the kings, yet since the last elections the kings decided to rule together. Let me tell you why, because they are getting old and weak. They are afraid of children, they are afraid of women, they are afraid of youth and strength, they are afraid of being over-thrown by people not even playing their old and withered game, they are afraid of the new that carries hope, acts rightfully, and gives justice where necessary. They are terrified of political dragons, flame throwers, freedom seekers, ones they thought didn’t exist, ones they thought they had crushed under the rubble of civil war.

The old kings dwell in their thrones, some in the north, others in the south and people rush about carrying their expensive stuff, and fresh haircuts waiting for the palace gates to open wide.

Except, what happens if someone comes around and tells them: you do not have to suffer anymore, you don’t have to protect your back, you no longer need your leash. You will get the life you want without falling at their feet, without fighting their wars, all you have to do is not enter that castle gate, cast a different vote!

A slave can pretend to love their chains, they can even pretend to wear them by choice. When given power with a piece of paper, what will the slave do?

In my opinion, A Game of Thrones is fiction for a reason, a slave who has been born and raised into slavery learns to serve not herself. A slave will not use the paper to free themselves, because the fear of living without chains is far greater than the fear of living with them.

So then, here is your choice: Vote wisely, or don’t vote at all; and if you do decide to fall for their tricks yet again, don’t start wailing when you get kicked out of the castle and into your reality again.

 

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Wonder disclaimer rant: The Lebanese edition

Welcome to the country of loss. We lose people, and honor here, we lose brilliant brains, and integrity. We lose sight and identify with a continuous fear of loss. We are terrified of the notion, yet we accept it taking over our lives and our country. If you were lucky enough, you know that the first thing we are taught here is how to pretend. Playing pretend is not problematic as long as you are able to identify your reality and its qualities. Pretend becomes problematic when you believe the act, your own act and everyone else’s.

Liberals

What does it mean to be a liberal here? Does it mean that you are agnostic? or does it mean that you have a less than harsh opinion about women? Does it include acceptance of sexual fluidity? or is it solely bound by your weekly practice of yoga at your local gym to blatantly identify as a seeker of inner and outer liberty and peace?

Conservatives

Are the practicing muslims the conservatives of this country? Don’t the latte drinkers, club goers, luis litton wearing gossip queens and kings not count here? Do you become a conservative person when you refuse to pull off that crop top, or body con dress? Or is it a political statement, one where you worship only one blood lord, and not the others? Are the liberals more convenient and generous in hosting leaders in their lives?

Where does money stand in this situation? Are the rich liberal or conservative? If they drive a brand new range rover, does it make them less conservative because they like cool and expensive cars?

Rant Alert

I attempt to excuse myself from this experience as often as possible. Advanced degrees in politics taught me one major lesson:

Don’t believe anyone in politics, and when you find yourself believing in them, know that whatever plan or policy they are preparing for is probably targeted at people like you. You are the audience. The labels don’t matter, those are audience selection tools. Those are summoning strategies and have been used for too long to swiftly gather the attention of “seemingly” like minded individuals.

Don’t believe them when they refer to “others”. Don’t believe them when they refer to “us”. It’s OK to live in the country of loss, just don’t believe the acts around you; but control one thing if you can: Your own reality.

The reality where you do not have good access to water and electricity, as any -liberal or conservative- does in any other state. You do not have a sustainable, consciensous plan for waste management, and soon enough this will affect you personally if it hasn’t yet. You do not have a working political system, a Democracy that has lasted since 2009 without elections. You do not have politicians or leaders looking out for your public good, depending where you stand on the spectrum, you are either a self hating Lebanese, who wishes you were French, American or anything else (western), or are living the life of a soldier ready to give your life at any given que.

It is quite dis-heartening to admit this, while I try to write stories to uplift you to your higher selves, seeking the innate good in myself and everyone else reading this. See, the essence of your goodness is there, but as long as you refuse to stop the act, there unfortunately will be little wonder for you to uncover in this world.