The Memory Tree honors victims of the terrible famine that wiped out a third of the country's population a century ago. That same fickle, self-serving politics by Lebanon’s rulers has now plunged the country into a spiraling socioeconomic crisis, which is pushing people into hunger once again.
In an increasingly inhospitable Lebanon, Syrian refugees are often told to “go back home.” Home, they say, is all they dream of in their harsh exile beset by winter and exploitation.
Finding freedom, Maronites promptly feuded with each other — victims of neither empire nor Islam, but of themselves. For centuries, chieftains fought chieftains and factions fought factions.
With Lebanon’s political class promising that untold riches were right around the corner, Hezbollah, apparently, did not wish to be the proverbial skunk at the garden party.
Robert Fisk championed the underdog. He empathized with the victim. But those labels were applied solely on his terms. His views ran contrary to what I saw as a genuine yearning for decency and democracy.
Chehab’s central idea – replace the missing sultanate with a modern nation-state and a government guided by the consent of the governed – remained fixed in the minds of his most fervent supporters. Yet even they found themselves either exiled or politically marginalized within Lebanon.
Many people were baffled when President Michel Aoun recently said at a press conference that Lebanon could be on its way to hell. I, too, was baffled. How can we be on our way to hell if we had already arrived months ago?