Latest from Anthony Elghossain
For generations, people have been renaming foods for political reasons. Although Americans in our time are infamous for changing French fries to freedom fries, they aren’t the only folks who’ve put politics on the plate that way. Indeed, everyone from the French and Russians to the Iranians and Arabs has done something similar in the past 150 years. And they’ve done so while otherwise naming and handling foods politically, sometimes during strategic struggles and sometimes to score cheap jingoistic points.
The Lebanon we loved was a palace of myths, legends and lies. But it was, and is, the home we chase. In the Beirut blast, we all lost something. Some of us lost everything. Since then, overcome by loss and lostness, people have just fallen into sudden silences from time to time.
I think of the Lebanese lords, whose own generals now call “cruel, dishonorable, and shameless”; whose own advisers describe as “too stupid to understand or too selfish to care, or both”; and whose own intelligence hands believe are crooks who will only liberate Lebanon, and even then not certainly, when they die.
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.