Politicians complained and joked about the independence of Lebanon, and I’ve seen a lot of reactions like : “Independence ? Let me laugh, we are not independent” on twitter.
It is important to acknowledge and analyze these reactions or this trend that is not so new.
I can understand why some may laugh about it ; how can we be independent when our country is so influenced by “bigger powers” in the region and in the world ?
Why are our politicians so open to realize the needs of other countries like Saudi Arabia, USA, Syria or Iran ?
Some laugh about the independence and they are right; We, as Lebanese people, somehow don’t truly poss self-determination. It means that we can’t determine a future that we control, we are just in the middle of a big political storm, and as citizens, we have no power.
I can’t understand ALL the politicians that laugh at it, because they are actually the main cause of this feeling among the “normal” citizen.
I personally believe it is the same for all the citizens of the Middle East, from Iran to Turkey, people can’t determine where do they want to want to go as a people. Don’t get me wrong, I know they have a voting power, but no one could determine the external policies. Same thing for the “West” ; In USA, the president could launch a war without telling anybody, and with no congress vote. (ok parentheses closed)
So why does it matter ?
The independence is an open door to self-determination. Officially, we are independent and we could reclaim these rights by rejecting influences and reject the fact that we are the pawns of bigger players.
Without an official Independence, we would have been directly and openly influenced by foreign politicians and nations.
I know that today we are influenced, but the factual independence makes me hopeful that one day a truly independent Politician or party will reclaim the historical facts and tell world leaders “STOP : Lebanese do what they want”
It is important to celebrate it because if officially ended the French Mandate, or colonialism in Lebanon. It is important because it’s one rare event in our gloomy past where we had genuine reconciliation between Christians and Muslims and for a single day, people celebrated their Lebanese identity, not their religions or sects.
It is true that we have a horrible past, it is true that our present isn’t glamorous and that our future is uncertain, but we must fight for true independence and the end of neocolonialism of the region.
Celebrating once a year the Lebanese identity and independence is better than nothing.
PS : Even Google celebrates it ! https://g.co/doodle/ymcx3q