This is the first time

that I’ve lived in a country that has had its government toppled.  And although I’m generally politically apathetic, and although I was out having margaritas last night with Lebanese friends who couldn’t care less about what was happening (they say I worry too much)..I have to admit, what happened yesterday is still very alarming.

I mean, how could bringing down a gorvernment be so easy?

Can someone explain to me what is going on?!?

I understand the general jist of things but..where does the country go from here?

Whatever happens, I’m not going anywhere.

I love you Lebanon.

Everything will work itself out.

It always does.

You just wait and see.

In other news, Lebanese wine production is thriving! (Just thought I’d inject a bit of positivity into this post..)

Hariri visits Obama in Washington

Lebanon's national unity government collapsed while Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri was visiting President Obama in Washington..what superb timing. Way to make a statement!

image credit.

20 Comments

Filed under life in Lebanon

20 responses to “This is the first time

  1. If no one from your embassy contacted you then don’t worry about a thing! Besides, this has happened before so we’re kinda jaded. It’s like “Yeah? No government? Pshh so what? I asked what’s new dude.”

  2. Just like Sareen said – the Lebanese have seen so much happen that our lives to go on with or without a government. We did it before, we can do it again =)

  3. Dont panic🙂 all will be ok … been there, done that … we are still here and life is good🙂 cheers

  4. No worries… you’ll get used to it! hehehe🙂

  5. I just hope that you won’t have the chance to witness another sit in in downtown !

  6. Pingback: Beirut Spring: 3adi

  7. Common, it’s all part of the fun!!

  8. when I was in France a teacher asked me about the Lebanese president, and I replied “we have none at the moment”. I laughed while saying it, as though not to cry.
    Next year, the same teacher was in town to give us another course and as she found out, to her surprise, that we still had no president, she exclaimed “Lebanon is proof that anarchy can work”. I laughed again.
    We go through phases, no gov, no president, ..nothing has changed, why are we so alarmed? ..I can still laugh today.

  9. Samantha

    Lesh, what happened?????????

  10. haissam

    i love reading your blog, you sound so articulate and awesome, how about running for prime minister?😀

  11. KM

    Hi, I really do not think there is anything alarming about what has happened if you look at things from the perspective that lebanon is not like other countries (ex north america, europe). there it would be really alarming and very dangerous.
    lebanon is a special case because it is a group of different sects, political parties which are currently grouped into 2 groups, 14 & 8 march.
    one can not function without the other, hence the government structure in leb is special, it is made of 10 members from 14 march, 10 members from 8 march and 5 that are under the president’s influence. in the same time the lebanese consitution states that if 1/3 + 1 of the total number of the ministers resign, then the gov is considered toppled. so what happened falls under what the constitution states and it is not what some people claim to be a coup.
    this is all irrelevent, what is important is to realize that lebanon is not like other countries where key issues such as national security, war, peace, choice of regional & international alleys is already done centuries ago.
    in lebanon you have 2 views of how things need to be handled and eaqch view represents 50% of the ebanese population. so until we resolve these key issues which I have mentioned, the government will always be a mixture of both parties and you will not have a majority vs minority like most other countries. and this is not going to happen anytime soon.
    I hope this clarifies things.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. You definitely clarified things for me. In other parts of the world, having no government would mean serious consequences,, but in Lebanon it is different because of the division of the government. I understand everything now..It just seems like a faulty structure! I’m surprised this hasn’t happened more often! Don’t agree with a decision the opposition is making, DOWN WITH THE GOV’T! It’s that easy it seems!

  12. Mom

    As Danielle’s Mom I am happy to read what you all have had to say … now I will worry a little less. And although I will still worry at least a little, I am happy that Danielle is having this amazing experience of living and learning in Lebanon and seeing first hand what the realities of your country are. She is forever changed …

  13. Youssef

    mmmm.. being on the west coast for a couple of weeks has made me miss a few of your posts.

    As everyone before me has said, this is basically nothing new to Lebanon. In fact, even with a government formally in place, the country functions independently of that entity.
    btw, the 1/3 + 1 thing was added recently, after the 2006 war and 2008 protests and its purpose was exactly to achieve what was achieved by this move. but if you think about it, you have lived in a similar situation before, without realizing it. The US government has been in a stale mate since the Clinton era. (yes, Obama managed to pass ObamaCare but that’s an exception). With the way the house and senate are setup and with the filibuster rules, not much progress have been made on issues where the country is divided (think of don’t ask don’t tell, gay marriage, abortion, etc).

    Now, although I have compared the 2 systems, I do not, by any means, attempt to say they are similar. Nor do I intend to say that these systems are correct. But I will focus on the Lebanese government structure.

    THE WHOLE GOVERNMENT IS BASED ON A FLAWED SYSTEM. I say that so loudly because I believe that is the number one issue that should be tackled. Every Lebanese should focus on that instead of whatever the topic of the day is. Because all other problems tie into this some way or another. The Taif Agreement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taif_Agreement) that was introduced in order to end the civil war was supposed to be a temporary fix anyway. A temporary fix that exceeded it expiration date the second they even signed it!

    In the last elections, the ‘opposition’ got 819,180 of the popular votes (or 55.5%) whereas the current government actually got 656,820 of the popular votes (or 44.5%). I can not vouch for these figures, but Wikipedia said so😛 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebanese_general_election,_2009). Anyway, doesn’t that sound crazy! Isn’t something messed up that the ‘alliance’ that got more votes also got less seats in the government and became the minority group? Why is it that I, as a Maronite (yes I’m divulging that information publicly for everyone to scrutinize!), can become president but a perfectly fit and capable Druze, Shi’a or Sunni (or any other Christian for that matter) can not? Why are seats allocated based on religious affiliations? (parts of the answers to that are in the comment I posted to a previous post)

    So…
    is the system messed up? HELL YES!
    is the system outdated? HELL YES!
    do we need major reforms? eh… actually more like a complete overhaul!

    but, in the meantime, should you worry? NOPE
    We’ve never had, in the history of the country, a functioning government. The country was created in the middle of WWII (mid to end of the 40s), got tangled up in the arab-israeli war shortly thereafter (end of 40s to beginning of 50s), then the civil war (70s, 80s and beginning of 90s), and partly the liberation war (liberation of the south of Lebanon by Hizballah, end of 90s, beginning of 2000s), then the post 2005 events. So we’ve learned how to function (or semi-function) in spite of a so called government that’s been mostly for show throughout the times. This body of people, so called politicians, congregating or not congregating has no effect in any way, shape or form on, the day to day life of a Lebanese person. Nor on our lovely visitors🙂

    I would love it if the people focused on women rights, worker rights (foreign workers included if not specifically), maintaining the culture, LGBT rights. But also took that from the twitter feeds, the blogs, the occasional TV shows into the streets and then into the government offices. I understand the importance of the false witnesses and finding out who assassinated Mr. Hariri Sr. But aren’t the issues I just mentioned above more relevant? Don’t they affect the average Lebanese person’s life more directly? I think the country can survive another 10 years without finding out that truth, but there will be no country to speak of if we don’t start protecting our women, empowering our women, giving back to our women.


    And since we all came from a woman
    Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
    I wonder why we take from our women
    Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
    I think it’s time to kill for our women
    Time to heal our women, be real to our women
    And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
    That will hate the ladies, that make the babies
    And since a man can’t make one
    He has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one
    So will the real men get up
    I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up

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