This is my 6th year in Paris. I love Paris… I love this city, I love Paris’ streets, I love Paris’ food, and I love Paris’ girls, the Seine, Notre-Dame and Boulevard Saint-Michel. And yes I love Paris’ grouchy people, the demonstrations, the old crowded subway and even the fuckin’ dirty pigeons.
I lived in Beirut for 21 years. No it’s not Beirut actually, I lived somewhere between Furn-el-Chabback and Aïn-el-Remmeneh. I love my Lebanese neighbors who enter our home without knocking, I love to hear the grocer shouting and fidgeting because one of the kids stole something from his shop, I love to hear my dad calling « Nawaaaaaaaaaaaal » (my mum) 300 times a day, I love the sound of our bell, I love to see my Lebanese friends coming from the door, I even love the ugly pillar in the center of Ain-el-Remmeneh’s public square.
My French friends see me as a Lebanese, and my Lebanese friends as a French… no I’ll correct it : for my French friends I’m a wannabe Lebanese(« tu es juste d’origine Libanaise, tu n'es pas un vrai Libanais... fais pas genre »), and for my Lebanese friends I’m a wannabe French (« inno halla2 la anno sarlak 6 snin honik seret tmarri2 kelmteen frensewé eddem kel kelemteen 3arabé ? »)…
I don’t think I’m the only one suffering from this hybrid situation. And no one can ever understand that I am both actually. I love Paris as much as I love Beirut. Why do I have to choose? Why do I have to be on one side if the ring? There’s no ring and no fight anyway! Why do I have to justify myself when I eat Lebanese food in Paris or when I use a French word in Lebanon? Why do I have to hate France like most of Lebanese living here? Why do I have to hate Lebanon like most Lebanese?
Khalas battal 2ele jlédé, 3assabet 3an jad… bonne nuit.