8.3.13

Who are we ?


I am reading a book I bought at the airport, "Bet you didn't know this about beirut" by Warren Singh-Bartlett, and I was so surprised to read that the Bekaa Valley is on the borderline of two different tectonic plates, and brace yourselves "Libanisus Nationalista" for the west part of the Valley is on the African plate.
So, I find myself asking again: Who are we? Where do we come from? 

If you ask this question to the people around you, you'll get many answers depending on the confession, political party and the level of snobbery.

Some might say we are Phoenicians and proud.
The Phoenicians our ancestors, our 9000 years old ancestors. I should be among these proud people, for I am from Byblos. I admire this civilization but I really don't feel I am Phoenician, come on, we found 15 layers of civilizations under the Byblos archeological site. So for me, I don't think we are the descendants of Abi-Chemou.

Others will say we are Arabs, well in some way we are, we speak Arabic don't we? For now at least... It's still our mother tongue even though some are "embarrassed" to speak Arabic nowadays and prefer to speak English with their fellow Lebanese, like in the hip bars in Beirut. (I find this silly, honestly).
But are we 100% Arabs? Because we also have the Greeks, the Persians, the Ottomans, the French... It all got mixed up in a way, and we are what we are now, a mix of the bad, the good and the ugly.

I find this very rich, we have origins from almost everywhere in the world, but yet we are still racist, so be careful "Libanista Racista" next time you are insulting your Ethiopian maid, don't forget you come from the same tectonic plate as her.

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