(Picture by Joe Khoury 🙂 )
My latest plane ride was 6 hours long, and it did not start with high expectations: We had no individual TVs, I only had a few pages left to read in my book, my iPod’s battery was almost dead, and I was not close to being tired.
So I decided to start talking to the guy next to me.
Oddly enough, he was lebanese 🙂 a professor in a US college, the kind that travels a lot and has lived abroad for many years.
He is from the generation who has lived the lebanese war, the most pessimistic Lebanese generation. So what stroke me in our conversation is that, for the first time, when I told him my plan was to come back to Beirut one day and try to improve the country, he did not discourage me. He did not say “The country is doomed, it cannot be fixed. Stay abroad, it’s better for you”, and he did not, once, mention the political tensions.
We had a long, interesting and enriching conversation about what needs to be improved on the community/educational/social level, about how to go about it, which led to a conversation about people’s roots, families, and patriotism.
And before we knew it, we landed 🙂
(Picture by Joe Khoury)
One of my favorite texts by Gibran Khalil Gibran:
“You have your Lebanon, and I have my Lebanon”