Lebanon: War, People and Life

February 14, 2011
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"The War Zone," is what one of my teachers calls it. He doesn't mean it in a disrespectful way - He's just going by what the news says. It annoys me, to be honest with you. Sure, there are a few bad points about Lebanon, but is that not the truth with every country? Lebanon has ugly parts, but it also has beautiful parts. It's far from perfect, but far from imperfect.

My Father is Lebanese and my Mother is English. My Father was dirt poor. My Father, uncles and aunts were hungry most of the time. My Father trekked an hour to and from school with his brothers. They worked in the fields with my Jido (Grandfather), whilst my Sito (Grandmother) did a lot of work at the home. They were up at the crack of dawn every single day. They had nothing, but were so hardworking.

One day, my Father decided that he would move to England to go to University. He stayed with my Uncle Moussa and family. Whilst he was in education, he had a job. He worked at a pizza place. The workers there were disrespectful and racist, along with customers. They would call him a terrorist and other names. They would do it for laughs, but explain to me how that's funny? My Father would put up with it and not say a word. He knew he had to complete his education and make a living. My Father has various qualifications — for example BSc (Hons), BEd (Hons), PhD, MSc and etc.

My Father moved back to the Lebanon and set up a company called Holy Land Natural Remedies. They currently distribute their products all over the world. He appears on TV shows in Lebanon to promote his company and products. He earns a lot of money and helps a lot of people. He loves what he does and he's pretty much addicted to his work. So, all you people who called him bad names, let me hear you now?

The people in Lebanon are extremely family orientated. Family always comes first. That's not to say they don't argue though. My family argue so much. They've fallen out and made up 20 times. The problem is that they all think they know what's best for each other and they all butt in. They never let someone handle their problem alone. I have so many uncles, aunties, cousins, second cousins, third cousins and etc. The Traboulsi's are a huge family, trust me. There's always, without fail, two people or more bickering. But you know what? We all love each other and at the end of the day, family are always going to be the most important people.

My uncle Moussa, the first born child of my Jido and Sito, recently passed away. I was in Lebanon when he passed. I won't go into details on how he passed or anything. See, I never got to meet my Jido. He passed long before I was born. Though, my Sito is still alive. Sito was and still is very upset about my uncle passing. In Lebanon they mourn for a long time. Family and friends come and sit in the house and pay their respects and eat food. I sat with my Sito for hours every day. I held her hand in mine. She felt so fragile and young and old and lost. Like a young baby, but an old woman. She cried and cried, she rocked back and forth and held my hand. One night, my cousin Alison who is uncle Moussa's daughter and I got her ready for bed. We had to change her and all. We watched whilst she rubbed her arthritis cream on her shoulders and hips. When we tucked her in, she fell asleep crying.

You see, it really annoys me when people are stereotypical and call Lebanese people bombers and so on. Just because they believe in Allah, doesn't mean they'll come and blow your house up. There's no need to assume that.

I was not Christened, nor was I raised to believe in any religion, to be honest. My Mother and Father let me have my own views. I do believe in Lebanon, though. I believe that it's a good and bad place. Some people are bad, some are not. Some are poor, some are not. Like I said before, every country has its good and bad points. Maybe Lebanon has more bad points than others, maybe it doesn't.

My Father and Mother split up when I was six. My Father still lives in Lebanon, but I live with my Mother and older sister in England. I go over to Lebanon every time I have a holiday from school. My Lebanese family may be flawed, but they're beautiful. I love them for loving me, knowing who I am and what I stand for and for always being there for me. We may be so many borders and countries and oceans away from each other right now, but I know they'll always support me. I adore Lebanon and the people there. I'd do so much for them. So, when the stereotypical people call them terrorists or any other bad names, I'll stick up for them. I’ll always believe in Lebanon and I’ll always stand for them. Like the popular quote goes, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

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