Today we are further away from National Unity then we have EVER been. Bold Statement, but sadly it is the Truth. Just not the Truth we've been looking for or one we've been wanting to hear. I grew up in the 80's and early 90's in Chtaura, a rest stop on the Beirut- Damascus Road. It's a diverse community (by diverse I mean same race and same nationality) that was relatively untouched by the war. Sure, there was an air raid here an air raid there, some 155mm and 240mm showers every once in a while, but the people of Chtaura never fired at anyone or at each other. We all had the same sports idols, went to the same school, and watched the same TV channel. Then the civil war ended.
12 years later I go back to the same town. I see pictures of despicable people hanging on the wall, Politicians! Sectarian Zaeems, What a nightmare. That was in 2004, sectarian cocooning was at an all time high. Different idols, different schools, different TV channels.
In 2005 and 2006 we are still becoming less tolerant. In this month's issue of Ii Monthly (a publication by Information International), my negative assessment of the street is translated into scientific proof. They conduct a poll of Lebanese college students' opinion on various issues relating to religious tolerance. I will not post the exact figures due to copyright laws and to avoid a pissing match over whose college is more bigoted than whose, but the questions were about living in a religiously mixed community, marrying out of species, and befriending an infidel. The numbers were puke inducing. College students! Where does that leave the "uneducated masses"?? Just for fun, they also compared the Summer of 2005 results to those of 2002. Yep, we are heading the Wrong Way.
We worry about Syria, Israel, Palestinian weapons outside of camps, Debt, unemployment, the Tehran coalition, the Washington empire, this or that day in March. That is worrying about a cold when you have cancer. Sectarianism is the Cancer we suffer from, until we treat it all the other problems are irrelevant. National Unity will always be just an elusive dream with this cancer paralyzing the country. We have this post-burrito turd in the middle of the room and we wonder what stinks. We have to take the shit out at once and then worry about the odors it left.
WE have to do it. WE as in the people. WE have to do it because our politicians will never do it for us. They are the pesky bugs who love roaming over shit. They feed off of Shit, they grow on Shit. "You are what you eat", so that makes them Shit Eating Shit.
Let's do this!