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Ramadan Nights – 1 –

August 11, 2010

Social responsibility …

Don’t lie, Don’t steal, Don’t disrespect people … Do your work properly … it goes on and on.. all the things we hear since childhood! But are there any true role models of such behavior?!  do they genuinely exist in the adult world?!

a trip to any Lebanese Government Offices will prove the complete opposite, to be more accurate i will disscuss what happened when i went to renew my passport … you walk into the building, where there are clearly not enough seats for anyone to sit … employees and officials start arriving about 1/2 to an hour after the working day starts. In case you manage to stand in line, which isn’t exactly a line, expect countless cut ins, people who know people who know people, to jump the line.. so even if u were there first, your likely to not go in your turn, anyhow, your turn comes to realize that you forgot to make a photocopy of your passport, (almost all stations have a photocopier behind the counter, collecting dust) just to be told, “sir/ma’am there’s shop outside the door/ across the street, please go there and get your papers photocopied” after a long look from the photocopier to the man and back : “can’t u just photocopy it here?” , the shocked looked made me think i slapped the man “NO, if everytime someone forgets something i hv to photocopy it for them, where will the government get their money from!!” (as if he gives a crap!!), my Dad joined the delightful conversation and the screaming started…only to end with the most FAMOUS lebanese saying : “ma il dawle killa mishye hek halla2 inta sheyye badda tghayirra!” (“the whole country runs like this (on corruption and delegation) and you expect to able to change anything!”)
That’s the most famous sentence any one ever says in lebanon! its their way of running away from responsibility, all it would have taken is less than a minute to place the paper and photocopy it, but that would mean he’s done something good! the people that cut the line look at you like their offended cause you didn’t let them through!!

My last visit to renew my residency visa in the arabian gulf country that i reside in went as follows:

you walk in to the number machine and take a number, wait on the benches ( plenty) till ur number shows on the counter and then you move forward to there.. papers get checked, any extra copies required, there’s a photocopy machine in the back of the room with an assigned employee that charges what’s equivalent of 400L.L for the copy, so that you wont have to lose your whole day for nothing! when the paper’s are approved they are stapled and stamped VERY efficiently! Take your papers inside to the final counter for inspection. papers submitted! they take your phone number and text you when the papers are ready to be picked up! usually within a weeks time, sometimes in a couple of hours!

Not because Gulf countries are richer but because they do their job! and they are supervised to make sure they do! In Lebanon, if you dont do ur job there’s no one to hold you accountable for it (government jobs mainly).

If your a traffic official and you allow a single lane to drive-by longer, because your cousin is 30 cars down the lane, no one can complain because there’s no one to complain to! and the people have reached the bottom of civilization in having the decency to help people get along with their lives, rather abuse the power given to you to provoke people and step on them!

(wow! that felt like letting out 5 years of anger towards government employees! 😛 )

It doesnt end here! regular citizens everyday, trash the streets cause they cant bother to walk over to a trash can 5 meters away. Break trees, because they are not theirs. Steal Electricity cables from electric poles, bribe the teachers to pass school and university, wet the vegetables so they weigh more and they can sell you less.. the disgraceful list never ends! its a true jungle! and its disgraceful … the strength of a society is measured with its weakest member! well as a lebanese society our strongest members have fled this scene long ago or live on blood pressure medication and lots of pain killers!!

The only way we can develop is to STOP! SMILE!!! and take responsibility for our actions, acknowledge that this country is our home … all of it, and take care of it like it is! and treat others like we all belong together.. like we truly do…

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2010 5:55 am

    Great post! Can’t add more really.. You hit the point perfectly… “wayniye el-dawle??”


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