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Lebanon in the light of Revolution

March 2, 2011

The People want to take down the Sectarian System”(video) chanted thousands of lebanese civilians on the 27th of February, 2011, in Beirut. Some went as far as putting up tents and declaring an open protest until the Sectarian regime end in Saida (video). These sentiments are not news in the Lebanese sphere, people have been complaining from the sectarian system of the government for a long time, but with no ears to listen. Maybe the up-burst of revolutions across the Arab world has shuffled the deck a little for those that pray for change.

Feb27, Beirut

Feb27, Beirut ©YaLibnan

The protest, like many others, started organizing itself through several Facebook groups, that got together in one event. a little scroll down to the comments section was enough to realize this is not an easy battle, the lack of Sectarianism in out government was a dark, hollow abyss to many or a velvet epiphany to many more. There was no solid conversation to follow or even invite you to read. All this was translated even deeper in the demands of the march, which to my shock were irrelevant to the March’s promoted aim, taking down the Sectarian system that runs the country.
from the event’s page:

Translation: “Because all citizens have a limit of tolerance, we want to say “Enough”, we citizens are marching today:
-against the Sectarian regime and it’s idols, the lords of war and sects.
-against quotas and political inheritance
-against Social and Economic exploitation, unemployment and immigration
-against poverty and marginalization
-against unbalanced development and regional  deprivation
-against  racism and discrimination
and therefore we want:
A secular democratic civilian government, a government of justice and equality… the right for all citizens to live in dignity through:
-raising minimum wages
-decreasing the prices on vital goods
-decreasing the prices on fuel
-supporting formal education
-equality between public and private sector job opportunities
-getting rid of nepotism, bribes and mediation
-the right proper living conditions
-supporting social security and retirement pensions.
since these are part of the corruption symptoms of the sectarian regime that stands, for these reasons and many more, we have to and want to take down the Sectarian Regime.”

The demands mentioned have nothing to do with a sectarian regime, they apply to any corrupt regime in the world? So, are the demands the fall of the current corrupt regime? or the Sectarian system that maintains it?

Feb27, Beirut ©KhalilHassan/Reuters via Al Akhbar

Let’s just remember that a strong revolution is a focused, united one, under one slogan and one demand.
The really focus for me, was the drift away from Sectarianism to a Secular government, free from pseudo-religious constrains.
The things that seemed to be the reason for the protests, sounded alot closer to solid demands than the demands themselves.
We also have to realize that a secular government isn’t corruption-free, we have to work hard to maintain a just government. We have hold those corrupt accountable no matter what they represent. There’s no excuse for corruption in power, no excuse that should be accepted by the people.

The groups have started a series of open meetings to discuss the campaign against sectarian system, starting Sunday 6th March.
Hope the meetings will be more grounded in Sectarian conflicts, rather than generic bandwagon slogans.

Starting from the self, like many of my fellow bloggers pointed out, is a very important factor.
Maybe it is time to stop at Traffic lights and signs, not smoke under a non-smoking sign, respect the law that was there before the sectarian corruption.
Coupled with civil efforts to give people better alternatives than voting for failures. Producing and Supporting candidates that can make a difference. because let’s face it. Those corrupt in power are there, because they were voted into power… Education is key.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2011 10:10 am

    Ah.. my thoughts exactly !
    And that’s why I don’t think we need a revolution, we need reform.
    It’s a long an painful process, and we need to see it through. It’s kinda like telling ourselves we need to stick with a workout routine to get fit… except we can’t give up two weeks into it.

    • March 3, 2011 10:45 pm

      i find the hardest obstacle is admitting, that “you’re” behavior/actions/attitude is wrong. It’s really sensitive..
      but we must agree, enough with silence, it’s time to be slapped on the face… nicely! 😛

  2. March 4, 2011 10:56 am

    Getting rid of the sectarian system will need a revolution, as the current corrupt crooks we have at the moment build their constituency by playing with the fear of The Other (“The Muslims will eat us all!” “The Christians are traitors”). If the movement against sectarianism grows enough to threaten them, they won’t be taking this lying low. This is why we need a revolution, with a change of constitution, even though we don’t have a dictator on whom to cristallize our dissatisfactions.

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