Hey friends, did you know that “civil society” invites you to attend a march that will take place on the 13th of April from the Mar Mikhael Church in Chiyah to Martyr’s Square in downtown? The objective is to remember the ‘martyrs’ who died during the CIVIL (i.e. clan VS clan of people calling themselves Lebanese) war.
I just got the press release by email. That’s another thing “civil society” can do in Lebanon, it can reach any ‘citizen’ inside the country without having to ask for his email. But that’s not my main point here. My point rather is actually made up of several sub-points:
1- Who the hell is civil society? Some day, we will need a dedicated person to do a genealogy of this term, especially through its use in post-colonial societies.
2- Why on the Arabic press release it is signed “civil society” whereas on the English one there is no signature. Why on the English press it is “civil society organizations invite you to” whereas on the Arabic one it is “civil society invites you to”? Maybe because in Arabic we are required to believe that such an abstract and absurd concept exist somehow floating, transcending, our miserable lives, whereas in English, we’re pragmatic enough to know these are just a bunch of organization that are trying to mobilize people into identifying to some aspect of what would be called the common “Lebanese experience”.
3- What’s really nice about this event is that once on Martyr’s square, amidst the security guards, military personnel, secret service rascals of all creed, we will have a television (don’t bother mentioning which one) that will broadcast a “host various journalists to discuss the themes of suffering, heroism, and hope”. Great, more journalistic stupid rants in an overall moralizing discourse, that’s what we need. Seriously sometimes I miss the priests, sheikhs, or what we commonly refer to as “religious” figures.
4- But what’s really even nicer, is that the television broadcast “will close with a joint prayer with representatives from Lebanon’s religious communities and will be transmitted simultaneously by all the television networks”. Isn’t that cute? it reminds me of Gebran Tueni (grand racist and right wing frustrated individual)’s slogan (that he must have rehearsed for days in his office before pronouncing it during the successive theatrical and pathetic speeches of March 14) that says something like” We swear to God, Muslims and Christians that we will stand by our nation Lebanon”. The bottom line is: Make sure that Confessionalism is something to rest upon, to pray upon, to praise, to worthy, in order to achieve peace. Good luck.
If someone needs the press release please let me know. I can email it.