I spent a lot of time traveling around the States looking for, well I'm not exactly sure what I was looking for. I lived in Washington DC the home of American Democracy, Denver, Colorado, the home of the American potheads, Salt Lake City, the home of America's favorite joke: the Mormons, and New York City the home of the disillusionment and decay of the American dream, or as I call it, "Home". Everywhere I have been something was always missing, here in Lebanon on the run from responsibility I'm starting to get an idea of what I may have been looking for swapping cities like sweaters and lovers like socks.

Image via iloubnan.info

Since I have been in Lebanon, everyone asks me, why are you here? And my response has always been why not here? There are so many things you can do here that are not available to you in the States.

A small example would be the ripped DVD's. They have been a lifesaver since I have been here. There is nothing more satisfying then waking up hungover, closing the blinds, and watching a movie on the couch in your underwear until 2 in afternoon. In the states getting caught with the average Lebanese's DVD collection would probably land you one of the harshest penalties they have for piracy. Up to 10 years in federal prison, and $100,000 fine. And that is not something they are taking lightly there are a number of federal laws they are trying to push through to come down on downloaders, torrenters, and pirates, thanks Hollywood, didn't realize my DVDrip of The Hangover Part III was why it sucked so hard. This may seem like a very small and inconsequential thing, but this little freedom feels like a relief from an otherwise overly regulated existence. While Lebanon has its major faults, it's always good in providing pleasure from the little things.

Going to the States sounds like it would be amazing and it can. So many people have left and found money and respect and love abroad. The thing is, you only hear about the success stories, you never hear about the ones who did not make it. Or the ones eating anti-depressants every day just to get up in the morning, the day laborers, the racism, and hatred. America might be the land of opportunity, but it is also the land of gun violence, modern slavery, and classism. You trade the freedom you have in Lebanon for order, that is true, but sometimes that freedom is worth more than 10 less minutes of traffic.

Just because you know where you came from does not mean you know the way back. Americans have a tendency to get lost, while the pressures and expectations of your family can be overwhelming at times, they keep you pointed in the right direction and push you to be better.

I am not saying that you should not travel, or should not expect more from life, or want more, all I am saying is that you should appreciate where you are. It's beautiful here, no where else can you go from the beach to 2000 meters up in an hour, nowhere else does the food give you such joy that you become apathetic to your weight. Nowhere else are all the women so beautiful that you are nearly positive you have died and god is playing one last trick on you before he sends your black ass away.

Plus you know who else has had a trash problem in the last 10 years? New York City. Know where else they shoot you for walking on the wrong side of the street? Los Angeles. Know what city has a group of young people disillusioned by the promised made by those in power and want to see change? Every city on earth.

Change starts with us, we can start by enjoying ourselves, figuring out what we really want from life, then stop worrying and drink until we see the sun rise, because we are young, we are strong, and damn it we're Lebanese.


Avatar 1
Post to facebook
Avatar 2

Euuh, really? That's it? That's all you were able to talk about between the difference of life between Lebanon and the US? Honestly, this article is just to fill the blanks with words. You did not really tell something that we do not know already. "..before he sends your black ass away." ...? I have been to the US and I am living in Lebanon, and I can give you 100 other things to compare the 2 countries with. We are young, we are strong, but that is not enough and the amount of disrespect and hate we have here is absolutely unbelievable. We are only Lebanese when it comes to showing off, making an appearance at a VVIP event or in clubs because we are hip and cool. We forget the respect of others, of the law, of time, of almost everything. Damn it, we are Lebanese, and that is not even a good statement at the end of the day.

Mohamad Mack Mokbel on May 11, 2016 via web
Avatar 2

We r Lebanese in the US My husband spent 27 years here and love being in Lebanon ! Lebanon has advantages ! We were 9 minutes late for a haircut appointment today and we felt insulted as if we did something wrong and they wanted to teach us a lesson and did not want to cut my husband's hair ! No one else was in the salon ! See that attitude

Karine Boustany on May 11, 2016 via web