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A dream of flight,
I’ve taken that dream,
I’ve beaten the challenge!
It’s quite interesting the way politics relate to color coding in Lebanon.
Having a certain color car, scarf, clothes, or glasses even might be a sign to the political party you follow; but why limit ourselves?
Imagine you are an extremely colorful person, you like flashy colors and wear them daily, how would you feel walking in to work in the morning having the security guard look at your yellow scarf and say: “you’re wearing yellow? I didn’t know people from bcharre (aka. Red color followers) wear that color around”.
Now I’m still hopefully hoping that we Lebanese haven’t sunk that deep in stereotyping and color-coding people depending on what we wear, the area we are from and/or our choices; but still I see that everyday; and the worst part I think is having different flags for each party and color within the same country: I rarely see any Lebanese flags on cars and home balconies lately, it’s all just a blur of colors with politician flags, as if each was a country by itself.
Independence day is getting closer, and I’m not sure what to expect to see; a rainbow of colors smashing at each other in the air, or more cedars and red flowing in the wind as we all unite for the peace of this tiny piece of earth we call home?
One thing I’ve learnt and I am positive about, living in this country since I was born, is that you will never know what to expect. It’s simple fact, the same as being born and eventually dying. But the thing is, you never know when and how this will happen.
On another note I quite enjoy the color coding of parties in a certain way: the jokes the Lebanese people come up with. One of my closest friends is a red-head, and as we all know orange is the color of Aoun party; N the red-head is studying medicine planning to be a doctor (hakim in Arabic) which is the color red following the Hakim party (aka Geagea).
So imagine people being able to make up a joke on that saying: “oh I feel bad for his parents, they raised him to be orange but he ended up being a hakim!” and laughing about for hours (for those not familiar with Lebanese politics one of the biggest problems in the past used to come from fights between the two neighboring parties).
So today I’m wearing green socks, with an orange shirt, blue undies, and a yellow scarf: what will that mean? Will it make sense if I try to decipher my love of colors to political signs or should I just go around my business and flash as many colors as possible to confuse narrow-minded people?
It is sometimes a hustle, and I even enjoy the confusion at times, but that’s not going to stop me from doing what I want, after all it is my looks and my body we are talking about, wearing a color doesn’t mean that the party owns me, it simply means I love colors.
I also wanted to point out one other thing: you are all familiar with the rainbow that unites all genders as well as sexual orientations and lifestyles, it’s all about tolerance, wearing a rainbow on independence day could be a different sign to show the unity of one country under one emblem as well as the unity and acceptance of people’s choices without hating them, judging, or trying to make them conform to your ideals.
It is, after all “a free country”, why can’t we have free choices, but keep them private without the need to exhibit them in hatred?
So dear Lebanese, who will you be on independence day? You and your country as a whole, or a follower of a country inside another?