Sneak peek into an estranged world. Cheers!

Posts tagged ‘history’

Congratulations Germany?!

I’m primarily an Italian football fan, but tend to also appreciate and like Germany’s team play and defense.

So of course I was cheering on for the German team throughout the night.

But at the same time I was half wishing they’d loose, not for the sake of Argentina, but more that of Lebanon.
You see looking back at the history of Germany winning world cups I noticed asomething common in the dates and the lebanese history.

In 1974, Germany won the world cup, a couple of days later trouble started sparkling up all around Lebanon, and before you know it, we had a 15 year civil war raging on and destroying the country:

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Germany wins the world cup in 1974

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The lebanese civil war from 1975 to 1990

The second time Germany won the world cup, was in 2006, the year israeli bombs were destroying all bridges around the country after first targeting the airport; and instilling fear in the crowds:

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Germany wins the world cup in 2006

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Israel and Hezbollah war rages for 34 days

Now how do these link all my fears together? Simple:

A couple of minutes after the end of the 2014 World Cup games ending with Germany taking the world cup once again, a news update arrived:

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LBC Lebanon News, Urgent Update

“Israel responds to the two missiles sent from Lebanon’ s Raas El Ain with many rockets launched onto Khirach Al Hanya and Al Aazariyah…”

That was fast…. so here we go again or will we defeat our sour fate?

T.

On the road to Arez

Having grown up between the Cedars and Beirut, I developed a natural longing for the mountains more than the beach. I’m not introversive, I just enjoy the peace and silence it provides me with, the open panorama and the endless landscapes, the views and the seasons; it is my definition of heaven.
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But it is not only the destination that I love, but the road going up as well. Lately small highways are being built passing around the villages, to avoid people getting stuck inside each village, especially on Sundays during “kazdoura time” (promenade time) when villagers walk/drive around their village streets in a circle, stop here and there to chat, sit on the streets with their arguilehs and gossip.

These new roads, of course, make your drive up easier, with less traffic, but I still enjoy passing through each and every one of them on my way up. It gives me the spirit of belonging, it defines the areas that I have to go through to reach my heaven; it’s the little annoying things that make it so familiar.

Take for example the new road from Bcharre to the Cedars, it’s not exactly a highway, but it fits two cars easily, it has small walls on the sides to stop a drifting car from ending up at the bottom of the valley, and it’s an open road.
But I still prefer the old road, which is mostly used during storms, since the new road gets covered from strong winds every 5 minutes. Here is a short video of me driving up that road, it’s too beautiful to describe, yet people prefer the highway roads.

Another example is the highway built under the village of hadath el jebbeh up north, the road is safer than that of the village, but I still tend to drift through the village, especially around Christmas, for they have these beautiful decorations, yet extremely simple, that gets put up each year. Stars, stars on trees, stars on balconies, stars on road signs, and stars hanging off the roofs of the houses.
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Unfortunately I do not currently have a picture, but will post it soon enough since Christmas is almost here with a pin-back to this post.

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From these images you can see how the old vs. the new roads don’t vary much when you look at the distance from one spot to the other. It’s the view and the surrounding.

Of course when in a hurry the highway roads sound better than the village roads, and most Lebanese people are endlessly in a hurry for some reason, and no reason sometimes; but the spirit of the Lebanese villages, the calmness, the hospitality, and the recognition of a place cannot happen through highways, driving 100 km/h, and not taking the time to adopt the surroundings.

So when alone, or driving with my mum on a beautiful calm day, with nothing behind us, the small roads between the villages are always a must-take, just to be able to enjoy the beautiful and untouched landscaped and history of my country.

If you ever drive to the Cedars, try and take these little roads, and see how relaxed you are by the time you reach your destination. It’s simply mesmerising!

T.

Cedars… RIP

Lebanon, land of the Cedar trees… More like WAS.

Brief history overview:

The farthest I’ve been in the mention of cedar trees over the years is 2500 BC, in the tablets of Gilgamesh [tablets 4, 5, and 6] where the cedar forest is considered as the realm of the gods of mesapotamian mythology. Namely known nowadays as the “cedars of God” aka “أرز الرب”.

There was one a time when cedar trees used to cover all the lands of lebanon (a very very long time ago), now barely any forests survived; most of which were turned into eco-areas. But even then they are not respected as they should be.
Though over the years people have tried new ways of preserving them, and sometimes replanting them. Unfortunately cedar trees [the original cedrus libani) cannot fully grow and develop majestically like it’s ancestors workout get mother and grandmother by her side, their roots stay linked hundreds of meters underground to form a single Web where all help each other in sharing nutrients and water.

Now I know I’ve gone a bit astray in history and biology; but this information is vital to explain my story.

Take the cedars forest mentioned in Gilgamesh’s tablets.  The eldest one still barely standing in lebanon. Their roots reach up to 400 meters underground in a calcarious rocky and dry area to reach the underground water bin.
In the 1800’s Queen Victoria commissioned a wall to be built around the forest to protect its seedlings from sheep grazing; and for the past 20 years more than 4000 cedars were planted in a half circular way surrounding the forest to help young seedlings reach a mother to grow tougher and reach maturity faster

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Oh but wait! Here comes the surprise!

A couple of months ago a well respected man decided to make his son’s wedding in the forest. After many complaints he agreed to simply build an amphitheatre next to it to hold the wedding party; unfortunately no one knew how close. ..

He partially destroyed a side of the ancient wall, adding to the fact that he built the whole thing in the middle of the new forest, severing the lines between mother and Child.

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So I don’t know about you, but I honestly think the lebanese people should make a choice: either protect these majestic and rare creatures; or stumpy change the emblem of the lebanese flag.

Seriously!

T.

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