Monday, January 08, 2007

Lebanese Flags

Earlier in December of what is now last year, the Siniora government asked the Lebanese people to display flags to show their support of the government. Some, such as the authors of Blacksmiths of Lebanon, claim that certain areas of the country are displaying more flags than others. According to this blog, the Christian areas have a low proportion of flags and the authors did not visit Shia areas but made an educated guess that one would not see many flags in these areas. I myself did take photos of flags in Christian areas but was not analyzing the quantity of flags in the various regions.

In the case of the Christians, the general feeling is that most are in support of the current government and so if what Blacksmiths of Lebanon says is true, perhaps people felt they did not need to display flags. In the case of the Shia, many would like the government to actually represent them and are therefore not displaying flags. Sunnis are most likely displaying flags much more frequently than Shia. This is sad and as Blacksmiths of Lebanon states, depicts the growing tension between the Shia and the Sunnis. This is the same division that has ignited in Iraq.

Let us hope that Lebanon does not become "Iraquized" as some would contend. And before you scoff this off with the statement, "People in this region have been fighting amongst each other for generations," please consider the various entities who have added fire igniter to the coals. As I heard from many Lebanese during my stay, "Lebanese politics mirror what is happening in international politics." It all just happens within the confines of a country that is smaller than New Jersey.

No matter whether you are for or against the present government and no matter how far you want to delve into Lebanese and Middle Eastern politics, even though I encourage you to do so; this flag represents Lebanon and for this reason it means something to me.

Lebanese flags in Saida.


Ras Beirut,

Ras Beirut,

And Roumieh...

As my trip comes to a close, I want to stress that Lebanon is a very beautiful country with exceptionally intelligent and multilingial inhabitants. I love Lebanon deeply and am already looking forward to my next trip. Perhaps the summer?
While my physical presence in Lebanon has ended, I still have a backlog of posts and so will still be writing of my experiences here. I invite you to continue reading.
Maa Salama,
Peace be with you

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