Shia Girls Singing Christmas Carols in Lebanese Church

A message from this past Christmas, from Lebanon: here’s a video of Shia orphan girls performing Christmas carols in the Saint-Elie church in Beirut.

Happy coexistence everyone, enjoy the music!

The Fighting

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The fighting over flags is ridiculous.

The fighting over who suffers the most is ridiculous.

The fighting over where people come from is ridiculous.

The fighting over refugees is ridiculous.

We are all tired, afraid.

We all want to live.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.org

The Destiny of Being Lebanese – on Today’s Bombings

beirut bombingsWhenever I think about Lebanon I think about night life and the beach, sunny memories from long summers. But there are other things too that comes to my mind – the underlying fear of something to happen, because that something regularly does happen, and the intolerance that so easily pops up, young people that many years after the civil war still despise anyone from another group. The wounds from the civil war just doesn’t get a chance to heal when the violence button seems stuck on repeat. Today’s bombings of Iran’s embassy in Beirut is a depressing but recurrent event.

The destiny of being Lebanese if I can have my say is having a country to be proud of – beautiful and dynamic, a place people from more boring countries loves to visit. Who wouldn’t want their home country being the given summer destination instead of wanting to go anywhere else every year?

But the cost of being Lebanese is also often bitter – I dare to say this after all the “where are you from” questions with dreamy eyes I have received from various people at any occassion. For a country with all it’s potential, a vibrant job market and internationally prestigious universities, the young people still just wanna leave. And who can blame them, when your Sunday brunch in the center of Beirut suddenly can be shattered by explosions tearing people’s bodies into pieces?

The bombings and occassional violence in Lebanon has different reasons, from internal Islamic groups targeting the crazy night clubs to people who wanted to get rid of that inconvenient politician. But the very worst reason for being bombed in your own country must be when it has absolutely nothing to do with you. When your country happens to be a playground for dirty international affairs just because it has always been and because your own government can’t or won’t control the violence within their own borders.

We condemn this cowardly terrorist act which is aimed at inciting tensions in Lebanon and using the country as an arena to send political messages”, Prime Minister Najib Mikati said today.

I hope next time the government will back up their wise words with some actions. Giving the Lebanese people the right to being able to stay in their own country that should be no one elses but theirs.

Photo credit: http://www.dailystar.com.lb

Lebanese summer vs Swedish 1-0

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Beiruti summer. Photo credit: time.com

So this July we have been blessed with an abnormally hot summer here in Sweden, providing not only a few but several sunny days when the water has been almost usable for swimming. The average temperature usually reaches around 18 degrees during July in my city so if spending your vacation here you might need a jacket and sneakers to survive in the evenings, in this cold little place on earth. Still when sun is up and sometimes even when it’s not, Swedes throw off their clothes and hit the beach, and lit the BBQ in the coldest of the summer evenings, as traumatized as we are by the long and dark winters. As a child I and my family sometimes even went swimming when it was raining – the climate here triggering the most bizarre behaviors.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Sweden. My city is surrounded by a free, clean, public beach within biking distance from my flat, which makes for beautiful summer days even for the poorest of the inhabitants. The public authorities also provides all school children with summer camps to very low costs which makes it possible for everyone to send their children on vacation.

But have you spent a summer in for example Lebanon, you know what you are missing out in your own country. In Sweden we won’t have pool parties, Sky Bars, swimming pools glimmering with tanned, beautiful people. You won’t be able to get in the car and go to the cooler mountains for a getaway, for example to Batroun with its crazy nightclubs and amazing scenery, the same day as you have spent a hot afternoon at the beach. There’s a feeling you might be in LA or New York during those most intensive summer months in Lebanon.

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Where I am we’re just doing our best to stay alive. Photocredit: aftonbladet.se

Sure, in Sweden as a woman you’re allowed to swim topless even inside the swimming pools, an internationally very strange phenomenon, and you don’t have to pay for the beach. But in Sweden you’re lucky if you are able to get even the slightest tan, and you won’t feel like you are a part of the glamorous life, the way you will when you’re in Lebanon, mixing with the always so good looking men and women. Any Lebanese out there wanna switch passports this summer?