Le Monde said it today: Lebanon is a jungle. If you are a visitor this summer to this cesspool, you will likely experience a strange mix of sensations, some of it very close to fatal, some of it in the realm of the unhealthy. You will also notice - if this is your first visit to this disgustingly cheap and annoying self-declared Mediterranean paradise - the superposition of violence, garbage, pollution, low self-esteem camouflaged under a fake Western veneer and expressing itself in all kinds of aggression and violence, and an utterly bigoted ultra-religiosity.
This does make for an interesting visit, to be sure. But this is for the visitors who know they'll go through the "thrills" for only a limited time period. But for the resident aborigines, who themselves will find a million excuses for behaving worse than animals (example: the Lebanese saying "If you are not a wolf, the wolves will devour you"), life here is like a daily safari. You go out of your house every morning not knowing what predator beasts you will encounter, and whether you will come back home alive or in one piece. Within a minute of getting in your car, the adrenaline shoots up in your system, cuss words you did not know you were capable of will hurl themselves out of your mouth, and in a cloud of sandy dust (from all the quarries dissecting the mountainsides), dark smog (from all the diesel fumes oozing out of trucks, buses...), small motorcycles weaving in and out of every hole left by traffic at standstill, heat from the dry summer and the absence of any greenery in the city....you make your way to your destination, considering yourself lucky to have made it home in one piece. Even if you decide to walk, rather than ride or drive a vehicle, there are no sidewalks to speak of. The few sidewalks out there are small, planted with trees, and serve as parking spots for more and more bigger and bigger cars that the native beasts ostentatiously drive to scare off the other beasts.
Lebanon is not a country. Many people will say it. There is no system of any kind. Any semblance of a systematic approach to humans living together is the result of self-forming systems, rather than deliberate well-thought of plans coming out of reasonable rational human brains. It is self-organized chaos, which is really what Darwinian jungles are.
Lebanon is a like a zoo that has no managers or handlers. All the humans are caged in. There are 18 different cages labeled religious sects, and humans are born and stay in their parents' cages. Then they are generally left to their own devices. There are many schools in the zoo, and their function is not to educate people into civility, civilization, culture, science and the like. If they did, then the products of these schools will not behave like animals. But they do. Generally, education is a key to leaving the zoo. Lebanon is a factory of students whose education is intended to send them overseas where people do not live in zoos and cages. Once overseas, they recover their decent human character, start making money to send back to the zoo. The vast majority of them never return to the zoo, even though the Foreign Affairs Minister keeps inviting them back. But why leave places of decency, civility, humility, systematized human communal living with rules and laws, to come back to lawlessness, indecency, corruption, constant aggression and violence?
Laboratory tests show that animals in cages where they experience crowdedness, hunger, lack of basic amenities, dwindling space and territory, ... begin to display of outward aggression and abnormal obsessive, compulsive, self-destructive behavior.
Welcome to Lebanon this summer. Enjoy the thrills of living dangerously. If I were to give you a piece of advice, it would be NOT TO COME TO LEBANON. For two reasons. One, you are taking major risks to your health and life. Two, by coming and spending money in the zoo, you encourage the illusory permanence of the zoo. You make it survive longer than it should. You will be feeding the very beasts that make this place look like a zoo. Please starve the beasts. Don't feed them. Don't spend money here because it all goes to the alpha beasts that make this place the hell on earth that it is. Instead, by starving them, you help us get rid of them.