Lebanon – a battlefield?

When asked about the elements that make or break a state, many people would give you a weird stare thinking that you are probably illiterate and then they would give the most common answer saying that the politics and the economy are the major elements that are responsible for the progress or the decline of the state. Well, they are correct to an extent and I shared the same opinion until the last few days when I visited Lebanon which is considered as one of the most prominent terrorist states in the world. Before I started my journey, I was told by my friends and family to take extra care of myself because to them I was probably going in the battlefield where I could be shot dead any second.

However, upon reaching the “battlefield”, I was surprised because I hadn’t expected to land in a peaceful place where life was as normal and busy as any other country that claims to be civilised. Taking the fact out of the equation that Lebanon does not have a President since 2014 and that the economy is struggling, if you closely analyse, you will realise that these are not the only factors that are responsible for the image that this state has in front of the world. Who do you think conveys the news about bomb blasts and terrorist activities? Who, in your opinion, repeatedly talks about Hezbollah claiming that it is a terrorist organisation? Well, the answer is clear and you know what I am referring to. It is not only the politics and the economy that have the power but the media that can very easily make or break a state in the contemporary world where image is the most important factor that is responsible for worldwide perceptions. The dilemma is that Lebanon is not the only victim; our very homeland is a victim too. The way we think that Lebanon is constantly bombed and the terrorist activities are a daily routine, ironically the Lebanese think the same about us.

The dilemma is that majority of the people become intellectuals just because they spend hours sitting in front of their television listening to talk shows that aim to influence our opinions and chitchatting with their friends in their drawing rooms over a cup of coffee. The interesting part is that their arguments are completely based on what has been conveyed to them through the news bulletin and talk shows. I was told that Lebanon is under a wave of constant terror whereas it’s not, and people all over the world are taught to avoid Muslims because they are terrorists. The question is if we are actually terrorists. Of course, we are not. Then what is Islamophobia? It is certainly a product of media which itself is a tool of the major powers that use it for their interest. The reported casualties after every attack are not as much as they are told to the people and the situation is never as worse as we are conveyed. The issue here is not that the media is corrupt but the problem is that we have failed to analyse issues and that we are blindfolded by the headlines that we see on various news channels.

Economy and politics have a major role to play in the development of the country, sure, but it is the media that informs you about the situation of both the fields and so it is better that we start using our own lenses of analysis rather than the ones given to us.

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  1. Muhammad Abdullah says

    You may be right but you see Lebanon is not a terriotist nurturing place or perhaps there are no terrorists there. Life is pretty normal there until some specific event happens. Palestinian Rebells use it as a hideout so Israel is tempted to have its influence on this region by arming groups for its use and also uses media to manipulate (like you said). The other factor is sectarian fight of Shia Sunni which unfortunately has roots there like in syria… so life may seem peaceful but war is like a trigger waiting for for an event to break out and its a constant pressure on people to live with.

  2. Bushra Afreen says

    Their political condition is much more messed up than what we are told. Besides, I have seen places where the buildings still have bullets in them. As far as the question of Lebanon being a terrorist state is concerned, Hezbollah is a big name and you must have heard of it. People do not consider them as terrorists because, in a way they protect them but to find out if they really are terrorists, you need to look up the definition of terrorists. Also, geographically they are between Syria and Israel so how can you expect Lebanon to not be a battle field?

  3. Dr Shema Bukhari says

    The only problem is the geographical scenario and facilitation given to israel….other than that humans are same everywhere. They need peace and same is true with lebanon. And yes Bushra you are right when you say that there are extremely peaceful regions. My Palestinian and labanese friends tell me that there life is better in their own house, unlesa israel start woeking on their missions.

    ..and as i always quote ‘ one man’s freedom fight is terrorism for anothe person’

    By the way…well written reflection

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