- How nobody treats you like an accomplished adult woman, no matter what you have achieved, until you’re married and have had your picture published in Prestige. Or Mondanités. Or any of these stupid magazines that scare the hell out of me whenever I’m a at the hairdressers’ in Beirut. Too much Botox kills the Botox (and frankly, is an eyesore)
- How all women’s attempts at assertiveness are dismissed either by puzzled looks, patronising behaviours or even anger
- How everyone force feeds you. People, I know you mean nothing but the best, but I’m a grown 26 year old woman who has never been known to starve herself. Take it from me, if I don’t want to eat, you asking me 12000 times is not going to change my mind. At most, it might make me want to push your head in the mjaddara.
- How you can’t have a moment to yourself without 200 people asking what’s wrong with you. Nothing’s wrong with me except your constant badgering.
- How EVERYONE meddles in your business, which goes hand in hand with live news updates on what you’re doing and where. Screw Facebook Places, the app’s nothing in front of Lebanese networks, where everybody knows you, your parents, your grandparents, even if you don’t know THEM. By the way who was this boy Tante Laure saw you with on saturday night? huh? huh? huh?
- How people speak about you as if you were not there. This is especially true at the hairdresser’s, where said hairdresser and apprenti speak above your head. In the words of the great Chandler: “Should I use my invisibility cape to fight crime or evil?”I. Am. Right. Here. People. AND fully aware you’re tired of my difficult hair (which is admittedly black, curly and thick, but I won’t apologise. At least I haven’t burnt it with Keratine and dyed it Baby Blond)
- How Racism is rife. Filipinos steal, Palestinians should go home (which they’re literally dying to anyway), Sri Lankans are not clean, fair skinned women are prettier than darker skinned ones and the list of prejudices goes on and on. Charles Malek did not sit in that UN Room in 1948 for hours so that his fellow country men and women could ignore and mistreat the Universal Declaration of Human Rights he helped initiate and draft. Make him proud!
I do love Lebanon and the Lebanese to bits, but I don’t think it’s useful to keep throwing us flowers while there are many, many things that just aren’t working in our societies. It does not serve the Lebanon I’m hoping to see.
Just leaving you with the hilarious Maya Zankoul who always knows how to translate my sentiments into intelligent and spot on drawings: http://mayazankoul.com/2009/12/30/quid-pro-quo/