They want to be sisters, these two. But only temporarily, because whenever they spent more than 24 hours together, they end up fighting, and then they’re cured for a while. Until the next sleep-over, that is. And then they go out, and pretend to everyone they see that they’re sisters again.
Two little Dutch girls growing up in Lebanon. Both are in it for the long haul. They’re not expats children, who fly in for a 3-year stint and then out again. Lebanon is part of who they are. They learn Arabic at school. And we (the moms) sometimes wonder how that will go. Will they have the same freedom and opportunities we had when we grew up in Holland? Not likely. Freedom wise, that is.
Everyone is upset that Oprah Winfrey called Lebanon a ‘deeply conservative society’, and they’re all up in arms about it. But from a woman’s point of view, this society does not let girls get away with a lot of stuff. The ones with money are excluded in this debate, they can do anything they want, they have money, they don’t need anyone to depend upon.
But for the regular women? The middle-class? The not-so-well-off? You better watch every move you make, because once your reputation is shot, it’s mighty hard to find a ‘good’ husband, and in this society, like it or not, you’re only half-a-women if by the time you’re 35 you’re still single. You most probably will still live with your parents and will have to hide the fact you’ve got a boyfriend somewhere. Let alone sleep with him, because God forbid, you better go into that casket a virgin.
So I don’t know about this ‘deeply conservative’ debate. As long as the girls’ freedom and prospects don’t even get close to those of the boys’, that’s conservative to me. And I don't think it is a religious issue at all, because this attitude goes across all Lebanese sects.
But I am being side-tracked. We were at the beach. And I had this long thing about the garbage on the beach, but I’m afraid this post was getting much too grim, and so I deleted that part. So we hung out on the beach, all alone, not a soul in sight.
They were shooting a movie near us, and I tried to entice them to go see the actors and all that, because I was quite curious as to what they were filming. But the girls showed no interest at all. They just wanted to pretend to be sisters, and so I missed that movie.