February 26, 2013

The only people on the beach: Dog owners and Dutch (is there a connection?)

It’s an odd contrast; last week I was up in the snow, this week I am at the beach. And I didn’t even have to travel for that; all in one country. But this is a land of contrasts, so it fits right in. 
The beach isn't ready yet; the boardwalks haven't been painted yet

A land of controversy indeed. Teachers strike during the week, but then force parents to send in their kids on Saturday to ‘make up’ for the missed days. Make up? Then what’s the point of the strike?

You cannot marry someone from another religion and keep your own religion & your rights at the same time; you’d both have to renounce your own religion first, and if you want to vote for members of parliament of a different religion then yours, you better become a jew; they’re the only ones allowed to.  But then again, we hardly have any jews left, we made sure of that, because we are so narrow-minded when it comes to other religions. 
My son ‘identifies’ himself with a certain sect in this country, and I am thinking ‘you twit, you've never set a foot in a mosque, the only time you've been to church was for a funeral, you don’t know how to pray in either religion; how can you identify yourself with any sect at all?
But I cannot blame him completely, because when a friend’s grandfather died, and he asked if he could come for the condolences, he was told, “Well, you might not feel at ease, our condolences are done the greek-orthodox way.” And I am thinking, 'well, that message is clear enough.'  

Picnic on the beach

How come this young generation, that did not live through a civil war, with atrocities played out on both sides, is more fanatic than my generation? 
We had this discussion at work today. I work with a very mixed group of people; all Lebanese backgrounds and religions are represented, and they are my generation. 
Their explanation was that during the war, they lived divided (most of the time). Christians lived with christians, muslims with muslims (we did not have that sunni-shia divide then), and one did not mix. But then when the war ended, and the dividing lines (such as the Green Line) slowly disappeared, they suddenly saw the ‘others’ and were mainly surprised with the fact that the ‘others’ were not that different at all. 
It was an eye-opener,” said one colleague.


The current generation can grow up with one other, not divided. Yet it seems they choose not to. So what is it that sets the tone for this generation? What makes them decide to be part of one, and not of a whole (country)? It is puzzling to me. 


Rami said...

And here's one more photo you might be interested in from one of my Facebook friends :)

Sietske said...

Wow! How'd you get your hands on that one!!! That's us!!!

Rami said...

Hahah! Well I always follow what Mohamad posts and was surprised as well to see you making it to his photostream!