April 06, 2015

Is it Real or is it Fake?

Google got these as backgrounds. So how can it be ugly?

There’s been a bit of a discussion between some blog readers whether Lebanon is actually beautiful, or that I am promoting a fake image of Lebanon, since the country is not beautiful at all, or at least, it’s not more beautiful than other countries.
Well, there’s some truth to that. To all of the above. Yes, the country is beautiful, and yes, it’s pretty ugly too, but I am quite good at cropping my photos in such a way that you don’t really get to see it, and it’s definitely not more beautiful than other countries, but then again, sometimes it is.

It’s a bit like Facebook and Instagram, I guess, you only post those pictures that make it appear as if you lead a glamorous and exciting life, surrounded by beautiful people, and that you are living a moveable feast, which we all know is fake, but it still gives us Facebook Depressions.
But sometimes it IS beautiful here; you just have to focus on small things, and look for small moments. Even when you compare it to other countries. This morning I went walking my dogs, and because it is a day off, there are too many people up and about in Beirut, so you have to go further out. I ended up in Saadiyat, for no specific reason. You get in the car and drive until you see a place that looks like it's accessible on foot.

Old sea road in Saadiyat
And the old sea road in Saadiyat, at 8:00 AM, IS beautiful. There is little traffic, the butterfly marguerite daisies grow really high, so all roadside garbage is conveniently hidden, the shoulders are a bright green and yellow, the Mediterranean sea is blue, the sun is shining and even the barbed wire has a ‘rustic’ quality to it.
To see scenery like this in France, you’ll have to share it with another 100,000 tourists. The Cote d’Azur is always packed, no parking to be found in miles. You could see it in Holland, probably, if the weather allows it (overcast sky and 8 degrees Celcius in Holland on the coast today). And so the claim this country is ugly as far as scenery goes, I don’t think you are looking careful enough. 

Fantastic color scheme under the gum tree (no idea what it's called but it looks like a gum tree)
If you only see the ugly part, than your life is rather grim here, because there is plenty of ugly around.  The political system is ugly, the corruption, the incompetency of those that have and those that rule, the inequality of income, the lack of social mobility, the fact that the majority of the Lebanese are not able to visit the places that I visit due to economic or educational restraints, the brain drain and I could go on for a bit, all that is ugly. Oh, and that land along the coast costs $1,500 per square meter in that area and so I will never ever be able to afford that sea side villa. Now that’s really ugly.

Showdown; Dog meets other - not so friendly - dogs
But to say that Lebanon’s scenery overall is not beautiful, and that these images are not representative of Lebanon, that’s looking at the glass and seeing it half empty. I see it half full.



Anonymous said...

Nicely said Sieske! If you ever get a chance , do a story for us from Horsh Ehden. :)

visnja said...

Simply beautiful!!!

Elie Touma said...

Another beautiful collection of pictures of Lebanon that you graciously remind us of in spite that it is just a short drive away!
I always await your contributions and keep waiting for your lovely renditions of our country.

Anonymous said...

I concur with the comments above, you said it perfectly in words and pictures. Thank you for adding beauty to our lives, its a one of the reasons why we visit your blog.
Your pictures say thousands of words :)

Anonymous said...

...many loose their thoughts and memory on everday petty moments, but your stories and pictures make me dream of a place like a lost person looking for the desert well that will always have water...and know perhaps one day will be there and thank you for your thoughts and creative style of showing a region of the world that for many is...well you know what i mean...
thanks again for making my glass half empty and half full seem like it needs a refill :)