Lebanon is a wild rose.(By Amin Maalouf)


Lebanon is a wild rose.

If you approach flowers, beware of thorns.

And if your hands are torn up in blood, still take the time to caress the flowers.

I’m talking about roses, bearing in mind the practice, common in “Bourgogne” and Le Bordelais”, which is to let them grow roses precisely on top rows of vines.

It was found, indeed, that this flower was suffering before any other diseases that attack plants, and could therefore serve as a sentinel to warn the tenants, and give them time to react.

But men do not always understand the message.

Some, laziness and ignorance, blindness, when they see spots appear on the leaves, to say the rose is, in any case, a fragile plant, delicate, frivolous, and that their vine is at no risk.

Thirty years ago, Lebanon came in one of the most challenging phases in its history.

A community that saw its diversity rationale, and freedom of expression on the basis of civil peace, had gone down in the identity tension, massacres, the fear of the other and self-destruction.

For some time, the country has emerged as an exception, grieving for his son and for his faithful friends, sparking but, for many people, as detached and condescending judgments.

What do you want? The rose is a fragile plant!

And ethnic and communal clashes have increased worldwide.

Not only in the Middle East, in Africa, or South Asia, but also in the former Yugoslavia, at the foothills of Europe.

And beyond. What once seemed to be the sad privilege of a few suburbs of Beirut, is today for theater the entire planet, from Manhattan to Chechnya, via London, Madrid, Bali and up.

Wince, massacres, fear of the other and self-destruction.

It is true that with the fall of the Berlin Wall, we went from a world where ideological divisions were mostly to a world of identity cleavages.

I have no nostalgia for the days of the Cold War, which resulted in the twentieth century, the tragedies we know.

But she had a feature to awaken permanently the debate.

When the divisions are identity, there is no debate or dialogue.

Each proclaims his membership in the face of the other, each launching his imprecations, then sound bursts and explosions.

The rose is a delicate plant, I am told.

Lebanon is a mosaic of communities let there be no mistake, it is no longer only in Lebanon, the whole world is a mosaic of communities.

Oppressed ethnic groups, religions ticklish, unfulfilled nations, they are every day a little more frightened, and tempted by the use of violence to protect themselves, to say, or for revenge.

If humanity today proved unable to live together in harmony and with dignity, on the tiny territory of Lebanon, communities which, for centuries, practiced the coexistence , or at least The côtoiement, how on earth could she manage immeasurable global diversity?

An anguished plea, the new century brings an initial response, which is not reassuring.

Not only for countries where long-standing mixed populations coexist, nor for those who are just discovering the constraints of diversity.

Just wander his eyes on this disoriented planet that violence is not declining, and that the gap between the larger human communities is widening. Not a major event that is experienced on both sides of the fault, and in particular on the two shores of the Mediterranean, with conflicting feelings.

Friends of Lebanon, do not lose eye, the wild rose prompting precisely along this fault!

If you see flourish and triumph, the vast wave of freedom and coexistence, with Samir, Gebran, May and their companions were brave bearers, is that the vineyard of men will give tomorrow healthy clusters.

But if you see the flowers tremble, stagger, then shoot, if you see the rot to form the outer leaves is that the whole vine is threatened, and the wine of the future will sour.

Amin Maalouf

Google translate from original french text

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