Beirut not for Beirutis

So we have lost the last public beach left in Beirut. Ramlet el Bayda was the last bit of shore remaining in the small list of public spaces we could still call our own, us people of Beirut, as we watched every grain of sand become someone’s property.

From our government to our health, ruins and historical buildings, even the sand of our land is for sale, each little grain getting stuck between our toes can be sold to the most generous imbecile because what are we but pockets with a slowly dying identity? We are Lebanese with fewer and fewer Lebanese characteristics, places, faces… we are Lebanese living in a country that is looking and feeling less Lebanese by the second. In our country you can swim and ski in the same day, if you’re willing to pay to have less than what another country would offer for free. Our beaches are polluted, but we still want to call them our own, our cities were destroyed but we still want them to be rebuilt in the same style, with our people living in them and not whoever will throw 10,000$/sqm like it’s change. We want our ruins and crumbling buildings more than another shopping center we probably won’t be the ones buying from, we dream of those tiny green spaces we still have, to be able to stick our hands in the beautiful grass and know it will last another day without having empty bottles and cigarette buds thrown in by careless individuals because we have no laws protecting our public spaces. We want our wild rivers and old streets to remain without strange highway projects and useless dams suddenly being proposed.

Why is it every single time change occurs in this country, it is only for the worse? Why is it a beautiful place like Lebanon cannot remain beautiful and truly deserve to be the country that rose again, the country that war and floods couldn’t terminate, the country that only moves forward? Do we only deserve to be sold to the highest bidder?

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