In a country where people are motivated by greed, driven by ambition and led by instincts, some stand powerless. We take our values from corrupt politicians, enshrined by ‘virtue’, or should I say shrouded by ‘virtue’ which stench fills nostrils and permeates beings. We observe, analyse and deduct like Winston Smith (1984) and are unable to act or react in an environment where “he who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
Our society has decided that everything has already been decided. An oriental tradition reinforced by the constant feeling that the gods take pleasure in toying with us, and who, like a spoilt child, in a fit of spite, breaks the puppet snatched from its playmate.
At a time when some of us decided that our country was worth fighting for, we abandoned our exile, that peaceful environment which reinforced our beliefs in the morals that made nations great, to return and build what we hoped would be a country worth fighting for.
Aeons past, or so we felt. Things that we took for granted, remembered from a father’s or mother’s tale and revived by our hope for a better future, vanished one after the other. To start with, only a few superficial habits were broken. This was unimportant, after all the country had to reawaken from its slumber, and as an old man rising from bed, had to stumble before standing tall. But the flesh is weak and faith is elusive. Those who believed that crossing the solid line on the mountain road was an unspeakable sin were surprised to confront lorries streaming down their side, screaming insults at the unsuspecting climber. And so it was. The main edifice crumbled, but other palaces were built. Pontiffs sprung from the ground, like the skeletons that faced Jason, and drowned the flock of faithful with lies and hypocrisy.
We were busy then. Busy gathering the scraps that fell from the mouths of our leaders and losing sight of the lamb that was slaughtered on the table of their ambitions. Our country was being divided and dismembered. Every small morsel was traded either for gold or for power. Both were accumulated with greed, self-indulgence and with a short-sightedness to make a mole envious.
We were beholding, despondent, our disintegrating motherland, and instead of heeding the great Arabic poet, Imru’ al Qais in his maxim “There will be no alertness today, and no drunkenness tomorrow”, we took pleasure in his “Today is drink,…” and disregarded the second part. We were drinking then, are drinking now; some of us are still drinking, waiting for tomorrow; but tomorrow never seems to come.