Is Lebanon really home?

Ossana was 19 years old during the Armenian Genocide in 1915. Born in 1896 in Urfa, in the Ottoman Empire (Turkey today), she found herself in Beirut, Lebanon after the ordeal she and her people faced. Ossana is my great-grandmother. My dad recently found her identity card from 1925, issued by the “State of Great Lebanon.” I don’t know that many things about Ossana, except that she was illiterate (as per this document). Her husband was Hagop Tachdjian, and together they had four children, the eldest of whom was my late grandfather Kevork, who was born in Beirut in 1924 and died in 2009.

Being Armenian wasn’t something I thought much of as a child. I did however experience ridicule, prejudice and racism. Looking back, speaking Armenian was a reason for ridicule. My last name, which my grandfather taught me to cherish, was a joke to some. I was not worthy of playing with some of the other kids, because I am Armenian. Although I speak fluent Lebanese, I was nevertheless ridiculed for the way I speak it – for the way people expected me to speak it. I was once asked by a teacher to remove the Armenian cross I had on my neck because “it looks bizarre”; I was in fourth grade. In a heavily politicized country such as Lebanon, my political affiliation was ascribed to me by those who assume all Armenians have the same political beliefs; not to mention those who assume all Armenians know each other and are somehow related. If only I had a dollar for each time I was told to “go back to Armenia.”

We must not deceive ourselves with a non-existent, idealistic and romantic relationship between Lebanon and “its” Armenians.

When I was younger, I didn’t know what prejudice and racism were; instead, I was only able to recognize the icky feeling I would feel after these occurrences. On numerous occasions, I have had to defend my Lebanese-ness (whatever that means). This othering I faced had me notice and recognize the Armenian in me. I did not feel fully part of the Armenian community either, though; I did not live in the Armenian quarter, did not attend an Armenian school and Sunday service, did not have many Armenian friends and could neither read nor write Armenian.

All of that aside, I never imagined outright Armenophobic protests to take place in Lebanon like the ones which took place in June. A large number of people marched with Turkish flags and chanted “F** the Armenians,” threatening the Armenian quarter of Beirut and calling for “another massacre.” Some people took this very lightly. What harm could they do, right? I did not. In the midst of Lebanon’s worse financial, economic, political and social crisis, and the outright threat of war, some people found it more than reasonable to protest against the Armenians, in support of their “Ottoman ancestors.”

The Lebanese of 1915 who welcomed, protected, cherished, appreciated and loved the Armenians fleeing genocide, such as Ossana, are long gone. I am hurt, disgusted and tired. Yes, many non-Armenian Lebanese are amazing people who are not racist, but that does not discount those who are.

It is time to break the taboo and reassess our position, as Lebanese-Armenians, in the greater Lebanese society.

We must not deceive ourselves with a non-existent, idealistic and romantic relationship between Lebanon and “its” Armenians. It is time to break the taboo and reassess our position, as Lebanese-Armenians, in the greater Lebanese society. I for one, am tired of aggressively and defiantly justifying my “rightful” place in this country. The political statements of support are nice, but is Lebanon really home? Have we not always been treated as guests? And if not as guests, then surely as the “other.” Slogans of religious, national, ethnic plurality in Lebanon are nice, but deep down, is Lebanon really home?

Ossana and I will eternally be grateful to the land and people who welcomed us among them, but it is time to turn the page. It is finally time to go to a place where we, Armenians, are truly welcomed, protected, cherished, appreciated and loved. Lebanon is no longer that place.

Armenia Street in Bourj Hammoud, a municipality in Beirut that’s heavily populated by Armenians (Photo: Leon Petrosyan/Wikimedia Commons)
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Antonios Tashejian

Antonios Tashejian is a postgraduate student in Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Exeter. He focuses his work on comparative nationalism and genocide research.
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39 Comments

  1. The author poses a very interesting. As an Armenian born in the US , but with many friends from Lebanon, I have always heard the nostalgic affinity for the Lebanon before the civil war and significant demographic/political shifts. That Lebanon is
    gone. Interestingly , this individual is unique in that he grew up outside the Armenian infrastructure….neighborhood density, church, schools etc. In its absence , Armenians can feel vulnerable. We are witnessing a significant shift on the horizon.

  2. When Muslim Lebs call us “kafirs” and when Christian lebs tell us “you came with nothing and you will leave with nothing”. Then its time to assess is it safe to be a minority in a hostile nation . We are resilient we we can rebuild where ever we go i say thank you Lebanon but you don’t deserve a people who made your country resemble something that was decent !

    • I agree! It’s time to start thinking to repatriate to Armenia and Artsakh ! We are not safe anywhere. Sooner or later the so-called friend rears it’s ugly head, and yes, will tell you f..k Armenia and go back to Armenia:(. I for one have experienced this many times, Growing up in Beirut, specially coming from Lebanese christians. Fortunately, I no longer live there. I made the decision to leave long time ago (1967) at the age of 18 to come to the states for higher education, and I think that’s the best step I have ever taken.

  3. Covered in Shame!
    I am covered in shame as I read this article!
    What have we done as Lebanese to inherit the genes of ignorance, blindness and pure self-defeatism, which we manifest every time we don’t leap to protect the vulnerable and honourable?
    There are nearly 12 million expatriate Lebanese living around the world who have been welcomed in open arms, valued and cherished. What is it in us that stopping us from treating our beloved Lebanese of Armenian heritage in our own country with anything less than equal to what we are getting from other countries where we are found?
    Haven’t they (Lebanese of Armenian heritage) done enough already helping build a ruined country so many times in the past?
    Haven’t they done enough to educate us and teach us so much in music, painting, theatre, TV and cinema?
    Haven’t they done enough already to open our minds to the beauty of their crafts in every industrial domain, from Jewellery, architecture, manufacturing and so on…?
    Haven’t they done enough when they sacrificed their own children to defend the Christian faith and Lebanese identity and heritage during the Lebanese war? Wasn’t their blood sacred enough to buy them the badge of “belonging?
    Oh people of my country – and I know there are amazing enlightened spirits among the lot – how wrong and lost you are by not welcoming, loving and supporting our brethren and sisters!
    Shame is our reward for not doing enough to protect you and endorse and value what you have done for Lebanon already.
    My only regret is that i cannot be close to you and with you to barricade myself in face of the thugs and hooligans who come near you to attack you and question your loyalty.
    The reward of silence, from anyone in Lebanon and outside it who is not actively defending you right this moment, is shame and I am, on their behalf, wearing our badge of shame. Pity our nation for we are so lost in our ignorance and hatred.

    Fadi

    • Thank you for your sincere support and your kind words.
      It is a breath of fresh air from the ignorant and hostile attitudes.

    • True spirit of Truth, love and appreciation. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You inspire hope among us all with your beautifully expressed heart fed words.
      Hank you and much respect.
      Lévon

    • I agree with your comment.
      This article does not even represent 0,001% of the Lebanese Armenians.
      LEBANON 🇱🇧 IS MY COUNTRY.
      Any Lebanese citizen representing any minority knows the value of the Armenians and/or any other’s.
      I am proud of being an Armenian and a Lebanese.
      Lebanon 🇱🇧 is my country.
      I live in France since December 1975.
      My country will always be Lebanon.
      I know the Lebanese, we are all over the world, since centuries.
      Armenians are all over the world, since centuries.
      If you, Mr. Antonio’s Tashedjian don’t feel neither Lebanese nor Armenian, that’s your complexity.
      You don’t have any identity.
      You don’t represent The Armenians anywhere.
      Armenians are the people of the world,
      Always productive, respectful and considerate to those who accept them as they are.
      The present Armenia 🇦🇲 is not my favorite reference.

    • My Reply is to Vicken Tarpinian:
      Vicken, I love you as a singer, but as a person you just lost all my respect!
      A) You left Lebanon 45 years ago and didn’t look back!
      B) You didn’t live the civil war, the hardship that Lebanese had to suffer
      C) I and many others lost our teenage life, best times of our life in Lebanon, a country which is filled with filth, hatred (specially towards Armenians), no proper electricity since 1975, unstable, corrupt governments and dictatorship – the exact same politicians are ruling Lebanon for the last 45 years! and more…
      D) You are ‘admiring’ a country with no human rights, no fairness and respect for people who helped build that country (Armenians and Christians, in particular)
      E) A nation filled with people who have no integrity, no common-sense, who can be ‘bought’ and brainwashed easily, who consider religion before their country and identity, who forget their own history (Ottoman massacres in Lebanon), who switch sides in an instant, etc.
      F) Lebanon and Lebenese did not welcome us in Lebanon, the French forced them to accept us when Lebanon was a French colony.
      G) I am from Anjar, from the very beginning there was hatred and jealousy from all surrounding villages towards Anjar and its population and now it has become worse.
      H) From my experience in Anjar, the Arabs and Palestinians who live in the surrounding areas are lazy people who rely on government grants and steal the crops from Anjar every year. Meanwhile Anjar is built with no grants and just by the hard work and sweat of the Armenians and has become the most beautiful village in the area, hence the resentment and jealousy of Arabs towards Armenians.

      I am always annoyed of people who leave Lebanon, enjoy the benefits of the new location they are living, yet they keep praising the hell-hole but never go back!
      If you like Lebanon so much, I will gladly buy your one-way ticket…

      As for Armenia, despite the blockades and agressiveness of it’s three neighbours, it’s a much more beautiful and stable country than your beloved Lebanon.

      So:
      if you haven’t lived in Heaven (Armenia), don’t describe it
      If you haven’t lived in Hell (Lebanon), don’t praise it
      Go ahead, sing this if you can!! ;)

    • God bless you Fadi, indeed, your voice is a brave , honorable, and loving voice .You bear no shame at all , I have no doubt there are millions of honorable Lebanese, who share your sentiment
      God bless you .

    • Don’t be covered in shame Fadi. Look back to the history, armenians always were betrayers in this region. They betrayed Persians to Romans, Romans to Arabs, Arabs to Mongolians/ Turks, Turks to Russians. What is the next? If they would have good relationship with Jews they would betray Lebanon to Israel. I know that because my nation lived with this betrayers long long years, don’t believe their fake tears. They are filthy nation always betraying their neighbours.

  4. Thank you for your sincere and truthful analysis about my compatriots Fadi! I wish there were more like you in our beloved lebanon. You and others like you make all the difference in this world!! Thank you 🙏🏻🌹

    • 👍👍❤️❤️❤️Fadi, many thank for such sincere, touching, sensitive and very poignant response to our human ignorances. Your courageous article is truly appreciated and a timely one. Worthy of framing and hanging it in my office.👍
      Again, THANK YOU. 🤗

    • Եթէ հաւատք ունինք, մէկը միւսին…
      Եթէ հեռատես իմաստութիւն ունինք…
      Եթէ օգտուողներ, գողեր,
      ազքային ջիղ ունենան !
      Եթէ «կղերական»ները կշտանան
      ձրիաբար ապրելով !
      Եթէ, եթէ… ըլլայինք զիրար օգնող !
      Կասկածներ չէին մերցներ մեր հոգին
      եւ հպարտութիւնը Հայ ըլլալու.
      Ուր որ ըլլայ,
      այս աշխարհի բոլոր երկիրները:

    • Such an idiotic comment!! There were thousands of Lebanese Christians and Shiites that went on social media and Lebanese TV condemning Munir Hassan. Obviously you’re so disassociated from your country of birth that you are head over heals over a comment by Fadi!! SO PATHETICALLY SAD

  5. Im so deeply hurt by these recent events. My grandparents who survived the genocide also found refuge in Lebanon and raised their families there as did Antonios’. Some left before the war, others well after the country fell apart. Some returned. I was born in Lebanon and will probably never return again. It saddens me to see this hatred, ignorance of the history As Fadi so well recalled, things that my father has also discussed with me. All I have left is prayers for enlightenment and striving toward peace.

  6. The author should have mentioned that the only place self respecting Armenians can feel at home is in the Republic of Armenia. Anywhere else one may go he will be a guest.

    • I concur.
      In fact, this article could probably be extrapolated beyond Lebanon, and speak of the Diaspora in general, as a place we cannot “fit” wholly as Armenians.
      Having lived in Lebanon up to my teens, I share some of the feelings described by Antonios. However, these emotions were never strong enough for me to pose the question he poses.
      It is probably because I have family members there, and therefore an advanced degree of blinding emotional attachment.
      Good article. Cheers.

    • Mr. Or Mrs. AR
      You can feel stranger anywhere.
      Let the Armenians of Armenia 🇦🇲 go back home first.
      I am Armenian 🇦🇲 Lebanese 🇱🇧

  7. Lebanon is a beautiful place. We were never treated differently there from our non-Armenian neighbours and we still keep in touch with some of them, 30 years on. In the last 20 years though, I have seen the assimilation increase in Lebanon, where maintaining the Armenian family has lost its priority. It’s only a question of time..100 years, 200 years IF no major even occurs by then. The Armenian identity will be as present there as it currently is in Poland, Ukraine or India; when Armenians emigrated there hundreds of years ago. There is only 1 place where the Armenian identity will be recycled for the foreseeable future…

    • How about Iran? Armenians have lived there continuously since the 17th century. One can argue that historically, Armenians have been better able to maintain their identity while living in majority-Muslim countries than in Christian ones (like Poland or Ukraine). Should this not also apply to the Armenians of Lebanon? Or do you think modernity and globalization offer a unique challenge for maintaining Armenian identity in the diaspora?

  8. I appreciate the heartfelt article that reflects the current situation in Lebanon.
    As Armenians living in the diaspora, we have to understand that the first 100 years/three generations after the genocide, we are living in a landing spot, and just a “layover” until we reestablish our roots.
    We enjoyed the communities we created as living as a “big fish in a little pond” to preserve our customs and culture in the Middle East. However, the “small pond” serves as toxic waters due to the relevance and stability of those countries.
    Our survival depends on our ability to curb the assimilation of our people as we find our final landing spot.

  9. Question to Vicken Tarpinian, where were your grandparents from? Lebanon? I don’t think so…The only obvious reality you live in is being Armenian…don’t complicate things by adding another identity to which you can not be…history brought it upon your ancestors to come to live in Lebanon, the same way you left Lebanon to live in France…you say you moved to France in 1975, now why is that? If Lebanon is your home go back to it….why did you leave it in the first place? Must be nice to live in a country like France and call Lebanon your home…
    To all…
    Just as you have been born from one mother, you only have one identity and that is Armenian or something else you can’t be both..if you are American say you are American, if you are Lebanese say you are Lebanese…stop living a bipolar life by hyphanating your nationality…be proud of who you are wherever you are from, but don’t say you are Lebanese or American-Armenian it sounds silly…until you realize this you will never become whole with your nation again, you will always be a vagabond enslaved to wherever your master tells you to go or what to be…that master may be money, may be comfort, may be fame or whatever pushes you to divide and not unite. We must all realize Our Armenian identity and that Armenia is our homeland….we can ‘live’ anywhere but you only have one homeland and one identity.

    • Before you give advice you might want to practice it Karekin Njdeh🤣🤣
      Being Celician Armenian or Western Armenian, don’t short sell Armenia to Armenians! My homeland is Cilicia NOT ARMENIA

    • I agree that having a ‘hyphenated’ identity can lead to confusion over one’s own identity, but I think what has made Armenians so great in history is precisely being outward-looking and being able to live amongst and interact with other societies.

      Perhaps modernity and globalism presents a unique challenge of assimilation unlike any other, such that being Armenian will more and more be left to one’s choice; you will choose to be Armenian (let’s leave aside what this means for now), or not. However, we should be careful of following any ideology uncritically, including a nationalist one.

    • Hagop…Cilicia was an extension of the Armenian kingdoms/highlands/lowlands, therefore is an inseparable part of Armenia. Make true to the claim of Armenia as a whole by protecting and expanding what you have now that is called Armenia. By dreaming that someday Cilicia will magically be given to you for you to live in as a free and independent state is a reality you will need to come to terms with not me. I choose to live in Armenia and to better it to the point that we may claim what is rightfully ours be it Cilicia, Artsakh, Javakhk, Nakhijevan all the western provinces through time and effort. Armenia is not only Cilicia, its much more than that, and we may only gain all when we realize we are one nation with one homeland. We are Armenian and our homeland is Armenia!

  10. I don’t think the author has understood the historical context of the presence of Armenians in Lebanon and its importance both nationally and ethnically. There are lots of things I have never liked in Lebanese politics, its sectarian divisions, the attitude of its ruling class. But I love Lebanon beyond anything and I am proud to be its citizen . I am only hopeful that one day all the young people in Lebanon working together will be able to re-establish it as a beacon of light, hope and progress in the Middle East.It has been my home, it is my home and will be my home.

  11. I come from Jordan but have made my home in the UK for almost 40 years. I love Jordan and see it as home. I too was occasionally ridiculed for my name and my Arabic but I never thought it was done with malice – only jokingly. I have to admit no one ever told me to F$%^ off back to Armenia. I have always felt at home in Jordan with my Armenian identity. Some of my best friends were generous and sincere Arab muslims and as I write. I feel uncomfortable drawing this distinction between me and them.

    I’m sorry if this is going to come across as a sermon. I am sure the latest events in Lebanon are worrisome to many Armenians around the globe and I don’t wish to diminish their significance; but we need to be careful not to fall into the trap of fulfilling our enemies’ agenda; of creating a chasms between us and the societies in which we live. We must not alienate ourselves from the good and honourable people in our societies like Fadi. On the contrary we should strengthen our bonds. This is the way to defeat racist fascists and ignorant people who are so easily manipulated by forces with their own agendas.

    It’s an individual decision whether one sets up home in Armenia, but remember that you can do just as much good for Armenia if you play a pivotal role in the society in which you live. Armenia is you. Armenia needs friends and not enemies so let’s make sure we have more friends.

  12. To Antonios while focusing your work on comparative nationalism and genocide research, you might wander the aisles of your research library and look up true racism by British royalty and Winston Churchill towards Michael Arlen and Calouste Gulbenkian. Hopefully you will understand what a racist is! I’ll make it easier for you, Because I’m sure you won’t waste your tea time in the library aisles. read Ara Baliozians works

  13. Even in the so called good ‘ole days of Lebanon, my father experienced bigotry in in school growing up and later at his work. Some ignorant kids would say things in Turkish like “Arman yok” it’s a taunt in Turkish meaning “Amenians are no more”(a reference to the Genocide) Although Dad was a very accomplished Civil Engineer and born in Lebanon, he was denied consideration for numerous high level jobs because he was Armenian. Finally he was given a good position because his credentials simply could not be equalled and the government was in great need for his expertise. Let’s not forget the changes in Lebanon are happening because of Iran and Saudi Arabia… those countries peddle in hate-filled Wahabism and Sunni Islam. They funnel money and weapons to Lebanon. They hate each other and they especially hate Christians. Christians in Lebanon have been in a precarious situation especially in the last decade with Erdogan’s authoritarianism and his desire for extreme Islamic religious rule in Turkey. Erdogan’s ultimate goal is to re-establish the Islamic Caliphate. Part of this plan is to attack Armenia and Artsakh and send Armenians into oblivion. Those of us in the Diaspora should be always speaking up for Armenia and Artsakh and offering our financial support as best we can.

  14. Something amiss in this article. Yes, familiarity breeds contempt and only guests are treated, well, like guests. Lebanon is a cosmopolitan country of many ethnic groups and the Armenians constitute the 7th largest. Lebanese Armenians have no less their own biases but others just don’t think of packing and leaving because of it. If Antonios Tashejian wants to pack and leave somewhere where he expects to find open arm welcome, he may do that of course. But, I do not believe that he exemplified the Lebanese Armenian.

  15. I salute Antonios Tashejian for daring to write the truth. Having lived more than half my life in Beirut, I will not hesitate to say I find the writer’s views and thoughts objective and factual. No one denies the hospitality and opportunities given to our grandparents when they arrived in Lebanon as genocide survivors/refugees. We are always grateful. However, the discrimination, the ridicule and hostile attitude shown to us for decades are also facts. Antonios’ article is balanced, cohesive and honest.

  16. It’s amazing how the sunni muslims of Lebanon and their Turkish-instigated emotions of anti-Armenian bigotry immediately create a threat and inflamed negative reactions and a feeling of hostility and alienation amongst some of the Armenians of Lebanon and Lebanese-Armenians of the diaspora. This phenomenon has been repeated time and again in the history of Armenians of the past 150 years, and its causes and effects are always rooted in ONE THING: Economics and wealth distribution. Lebanon is going through its worst economic crisis in modern history, and people are desperately hopeless – as a result, some of the ignorant and uneducated masses are easily deceived and tricked into blaming scapegoats, and since the instigation and provocation is originating from Erdoghan’s Turkey, it is no surprise those ignorant muslim Lebanese are targeting Armenians as scapegoats.
    My birthplace is Lebanon in 1964 and I went both to an Armenian school until 5th grade and then to Maronite Catholic Lebanese schools until graduation from high school, during the Lebanese Civil war of 1975-1981. Yes, there were minor incidents of taunting, badmouthing and condascending comments towards me by some Arab Lebanese classmates who, by the way, were all Christians in those Lebanese schools, but there was no persecution or extreme cases of bigotry and prejudice on a day to day basis.
    On the other hand, my ancestors who had lived in Zeytoun, Cilicia under the muslim Turkish brutal and oppressive yoke for 8 centuries from the 12th century until the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1921, out of which my own paternal grandfather miraculously survived, were persecuted, transgressed upon, outright robbed and harrassed and discriminated against on a day-to-day basis, culminating in 1.5 million Armenians deported and massacred and starved to death in the period 1915-1921. There is no comparison between the treatment of Armenians under Ottoman Turkish rule and the treatment of Armenians in Lebanon.
    DO you ALL think you will be welcomed with open arms in Armenia and you won’t hear taunting and negative attitudes from local Armenians of Armenia telling you to pack up and go back to Lebanon or Syria? The reality is different: even in Armenia, you – as a Lebanese-Armenian or Syrian-Armenian, are not exempt from prejudice or bigotry. Again, it’s all about economics – no Armenian would have ever emigrated out of Lebanon, despite the minor incidents of discrimination and bigotry, were it not for the Civil War and the economic hardships in that country from 1975-1990.
    Bottom line: If you are an Armenian born and raised in Lebanon, and still live there, then Lebanon IS HOME. It is your country by birth and citizenship. If you are not happy and destitute, and find an opportunity to immigrate to a western country, then do it. If not, then Armenia is a second option. If you can’t, then it’s very counter-productive for you to complain and display hostility and disdain towards the Lebanese arabs around you, because they are the majority and you are in a minority.
    That’s exactly why I have left Lebanon in 1981 permanently – not because I felt “persecuted” there by the arabs, but because the economic reality in that country was chaotic and headed to eventual collapse, as time proved so.

    • I think Vahe is absolutely right. And in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, which has impacted hundreds of thousands of people, maybe it’s wise to reflect a little more.

      There has been a thriving Armenian community in Lebanon for a century now. At one time, there were nearly half a million Armenians in a country whose population was around 3 million. That is a sizable minority community – and one that has, for the most part, flourished and been supported. It would take a book-length study to really do justice to the history of the Lebanese-Armenian community. The presence of some racists – whether in the past or now, in the face of the worst economic crisis the country has likely ever faced – shouldn’t erase the history of this amazing community or make it easier to make sweeping generalizations like the ones made here.

      I’m a little alarmed by some of the simplistic reactions to this situation that have popped up, including this op-ed. And, as Vahe said, if you think that Western Armenians or Armenians from Arab countries do not face prejudice or worse in Armenia, then you don’t really know what you’re talking about.

  17. Just to qualify my earlier comments further, but before i do so, i’d like to acknowledge all those who have added their two-cent worth of feedback and positive input. Appreciated!

    I’d like to refer, in particular, to the opinion piece by Selim. Not to acknowledge in any way its nuances (grimacing here) but far from it. Instead, to emphasise how alien and unwelcome such language of stereo-typing it is from a humanist internationalist Lebanese person like me. Enlightened people should never treat others based on other people’s values but their own.
    The way we see and treat others in our country is a reflection of our values and not the people who happened to be sheltering, visiting or passing through. This is no reference to Lebanese –Armenians as they have earned and have the right of entitlement more than anybody else to belong.
    The same mantra goes to all other so called minorities in Lebanon (Jews, Bedouins, Turkic, Polish, Zoroastrians, Kurds, and Armenians etc.) Lebanon is not a physical space anymore but a message of hope (might sound oxymoronic in the current climate of collapse and fear) as has been declared a long time ago by some sagacious people. To call Lebanon a mosaic would be an understatement. That’s what makes it a fascinating place, colourful, fun, zingy and contradictory but never a dull moment! Let’s celebrate that together!
    Any other attitude will expose deep weaknesses in our belief, identity and self-worth as citizens of Lebanon, Selim and others included.
    Where is the strength when we attack helpless people?
    Where is the courage and dignity when we gang pack against vulnerable scared minority groups?
    Where is the self-worth and strong and assured cultural identity when we are scared of other people speaking in their mother tongue?
    Where is the self-respect when we stand idle watching an Armenian (and other minority) owned shop attacked, a house ransacked and wealth envied?
    This is not the Lebanon I belong to and, the stories and values I want to pass on to my three children; Stories of tolerance, hospitality and community support – despite thousands of honest grievances by people who have suffered injustices in Lebanon in the past and still do. Yet, there are still honest, courageous and honourable people from all faiths who will stand up to tyranny and abuse no matter its source.
    Your fight is our fight. Your humiliation is ours too but the victory of justice and love against prejudices, fear and hatred will be ours everywhere we go.
    I choose to stand up to injustices in life no matter where I am in the world because that’s part of my values.

    What is your stand?

    Thanks Fadi

  18. Growing up in lebanon in the 80s and 90s everybody was rediculed for their religious/ racial /sentimental identity in lebanon. We were still in the war that never ended. Weather a Sunni /Shia/ or of origins outside lebanon ( like myself, from an originally syrian family), all the Lebanese faced some sort of prejudice. Because in that time, (perhaps still now), to be Lebanese meant that you are part of a broken country, a segregated country. So perhaps you are more Lebanese than you think, you experience a lot
    Of what most Lebanese also experience.

  19. I refuse to accept any negative comments about Lebanese of Armenian Origine. When Armenians came to Lebanon after the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE OF1915-1923, there was NO SUCH COUNTRY CALLED “REPUBLIC OF LEBANON”. I was born in Lebanon when Lebanon was not yet an INDEPENDENT COUNTRY. I consider my 1000000% LEBANESE. I WILL TELL THE REST OF ALL THOSE CITIZENS WHO WILL TELL ME “I AM NOT A LEBANESE” —TO GO TO HELL—. I DO HOLD A LEBANESE IDENTITY AND A LEBANESE PASSPORT. I received my University Education at the American University of Beirut and I was a solid member representing THE NATIONAL TRACK & FIELD TEAM OF LEBANON AT INTERNATIONAL EVENTS, BOTH IN LEBANON AND OUTSIDE LEBANON. THERE ARE “NO BETTER LEBANESE NATIONAL THAN MYSELF”. All those who will not agree with my SACRED OPINION, THEY CAN GO TO HELL. The persons or individuals who will try to take away MY LEBANESE NATIONALITY, I LOUDLY SAY: “THAT INHUMAN BEING ISN’T BORN YET. AS LONG AS THE REPUBLIC OF LEBANON EXISTS, I CONSIDER MYSELF “ONE OF THE BEST LEBANESE NATIONAL”. THE LAND OF CEDARS BELONGS TO ALL, I REPEAT, TO ALL LEBANESE NATIONALS WHO ARE HOLDING A LEBANESE IDENTITY CARD.

  20. This Anti-Armenian sentiment is quite widespread in Lebanon. Let us not forget the yearly antagonisms of the football fans of Sunni clubs who wave Turkish flags and shout Anti-Armenian slurs.

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