An Open Letter to Gaby Layoun
I wanted to express my sincerest sadness over your failure to protect our 2,500 year-old monument. It is a sad day for our culture, our history and our nation. I do not want to send you an angry letter for I am completely demoralized by your act. You have succeeded in murdering many men and women’s hopes of a real Lebanon. A Lebanon that transcends mere superficiality and can once again boast about its intellectual heritage. A Lebanon that would not make Gibran Khalil Gibran lower his head in utter shame. A Lebanon that you (plural) are trying so hard to destroy.
Our youth would gladly leave this country, and indeed it has, is and will. Our intellectuals, artists and poets are not here. They are somewhere else. Being here is too hard, too unappreciated. What shall we tell them now Mr. Layoun? What shall we tell them to encourage them into staying when the main governmental body that is supposed to adore them has betrayed them? What shall we say to all those who want a Lebanon with a substance? A substance that is perhaps deeper than the nightclubs and glitters. These men and women were hoping that this uncontrolled ‘development’ will occur without the destruction of our collective memory and our heritage.
Is that it? Is that all we want to make of this country?
I once heard that Beirut is often compared to a phoenix who, upon death, rises back from its ashes. Perhaps it is time we let that happen Mr. Minister, perhaps it is time we stop butchering the bird.
I have a great love for history and for our global heritage. I’m really sorry that we never got the chance to meet and talk of how to really preserve our culture which, incidentally, is supposed to be your only job.
I do not know what else to tell you but to ask you to resign if you have any honor left in you.