Mother Le­banon

Executive Magazine - - EDITORIAL - Yasser Akkaoui Ed­i­tor-in-chief

Beirut is de­picted as a woman by many renowned artists, like Pales­tinian car­toon­ist Naji al-Ali, who—dur­ing the 1982 Is­raeli in­va­sion—drew a car­i­ca­ture of his iconic char­ac­ter Han­dala of­fer­ing a flower through a hole in the wall to a woman that he named Beirut. She is the pa­tient car­rier of our painful his­tory, she is the healer of our wounds, and she has de­cided to step out of the rub­ble, grab the flower, and turn her city into the thriv­ing, pro­gres­sive place that it de­serves to be.

Be­ware the Le­banese mother, she is nur­tur­ing, en­dur­ing, and wise. Her over­whelm­ing love for her chil­dren knows no bounds. She yearns for them to get along and is will­ing to do what­ever it takes for that to hap­pen. She scolds when needed and show­ers her af­fec­tion al­ways. She is a re­lent­less re­al­ist, ca­pa­ble of for­give­ness, but she can also bring the big­gest man to his knees with a sin­gle glance. She watches her sons self­de­struct, dis­ap­pointed by their end­less abil­ity to hate, seg­re­gate, sab­o­tage, but she will now roll up her sleeves to fix all that was bro­ken through her strength of wis­dom, born from the pains she bore.

It is about time that peo­ple ac­knowl­edge the pow­er­ful, con­fi­dent, and as­sertive women that our great Mother Le­banon has con­ceived. Women that have been hold­ing their own in po­si­tions of power in all sec­tors. Women that we trust to lead the real rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and re­con­struc­tion of Le­banon.

Han­dala’s Beirut is a woman. A man would not be able to bear or re­pair the harm that he him­self cre­ated.

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