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Dear Elissar,        

I am writing this open letter to you and I would be very happy if you read it.

Two days ago, you published an article in Al joumhourieh newspaper and for no specific reason it becomes the "talk of the town".

In your article, titled “مسابح لبنان... الفلتان يَصِل إلى الذروة”, you told the story of four Lebanese girls who traveled to Greece for a vacation.
These four women were very astonished by what they saw there: People were walking naked on the beach and gay men were kissing each other in public. After these “disgusting” scenes, the four women came back to Lebanon and they were very proud because Lebanon is still conservative despite how modern it is and because homosexuality is not legal in Lebanon.




However, their confidence in the Lebanese morality disappeared after their visit to one of the Lebanese resorts. The unethical acts they saw there were worse than what they saw in Greece: Drunk people dancing and celebrating, and girls with bikinis dancing on a bar in front of others.

فلطالما تميّز لبنان بتحرّره وانفتاحه على غيره من الشعوب، ولطالما تربّع على عرش الانفتاح وتبادل الثقافات والتجارب وتبنّي قيم جديدة تساهم في تطوّره محلياً وعالمياً، إلّا أنه في الآونة الاخيرة وصل الانفتاح الى ذروته وبالغاً حدّ الوقاحة والفلتان.


I am very sorry to tell you that you based your whole article in a “silly” bedtime story and you committed some huge mistakes. You insulted people, hurt their feelings, and gave them a moral lesson on “how to intervene on others life”.

-First, you insulted homosexuals.

I would not mention this if not for your clear statement.

تجوّلت اللبنانيات في شوارع ميكونوس المتناقضة بين مظاهر الفقر والترف، بين البساطة والتكلّف، بين الانغلاق والتحرر، وزرن شواطئها حيث التحرّر المطلق. ففي شاطئ «البارادايز» مثلاً لا تتكلّف الفتاة عناء البحث عن شراء «مايوه» جميل يناسبها لانها تمشي عاريةً وتخضع الى حمام شمس وهي عارية، والامر مماثل بالنسبة الى الرجال الذين يتجوّلون بثقة على ضفاف الشاطئ مستمتعين بحريتهم وتحرّرهم، ولا يمانعون في تقبيل عشاقهم الرجال.

عدنَ شاكراتٍ الدولة لعدم تشريعها المثلية نظراً لما رأينه هناك من مشاهد لا تقبلها العين

So does this mean that you do not mind seeing a straight couple kissing in public?
Really, I would be thankful if you tell me how a same-sex kiss may be more dangerous than a straight couple kiss.

-Second, you criticized the eastern culture and mocked it.

Well dear Elissar, we are not the right people to criticize others. This culture, you refused and considered unethical, was behind the existence of civilized countries. I do not recall the day when our “conservative culture” helped us to evolve.
Call me a fool, but could you tell me why walking naked or fully closed have anything to do with others? The culture, you called unethical, is simply a culture that hallows the individual freedom.

-Third, you were worried of the influence of such behaviors on the children.

إستنكرت المحامية في محكمة الاستئناف لودي حسّون «مظاهر التحرّر تلك على الشواطئ اللبنانية والتي وصلت الى حدّ غير مقبول تجلّى بالفلتان الأخلاقي وعدم إحترام الآداب العامّة، خصوصاً أنّ الحرية الفردية تنتهي عندما تبدأ حرية الآخر، وهذا يسيء الى تربية الاولاد ويترك لديهم إنطباعاً خاطئاً»، بحسب ما أوضحت في حديثها لـ«الجمهورية».

Why would anyone take his children to a resort rated +18?
There are many places in Lebanon specialized for families and children. You cannot take your child to a nightclub and ask people to behave!

-Fourth, you generalized what happened in one resort to all the Lebanese resorts.
مسابح لبنان... الفلتان يَصِل إلى الذروة.

Generalization is a deadly sin. Just because, you witnessed “Chaos” in on place this does not give you the right to apply this everywhere.

-Fifth, you limit the culture of a whole country to your own point of view.

عدن الى بلدهنّ فرحاتٍ بمظاهر التطوّر والعصرنة التي تسللت إليه من دون أن تفقده هويته المحافِظة نوعاً ما، إلّا أنّ فرحهنّ لم يدم إلّا بضعة أيام معدودة.


Lebanon is a country with 19 different sects. It is a country where a shoulder touch between a woman dressed in burka and a woman in short pants may happen daily. Lebanon is the country of diversity and your personal point of view does not apply to all of us.

Blog +961 posted yesterday a video from a 1973 Lebanese movie. In the later, Actors were kissing and an actress went topless. Was our culture also under threat 40 years ago? Or are we becoming more conservative and less tolerant with time?

Dear Elissar, my grandmother used to say "من راقب الناس مات هماً" . If she lived until now, she would be 85 years old; I guess she knows better than us what our true culture is.


Rihab

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