Was 2016 Merry to Lebanon ? (By Christel C. Nassif)



        Was 2016 Merry to Lebanon?
A New Year is just around the corner and before we get to welcome what is in store in the New Year, let’s take time to reflect on the events that took place in our lives for the past 12 months in Lebanon. So how did 2016 treat us? And how are we preparing to launch 2017?
For two-and-a-half-year vacuum, the major political parties in the country had been deadlocked in the search for a consensus president. Lebanon has finally railed against Lebanese corruption, the tradition of warlords’ handing political parties from father to son and put an end to this contorted political landscape. On October 31, 2016, Lebanon’s parliament elected Michel Aoun as President to revamp the dysfunctional system, defend Lebanon from terrorism and strengthen the military. On November 22, 2016 and after 2 years, Lebanon’s new president attended the military parade for Independence and Lebanon as a whole was in a state of joy and hope for a new era. While freedom of expression is generally respected in the country, judges didn’t squander any chance of establishing a new law to protect women’s rights. Since the enactment of the 2014 Law on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence, new measures have taken place in order to amend policies and court reforms.
..But how are we-as Lebanese akin to welcome a whole New Year? How are we getting ready for garnering this finishing year? True, it feels sentimental and nostalgic for most of us when the first thing that stands out in our memory from previous year celebrations is the firework displays. What about New Year’s resolutions? …What fetishizes the ladies for a whole year is to get a new frock-waistline friendly- whether they can afford it or not! When it comes to men-oh those gentlemen, and at right angles of New Year’s Eve, you would find cash machines flashing “Temporary Out of Service” to get these torrents of bottles of wine and champagne. On the other side, when some people are tired of the typical piece of music played, others are embracing a different kind of tune- a bottle of wine- that soothes the exhaustion and taste buds. For much more bustling activities, you will be amazed by the extremely busy movement of people going in all directions, jostling one another in the streets, exchanging hugs, kisses, toasting drinks and wishing each other a “Happy New Year”. And if the sleep really catches you gently, you can summon an Uber relatively easily even when there are almost no street signs.
Lebanon is still bearing the scars of its long civil war but no wonder where this indomitable Lebanese spirit rose from. Never have we been frightened by the invaders- instead, Lebanese Women have reared the greatest heroes who never surrendered. Lebanon- thrillingly alive- embodies, love, strength, power and hope- and we won’t let 2017 Year settle for less! Lebanese, Americans and Lebanese-Americans, Happy New Year Everyone!