Mistreated Beirut

Avedis Khshvajian

     Beirut, oh Beirut! Oh, you mysterious yet open-book… I remember the first time when I met you, well, when you were beautiful, yet each day I spent was becoming dirtier and uglier. I don’t remember why, but you made me live in hell for at least a couple of years; you made me suffer and suffer to the point where I almost lost my identity… maybe in fact that was the purpose. Maybe because I wasn’t your child, you rejected me carelessly; you made me endure yet die each day by that xenophobia poisoning me for two years, giving me only the choice of losing my identity and eventually becoming a reflection of you. I just… I just don’t understand… How could you even do that? How is it possible for you - for a mother of thousands, no millions of broken children - to break the heart of a child? Don’t you think it’s too difficult for a child to just understand whatever you’re asking for? You’re the reason why this child cried for years for no reason; you’re the reason why this child experienced too much trauma and had to outgrow himself, especially mentally, to comprehend whatever you asked for, to satisfy your desire and gain acceptance. I don’t know why you’re so cruel to view acceptance - a basic right of every individual approved by the UN- as deniable for this child and take it from his hands and make it conditional… or maybe I know why you engaged in that cruelty; maybe I can understand how and why you broke his heart; maybe I can remember why you made him live hell at that time, but it’s just impossible for my mind to accept that fact, and being in denial is just the safest option to avoid insanity. The fact that you’re hurt to the point you hurt whoever’s in front of you, the fact that you’re broken to the point you break your children’s hearts, the fact that you’re dead and you want everyone to be a reflection of you to keep you alive. I’m sorry; but my mind just can’t accept that. Yes, I was betrayed by my own mother, and yes, you were the one who took care of me and became my foster mother, yet despite the fact that my heart is already attached to you, as a child I can’t fathom why I was subjected to your cruelty and can’t accept what you asked me to do - to kill myself as a sacrifice for you to stay alive. But now that I think of the quote “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” I assume that I’ve been very aggressive and impatient since now that you gave me my closest friends, it’s now that I comprehend the idea of “good things take time.” I forgive you, Beirut. I promise that I’ll make everyone remember you though you have to believe in me and believe that there’s another way to do that apart from breaking and killing. I promise that I’ll always remember the beautiful Beirut and remind everyone of the happy soul you have which you hid from them since they judged you without understanding, including me… I’ll always live-love Beirut and be forever grateful for meeting you.