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Global uprisings. Economic collapse. Sudden pandemic. Climate crisis. Media frenzy. Election disasters. It really does feel like the end of the world, doesn’t it? The rhetoric has changed. We find ourselves clamoring for a moment of peace, only to pick up our phones to catch one more bit of bad news.

There’s not much to be certain of these days but one thing’s for sure, it’s times like these that tend to recalibrate the attention of all citizens of the world.

Of course the general mood varies in different places. Each community is conditioned to respond to the crises it faces in certain ways. As we face a possible pandemic beyond our imaginations, something we thought was the stuff of history books, the nerves that trickle at the bottom of our cultures are exposing themselves. While there are a multitude of ways in which a community responds to challenges they face, we can surmise in that there are three general…

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photograph by Ayla Hibri- Beirut, 2010

I’ve decided to stop fearing Brexit

I call myself a pacifist. A socialist. I accept capital as a means of exchange and I enjoy luxury.

The school to which I draw my beliefs is a school of thought. A practice, so like a way of living but with the meaning of every word there is also a poetry- which is the pleasant twice usefulness of language, isn’t it? That it can mean more than it must.

In my language, the word for power is lust.

I grew up in a town of few practicing Catholics, that was known in ancient British history as a refuge of monks. Out of my father’s own pity he saved us from the religious teachings of his parents, that of the Druze. A minority sect from The Lebanon, to this day a people demanding great notions of power and identity in a contested region, they have managed to secure their lands over time, in the face of all kinds of encroachment- international, internal. The Druze have a history of serving alongside their preferred masters, who allow them to live out the quietest forms of their religion, in exchange for their support. In Syria, they are split, as they are in Mount Lebanon, where most of them reside, between their alliance to the ruling family. In Israel and Occupied Palestine, they wield exceptional favor with the ruling authority- the regime which rules with such impunity it is difficult to imagine another time such a true, outstanding power- untouchable in every sense- existed in the region. My parents did not teach me the ways of our religion, and so I grew up rather secular in habit and in taste- enjoying a very fine relationship with the master Karl Marx. Not so much as a political icon in my imagination- to that I owe mostly Gramsci and Fanon- and the not so unusual fascination with Che Guevara, because why not? …


Dani Arbid

writer-revolutionary. director of Barakunan

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