Beirut 15 January 2007
We love life with dignity,
I love life in colors
We want to live with dignity
We want to live with security
We want to live in Lebanon
We want to live without debt
We want to live with our heads raised
Yet another set of slogans written also in red and white letters are being trumpeted on billboards around Lebanon. The slogans, written in French, English and Arabic, are installed side by side to the previous set of slogans: “We want to live,” and “I love life.” These new billboards are signed by the Lebanese opposition under a rainbow that includes the colors of all Lebanese parties, for the opposition as well as pro-government.
“The campaign is a response to those who are accusing us that we do not want to live and that we do not love life,” say representatives of Hezbollah and Aoun Parties on a NTV television broadcast. “Unlike the ‘private sector’ we are saying we want to live all together, opposition as well as the pro-government parties in a Lebanon for all of us,” says the Hezbollah representative on the TV program. “We love life too, but we want to define what kind of life we love to live together in the country,” he continued.
Aoun representatives featured on the program assure that the colors of the pro-government parties were included in the rainbow of the opposition, “Because we are not exclusive; we want to live all together; and rather than what the private sector campaign suggests, we spread a culture of life; we love life, that what is needed is to sit and define what kind of life we want to live — a life with dignity, security, economic prosperity; a life that will provide Lebanese youth with work and allow them to live in Lebanon and not immigrate; a life with no debts, a life for all of us together.”
The campaign is funded by the political parties that are demanding national unity as the report on the NTV channel claimed and as the two representatives featured on the program assured.
The campaign aims to respond to the US-funded campaign of the government supporters to portray anyone who resists as a lover of death who is against the US and its allied who are lovers of life. Not defining what kind of life the US is leading us to, the slogan propaganda creates a disorder. They love death. Point, no debate. We love life. Point, no debate. The aim of this propaganda is to divide and create enmity between groups. Defining concepts is what makes people start to debate, and creat dialogue — concepts the US claims to be teaching Middle Easterners while instead creating enmity, divisions and binary thinking that lead to exclusions.
Everybody seems to love life in Lebanon. The question that poses itself is: are we allowed to live in a region cursed by Israeli and oil wars?
Mayssoun Sukarieh, a native of Beirut, is a frequent contributor to Electronic Lebanon.