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“The Paradox of Lebanese Activism” by Khaled Rajeh

 

He erected his tent in Martyrs’ Square,

Amidst cries against fraud and pollution,

As he waved his placard in grave despair,

“Hear ye, brethren, I have THE solution!”

 

Some minutes later he amassed a crowd,

Who starkly startled had started to stare

At the man who grew so awfully loud,

A hair-raising silence hung in the air…

 

“Whether you follow the Bible,” he cried,

“Or whether you’d rather not pray,

Whether you demand three more than one bride,

Or three cups of maté a day.”

 

“The holy figures you live to obey,

Through feeding your kids divine primacy,

Have long turned their faces in sheer dismay

At your eighteen sects of plain lunacy.”

 

“Politicians chase nothing but power

By stressing the lines of our difference;

We must not keep this up one more hour,

And start to promote Complete Tolerance!”

 

“We’ll teach our kids before they know their name,

About the Muslims and Christians and Druze;

We’ll teach them we are all one and the same,

their own universal truth they can choose!”

 

“We’ll hang up banners and write on the walls,

That not anyone from now on shall hate;

On billboards and bridges and bathroom stalls

Intol’rance we’ll no longer tolerate!”

 

By then he had garnered many a friend,

Who joined his chants with utmost elation,

All fiercely determined to put an end

To all the divides that scar their nation.

 

Cursing the State they hurled stones left and right,

“Down with the intolerant! Down with the intolerant!”

They forced all others fully out of sight,

And then swiftly proceeded to burn down the Parliament.

 

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