In what was a decision probably not recommended by our travel safety advisors/risk consultants, us hard working souls ventured into downtown Beirut. Specifically, for a look at the February 14th commemeration of the assasination of Rafik Hariri which ultimately led to the so-called Cedar Revolution.
It was mainly curiosity on our part to see what this rally entailed but one couldn’t help draw parallels to politics back home. What was most striking about this rally was the jubilation and sense of unity among all the people that we saw out on the streets. Above all hope stood out, as tangible as an emotion can be. It was given weight by the number of people there in a complete state of empathy. Politicians gave speeches (which we decided largely to skip) that had the crowds cheering; even those who followed currently allied parties but would normally not make easy bedfellows. You had to wonder why we are stuck with such a feeling of hopelessness in Ireland these days. None of our politicans inspire confidence or trust but worst of all they inspire no hope in any generation. When our politicians discuss their positions while various suggestions of resignation come along because of their incomptency or dishonesty, there is never a mention of how they kill the hopes of so many in Ireland. We’re a long way past our own expulsion of unwelcome guests and civil; why did our sense of hope die? Hope shouldn’t be an unrealistic desire for a people, should it? Should we consider Irish hope to be our modern day ‘Romantic Ireland‘ stolen away by those who had their greasy fingers in the till all these years?