Adonis Diaries

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Third Sunday Marches: Lebanese Youth movement unfurling its sails 

The youth movement in Lebanon has demonstrated for the third consecutive Sunday.  The ranks and files of youth have grown from 5, to 10, to 20 thousands, converging to public ministries and public institutions.

The power-to-be of sectarian and feudal political parties have been diffusing clever tactics to dissuading youth from participating in the marches.  For example,

First, claiming that well-established secular parties are at the origin of the demonstrations and have infiltrated with ready-made ideological programs.

Second, disseminating leaflets that Hezbollah is encouraging its members to joining the demonstration.

Third, that the movement’s goal is hijacked in order to ultimately give advantage to the Moslem citizens in any political reforms structure, or that the ultimate purpose is driving Lebanon into the Shia theocratic ideology of Wilayat Fakih, or the establishment of a Sunni Caliphate system… Ridiculous.

The youth movement in Lebanon are demonstrating with a unified banner: “Delete religious affiliation from all official documents”.

It is simple, straightforward, and clear to all Lebanese citizens.

First step first:  We cannot jump steps before we discuss the next step to saveguard our unity as a vast movement.

It is normal that secular political parties insert their political programs and bring in a basket-full of demands that are very relevant, but not within the current first demand of the youth movement.

Youth in Lebanon have begun serious demonstrations, on regular schedule, once every week, demanding reforms in the sectarian political and social structure in Lebanon.

What is happening is that political parties and even sectarian parties (both Christians and Moslems) might be infiltrating the youth movement and disseminating their programs, burning many steps that the movement has not discussed fully and decided upon.

For example, you have demonstrators talking to the media that Nabih Berry’s “Amal” Party has asked its youth to join in.

The power-to-be factions will keep their efficient tactics in pushing youths away from participating in the demonstrations or getting engaged in further serious discussions with other youths.

It is normal that “elite youth citizens” or those who are not necessary cultured, but believe that they come from a family or clan superior to the “rif-raf” masses of common citizens will invent all kinds of excuses not to demonstrate.

Our society structure is sick and needs long-term educational process.

It is normal that many youth will self-appoint themselves as members of the organizing committee and many youth will feel angry and disappointed with particular figures in the movement and disengage from any participation…

There are many excuses and factors to dissuading youth from joining the youth movement. The fact is:  You either get active and participate or let others decide for you.

Youth have many demands related to survival, living conditions, educational reforms, opportunities to work…

The youth demand civil marriage, non-discriminating laws based on gender or religious affiliation, fair and equitable election laws that represent all section of the communities…

The list of demands is unending but the movement for secular reforms has to acquire a specific target, independent of the huge basket for change and successive reforms.

Remember, first step first: “Delete religious affiliation from all official documents”.   This is our main demand for the time being until we obtain it hands down.

The next demonstration will set the tone: If youth carry banners showing a wide range of demands with no specific pragmatic demand to focus attention at, and unite everyone around it then, it is legitimate to suspect that the youth movement is not in control and further engagements of youth must come to the rescue to saving the movement from being hijacked by sectarian factions.

I have no qualm that political parties with definite ideological agenda take the lead in the beginning, but it is the youth that have got to take over the movement.

Obviously, marches and demonstrations for other demands must take place, but when the secular youth call for their marches, a single demand should take precedent as the utmost priority:  We want religious affiliation to be deleted from all official documents.

“Elgha2 taifiya min kul al noussouss al rasmiyah”.

Once this demand is obtained, the next step of the movement is to agree on the follow-up next demand.  We don’t have to be divided before we win our first step toward change and reforms.

If we start separating with irrelevant arguments at the first stage then, it is the sectarian regime that will be disturbing the youth movement.  The only dialogue with the political system must be focused on deleting religious affiliation from all official documents and agreeing on a timeline for that execution.

That is the goal in the first step and the only one until we move forward to the next pragmatic step in our list of demands.

For example, although any individual could request that his religion should not be mentioned on an official document, the movement as a force should undertake a campaign of enlisting citizens to change their official documents.

The youth movement should pressure the government and the Parliament to officially generalize and automatically drop religious affiliation from documents, as a law.

The ways the first demand was won will play a great factor in the selection of the next focused demand.

I suggest that youth movement plans and organizes small marches in every village and towns in Lebanon with a unified banner: “Delete religion from official documents”.

By the by, the movement will be ready to organize a nationwide marches, at specific dates, all over Lebanon.  That would be a success story that proves that the youth are in complete control of the movement.

I have confidence that this process will encourage youth into eliminating sectarian mentality and behaviors from their habits and spirit.

The Arabic World is looking apprehensively and analyzing seriously our drastic demand and how our movement is unfolding.

Let us be leaders for the next revolution in the Arab World.




March 2023

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