السبت، 25 أبريل، 2009

A Young Man’s Dream


A Selection from "The Seeds of Change" Book


“Sometimes the man in me gets restless…” as Chris de Burgh once sang, and I do consider leaving my land. Questions such as “What am I doing here? Am I losing my life?” invade my mind and I begin to sail away to a more secure land, until a dream awakens me. It is indeed the Lord’s voice urging me to struggle for change in his homeland, I feel him saying, “The one who works the land owns it. Stay and accomplish your duty.” Then I curse migration and remember the story of a young man I once knew. A friend who decided to thrive in spite of the despotism of death. A friend who beat the dragon of Phoenicia’s sea and did not allow it to kill his inner dream and hope! A demon can strip one from one’s body, which is after all ephemeral; but cannot tear apart one’s soul, for it is bestowed upon one by God; for it is love, dream and hope…

There used to be a young man who dreamt and believed in dreams. He took Einstein’s statement “To dream is everything” as a motto. In 2002, he built an umbrella Association that came to light in a very turbulent period. He understood the local Lebanese game and launched his umbrella NGO from the UN House in Beirut on March 2003, a day that corresponded with the penetration of the international forces into Iraq, and since that day the Levant has nor stopped suffering.

My friend knew that his country lies at the heart of the struggles for a new Middle East. However, he pursued his project. He knew that he triggered sensitivities of some leaders and he still remembers how his project was nipped in the bud by a prominent figure of the country as he visited him to explain his objectives. The young man lacked money and political support, and he felt beleaguered at every angle. However, God rescued him, as he built his Ark on trust and faith.

My friend resisted the campaigns of intimidation as well as all the accusations of treason that targeted him, which went as far as breaking into his apartment, and still remembers how a number of his activities were sapped, in particular the visit of UN undersecretary, just hours before the due date. He does not forget how he was chased like a robber who dared to dream, communicate his thoughts, and worked on achieving them.

However, when his project took off, his enemies’ strategies changed. Some tried hard to contain and dwarf him, while others considered the umbrella association as a young man’s caprice that will soon disappear. But they were wrong and their attempts were doomed to failure, because he had a strong belief in God. There was always a hidden hand to lift him up when he fell down!

My friends’ enemies nowadays are solely the devil of ignorance, corruption with a lack of commitment and scarcity of human resources. My friend is happy to have achieved a dream. He considers clarity, transparency and perseverance as the keys to his success. And even though he still struggles, he is proud that he dreamt, worked and hoped for the freedom of the land of his ancestors.

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