French-kissed independEnce


It’s funny how Bardo’s 7th anniversary, one of the most renowned gay friendly bars in Beirut city, is falling on the same week with Lebanon’s 70th “independence” day.

A mere coincidence? Well, maybe not. What both have in common is greater than what we’d think. Their proficiency in the long time played hide-and-seek, where they’ve been hiding from their own identity, seeking to couple up with, and sometimes to copy, some other close identities, that’s 1. What else? Pride. That’s a common thread between gay pride paraders – even though their status is still illegal in Lebanon- and our high-headed cedar trees – even though today cedars cover only 0.0002% of Lebanon, yet we make 100% sure it is there on every copy of the Lebanese flag! Now on a different note, casual relations are popular amongst the gay community, yet both homosexual and heterosexual people long secretly to find that special person to start their journeys with. Similarly to that, Lebanon, despite all the casual relations it confidentially and discreetly has had, has time and again managed to find a “serious partner” to carry on the journey with. And its interests, lifestyle, spoken-written-read language all would change accordingly, had the partner been a colonizing or mandatory country. If amongst people (homo here) some are loyal, some aren’t. It’s been the same for Lebanese people and their new partners: while some are loyal, the rest isn’t!
Now discrepancies between the two don’t lie in the details, but in the core. Bardo has unquestionably witnessed magical stories of evocative situations that linked quirky people together in speechless fragments of seconds that feel like they’d never end. Magical feelings combined in intense moments that oscillate between reality and dreams, that’s where the ultimate expression of the heart becomes as transparent as the deepest virgin seas, as happy as an escaping bird! It’s probably denigrating for birds to speak now about the impact independence has had on the society. For what’s more frustrating than a yahoo sound of a cranky canary or a grouchy macaw? Even canaries in Lebanon would sooner enjoy rainbows on the flags better than in the Lebanese atmosphere, for they are impulsive enough by now to know that peace is in love. Henceforth there is no peace without love. And even birds are afraid of our rainbow that kills with no mercy, where all colors are taken for small personal ends, political purposes and meaningless so-called “ideologies“. Sleep cute little canary, tomorrow is independence day! Although it is not, but at least the name is grandiose enough to give Bardo, the birds and I some hope and perspective. Cheers to that and Happy 7th anniversary Bardo! Glad you’re surviving hypocrisy and pressure of the interdependent parts of Beirut city.


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