There is a very old Arabic saying that says “As you are, so you shall be ruled” (كما تكونوا يولى عليكم). This means that a people is ruled by representatives who are like them. This is especially the case in Lebanon. The similarities between the Lebanese people and their representatives are many. Here are six of them:
1- Jack of All Trades
A Lebanese person is a jack of all trades. No matter what his specialty is, he claims to be able to do anything. Similarly, a Lebanese minister of a particular ministry does not need to be specialized in this domain.
2- Bad with dates
When you hire a Lebanese person to perform a certain job, say repaint your house, he will tell you that it will be done in a week; however, good luck getting it done in less than a month. It’s no wonder then that the parliament renews for itself.
3- Fixing nothing by fixing everything
When there is a problem with your car, you take it to a mechanic to get it fixed; however, he ends up finding hundreds of other problems which are unrelated to your initial problem. Plus, the actual problem doesn’t get fixed. Likewise, when the government decides to fix a problem, say the sewage in a certain place, they end up digging up the entire infrastructure and replacing it. And the actual problem doesn’t get fixed.
4- Anything can be resolved with a chair…on the head
When you have a problem with a Lebanese person, instead of resolving it in a civilized manner through discussion, he will start shouting and attacking your character and small irrelevant things. As for politicians, when they disagree with one another, as we see on televisions often, they will attack one another’s characters and may even resort to throwing chairs.
5- Nose in other people’s business
A Lebanese person will get strongly involved with other people’s business even though he barely knows them. He will exaggerate their shame and even take sides, especially during the World Cup. Likewise, the Lebanese government gets involved in other countries’ politics (and lets them get involved in their own) and takes sides, even though they clearly have no benefit in creating enemies.
6- There is no problem if we don’t talk about it, is there?
When a group of Lebanese people have a dispute with another group, they stop talking to each other and won’t consider meeting with them in order to resolve it, leaving everyone hanging. Similarly, the parliament won’t convene because a group of representatives is at odds with another group, thereby leaving the whole country hanging.
Feel free to add any others you have noticed in the comments.