March 14th Demonstrations, Martyr Square (v.2011)

March 14th Demonstration, Martyr Square, 2011: I am fully aware that I do not grasp the nuance and background of this event.  I have endeavored to ask questions and read what I can to build some semblance of understanding yet there is a complexity to Lebanese politics that warrants the acknowledgement of limitation, especially as a foreigner.  What little I have concluded has left me deeply impressed by the following: All assumptions are irrelevant.  There is a propensity, especially within a Western perspective, to label things, political or otherwise, as “certain”, “understandable”, “logical”, adjectives reactionary to a seemingly deep-seated abhorrence of ambiguity and that have more to do with efforts to appease of our anxieties than true understanding.  We want to “get it”, to feel competent and as though otherwise dicey dynamics can be controlled.  Lebanon is proving to be an amazing amalgam of larger than life representations of the mundane that can so easily be disregarded.  Little is subtle here.  While there is the temptation to observe something like the March 14th demonstration and chalk it up as “only in Lebanon”, the reality is, while the packaging might look different, ungraspable political dynamics are a world wide phenomenon.  As a US citizen I would like to think I understand the politics of the red, white, and blue, but really, on closer examination, I do not, nor do I think a full understanding is possible- there will always be the nuances, closed conversations, alliances, and the like that create an ever-shifting political landscape.  I make assumptions, trying to fit the nebulous through my inadequate filter and hope I come out the other end with a kind of answer.  One the many lessons I’m learning in this place…