*As part of an online writing course, my assignment was to write a speech using the methods and tools I learnt in the course. This is the speech I submitted.
People of this great nation of Lebanon
To the united backgrounds, sects, and religions
Thank you for being here today.
When God shuffled his deck and dealt the cards, Lebanon undoubtedly got the worst hand. Yet for as long as one can remember, Lebanese have been all in on the country’s future and stability. It is, thus, a shame that the country’s history and future has been monopolized by a select few who have ruled for the past 30 years. Taking hold of its domestic and foreign policy, they have left the country bankrupt and looted, vulnerable at the direst of times.
Lebanon is a demolished house in a bad neighborhood. This current government, the landlord of our house, is a mockery. At best, they could probably change a light bulb in this house. Maybe repaint a wall. But they cannot implement the refurbishment work desperately needed to make this house a home. Nor do they have a semblance of diplomatic clout to alter the reality of the neighborhood. They are merely a sub-in. Shackled by reality of their amateur political stature.
This leaves Lebanon in a conundrum. We suffer from the effects of an unofficial embargo, amplified by the effects of local looting. This is a pivotal time in the country’s history. Where leadership is desperately needed. Instead the current corrupt and crooked regime continues to sit in their high castles, and watch as the country sinks further low into the abyss. They sit and watch as our economy is in free-fall. They sit and watch as the local currency inflates as a result of a dollar shortage. They sit and watch as poverty engulfs the nation.
Lebanon’s “decision” makers have decided our current reality. They are the orchestrator of our demise. They have left the country with no means of defending itself. With so much left to bargain for, but nothing left to bargain with, we are unequipped to face what lies ahead. Any decision that affects the country and its people is always taken from a defensive approach, always reactionary in its making. Unable to even bargain a standard IMF fund, Lebanon is losing its grip on salvation. All the same, our foreign partners have lost faith in our country and the ability of its rulers to be the slightest bit competent.
Last October, when the honest people of this great republic hit the streets in protests, it was genuine anger towards the ruling class that fueled them. We succeeded in ripping off the masks of populism, and sectarianism, and exposing the bare face of corruption. The next step is to free the justice system from the shackles of politics and cronyism; allowing it do its job in fighting corruption. We demand that justice be served, to leave no crime unpunished.
This will not be an easy task. Those who have clenched onto throat of power with a vice grip, for so long, will not relinquish their hold easily. We all know they will resort to dangerous means to consolidate power. They will attempt to pit us against each other once more.
My Lebanese brothers and sisters. Today we must unite as one under one common cause, one common goal: the betterment of this great country. When Lebanon succeeds, we succeed. When Lebanon prospers, we prosper. We must do so through peace, and take the path well lit by the light of our constitution. We must not go down the same dark path taken by our oppressors.
Our call today is for an early parliamentary election, with a fair and just election law. We want an overhaul of the whole system, not just the people that corrupted it. It is with this approach, that we begin to lay the foundations for a self-sustaining, powerful country.
I am confident, that as one, we will achieve our goals: of building a new Lebanon. Our iconic emblem on our flag, the mighty cedar tree, has been burnt down by this corrupt regime. Just like the dozens of cedar trees that were burnt down by the forest fires that engulfed this nation only a few months ago, while the political parties sat and watched with incompetence. But we will plant new cedars, in our mountains and on our flag. Our new Cedar will grow to reach the tallest of heights, and provide a shade of sovereignty, justice, and independence for its entire people.
The journey ahead is a long one, but a necessary one. We must walk through the valley of the shadows of death and come out stronger. We have no other choice. We will succeed. And when you find yourself tiring in the timeless pursuit, of the trials and tribulations, against these tyrants, remember the powerful opening words of our national anthem: All Of Us! For our country, for our Glory, and for Our Flag!