Nouhad’s Remains or Lebanon’s

Nouhad Nasser Eddine was unaware that a terrible fate was awaiting her on the dawn of October 15, 2011 on the “so called” Byblos-Beirut highway where she fell victim to a hit and run accident. A fast-driving car ran into her, claiming her life and tossing her dead body over the road to be ran over again by other drivers who “mistakenly” confused her scattered limbs with “inhuman remains” as reported by the National News Agency.

“Jounieh’s police department was credited for establishing the identity of the deceased woman (only) after her daughter had recognized her”, the Agency added.

As if security officials’ only task is to collect our body parts after politicians strike their final blow. As for “inhuman remains”, it is a newly-coined term to justify the sickening game of running over cats and dogs, which the Lebanese master very well.

Plagued by poor maintenance and risky driving behavior, our roadways are sadly unsafe for both, drivers and pedestrians. And albeit “we”, the upper crust, find comfort in the thought that our drivers and bodyguards can keep us safe, we know full well how vulnerable we all are.

Ironically, our country is no different than our roads: dark like our streetlights, spiritless like our rugged roads, and perilous like our political system.

The remains of Nouhad said it all!

They told the story of the “Shia’a” when they were pit against the “Palestinians”, the “Maronites” against the “Muslims”, and the “Sunni” against the “Shia’a”. They bemoaned our pain, we, the rich and the poor hailing from the North, the South, the Beqa’a and Mount Lebanon. They spoke for every person begging employment and hospitalization of his/her “Zai’m”.

Her remains put a spotlight on the monopoly of oil and the violation of both, public and private property. Her remains put a spotlight on the excessive greed, on the immigration of our children, on our racism and narrow-mindedness and despicable behavior. Her remains unraveled the story of how we were stripped of our schools, hospitals, beaches, mountains and trees, how we were deprived of our friends and families, and how we ended up with no memory or legacy, turning to our “Zo’ama” for refuge or seeking visas to escape our misery.

The remains of Nouhad said it all!

Right before her death she cried out asking: “where are the pedestrian bridges? Where are the streetlights? Where are the traffic laws? Where is the urban and spatial planning? Where is the driver who first rammed into me and those who ran over my body afterwards?”

“As great as it is to enjoy bank secrecy and satellite channels… As great as it is to pride ourselves on having a Casino, an international airport and a cedar tree of over 1000 years old, it would be far greater if we could come up with a fair wage hike, provide a health care coverage and impose taxes on capital gains.

These are not my remains but rather the remains of my country.”

Such were the words of Nouhad Nasser Eddine, 49, in Byblos, the “city of the alphabet.”

Jawad N. Adra

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