Mama Lebanon by Jad El Tal

Lebanon is a caring and nurturing mama who has lived a painful life of agony and

despair, and is barely surviving.

Lebanon grew up in an abusive household for the last 45 years, where she has seen

her parents (Lebanon’s political elite #AllOfThem) fight and battle each other and her

countless times, often physically.

She has had no choice but to raise her young children (the people of Lebanon) in her

parents’ house. In return for this, her parents (the children’s grandparents) steal

Lebanon’s income and often cause fights among the grandchildren. Indeed, some of the

grandkids love their grandparents (even more than their mother), but the majority are

starting to see how abusive, corrupt and manipulative they are. These children see their

grandparents fighting so much that they start to resent Lebanon for not leaving the

house to raise them somewhere else. Now, Lebanon’s children want to escape the

house because it has become toxic and uninhabitable, even if that means leaving their

mama Lebanon, who has been their fountain of hope, culture and love.

On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, Lebanon was driving with her kids when her car broke

down in the middle of a highway. The grandparents knew the car was broken and have

been meaning to fix it for the last seven years, but they couldn’t agree on which mechanic to

send it to. Stupid, right? Unfortunately at 6:08 PM, while Lebanon was trying to park on

the side of the road, her side of the car was hit by a truck. The injured children saw their

mama and their dreams get crushed in seconds.

Lebanon is now in the ICU; in a coma; barely alive; on the verge of death. Instead of

focusing on why the car wasn’t fixed and how they didn’t tell her, the grandparents are

fighting about how the truck hit the car. It’s not about the truck, though, it’s 100% about

the car.

Lebanon’s poor children feel distraught. They’re not only traumatized from the crash but

also from seeing their Mama seriously injured due to the negligence of their

grandparents. The only reason they were still in that household was because they saw

the potential that Lebanon has. Which is still true. But, they are angry. Rightfully so.

They didn’t expected that their grandparent’s manipulation and corruption would lead

them to this day. But whenever they blame, insult and yell at their grandparents, they

get beaten up by their siblings who love the grandparents. Although they were also

injured in the car, they believe that Lebanon will survive this through the support that the

grandparents give her. It’s complicated.

Lebanon’s extended family, friends and colleagues at work (the international

community) are checking up on her everyday, often sending well wishes through the

grandparents; some have come to personally check up on the children; and some have

even started GoFundMe pages to cover medical costs. Her closest friends, who claim to

hate each other (Iran and US/France), are trying to mediate between the tyrannical

grandparents to restore normalcy in the household, for the sake of the grandchildren.

But, to be honest, nothing about this abusive relationship is normal. If the close friends

ask the grandkids, most will say that they have had enough of their grandparents. If