People are brought up to be proud of their country and of the achievement of their own nationals. Even when individuals are taken away from their home countries, most people still express a lot of pride for what their homeland has achieved. Although I have spent most of my life away from my country Lebanon, and even though this is a nation that for many years was known for its civil war, and more recently because of its chaos and corruption, I am still proud of it because of its early civilization, recovery from war and ambitions for its natives.
Through out history, Lebanese people had an impact on all civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, and beyond. Phoenicians, the ancestors of modern Lebanese, were a nation of sailors that have braved the waves in search of opportunities. As a result of this their civilization reached far away places. They spread the alphabet around the world, traded with other nations, created outposts like Cartage that had an impact on the western world for some time in the past. All of these accomplishments make me proud being one of their descendents.
However, the real cause of my pride was the ability of my fellow Lebanese to stand up together and work on creating a future that was nothing close to the chaotic and ravaged present. In 1995, I went on a trip to the city center of Beirut for the first time in my life. It was completely devastated, not a single human being lived in that place which was then home to all kinds of wild animals and weeds. Three years later when I returned, an entire new city had been rebuilt that bears no resemblance to what was there only a few years ago. Had it not been for some of the destroyed buildings that were still showing the ugly effect of the war I would not have believed that this
was Beirut. This latest trip was shocking by all means because it made me realize how determined my country was to get over the war and its history, and to