Having just returned from Switzerland, I thought it interesting to do a comparison between the Lebanese and the Swiss, after all, Lebanon was considered the Switzerland of the Middle East, right ?
Apart from the obvious differences in Size, Government, Religions, etc, I did find many similarities. Perhaps misguided from being a proud Lebanese dreaming beyond Assad and Nasrallah, but I see Lebanon still as a potential little Switzerland.
We both speak French and were governed by France throughout our history. We are both multilingual. We both have mountains which collect snow that source our rivers. We both have banking secrecy laws, great Cheeses and some spectacular natural landscapes.
The Swiss gained independence from France around 1815 … and this is a big difference … had a brief stint at Civil War before they decided to adopt a new constitution. They all agreed to be Swiss before Catholic, Protestant or whatever and protect their National Economic interests.
Forget for a moment the traffic, noise pollution, political assassinations, Religious fanaticism, over 1 million refugees, and the list of differences goes on, if the Lebanese could unite behind a strong military that protects a fair and democratic constitution which in turn defends our Neutrality everything else can be fixed.
My Aunt married a Swiss man and I have a Lebanese-Swiss cousin. I feel like I understand Swiss people in the same way I understand Lebanese people. Putting politics aside, the majority of Lebanese, like the Swiss are patriotic to one thing, Economics, and if the Lebanese, like the Swiss, can unite and defend their natural opportunities for this, then Lebanon will be a major step closer to becoming another Switzerland.
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