A fierce storm has been lashing Lebanon since Saturday. The storm has led to severe flooding and near-paralysis of the entire country. The country hasn't seen a storm like this for decades, some say millennia. Someone remembered a storm like this from a long long time ago, a man from across the southern border had bought all Lebanon’s store of cedar trees and used them to build a big boat. There were conspiracy theories and some muttered that somehow the Jews seem to know about disasters before they happen.
According to reports in An-nahar newspapers it seems that God that warned Lebanese leaders about this storm, because “he loves Lebanon and its people”. Assafir newspaper reported the same story but didn’t mention the part about God loving Lebanon. Michel Aoun was out taking a walk in the hills when he heard a voice. But it was different from the other voices he hears normally. The voice, (or The Voice), warned him about the storm and suggested he build an Ark big enough to get all the people of Lebanon on. Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah received a written message to the same effect. (He’s harder to get in touch with.) Samir Geagea was in his garden when one of the flowers started talking to him and gave him the same message.
With their customary efficiency, the Lebanese leaders got together and established the National Dialogue Committee for Building the Ark. They all attended except for Nasrallah who connected through a video link and Walid Jumblatt who connected through a Ouija board. Al-Akhbar newspaper obtained a copy of the meeting minutes and published them in a series called Ark Leaks. (No pun intended presumably.)
Samir Geagea suggested that the Ark be built from cedar trees. Leftist leaders objected to this typical right-wing appropriation of the cedar tree as a national symbol. Saad Hariri favoured palm trees and promised that Saudi Arabia could supply a large quantity. The Syrian Social Nationalist Party suggested Aleppo pines. No agreement could be reached so decision on this item was postponed.
Michel Aoun felt strongly that only Lebanese citizens should be allowed on the Ark. Walid Jumblatt insisted that Syrian and Palestinian refugees should also be allowed. Carlos Ede didn’t understand what the argument was about. Wiam Wahhab said we either float with Syria or drown with Syria, and suggested the Syrian president be named captain for life. Decision on this item was postponed.
Najib Mikati suggested that the Ark should have one large room for everybody. Saad Hariri suggested five large rooms. Jumblatt suggested 28. The Orthodox representatives suggested that each sect gets its own room. Nabih Berri suggested two large rooms in the back and the front, and a small communal room in the middle. No agreement could be reached so decision on this item was postponed.
Berri volunteered to take responsibility for hiring the people employed to build the Ark. Aoun retorted now wouldn’t you like that and we’ve all seen your hiring strategies in the ministries under your control. Nasrallah interjected and told them to stop bickering. Hariri and Geagea were sniggering in the corner. Decision on this item was postponed.
Michel el-Murr suggested that one of his companies be awarded the contract for building the Ark, as a service to his country of course. The others replied that while they didn’t doubt his sincerity, this is the one time they will need someone with some experience and who knew what they were doing. Hariri suggested the parliament establish a private company to handle this and he would finance it in return for a short concession of no more than 500 years. Decision on this item was postponed.
Nasrallah insisted that Hezbollah should be allowed to take its weapons on board the Ark. Geagea quoted Gebran Khalil Gebran that ‘love is the best weapon’. Hariri asked him why would he need his weapons on the Ark if the weapons are only meant for Lebanon’s external enemies. Berry suggested that a few harpoons and RPGs wouldn’t hurt anybody. Decision on this item was postponed.
The meeting broke with no agreement on any of the issues, but President Suleiman felt that it’s a good first step towards establishing a long term strategy for dialogue over the building of the Ark. Meanwhile, hipsters in Beirut have started dressing like Noah, ironically of course. Several underwater bars have opened in Gemayze, with names like Ghawasa (submarine) and Balal (wetness).
Al-Akhbar later reported that each sect is now secretly building its own Ark, and a small boat is being built for people who live in Hamra.
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