I think it's only JUST becoming apparent to me how close I am to world changing politics living here. Ridiculous, I know. After all, I've been in Lebanon four months. I'm literally surrounded by countries in conflict. The point is that I knew where I was coming before I got here and thought I understood it. I didn't. Not at all. Politics in the Middle East is like nothing else, anywhere.
Traveling though Egypt I had some fascinating conversations with our guides about the revolution there, two of whom had spent time in Tahrir Square. Sadly, they won't get the change they wanted. Most of the revolutionaries had never voted before. They were too young to have been a part of the last time Egyptians got to vote for anything. They didn't understand that it would have been better having one or two candidates from the new regime, rather than ten, who split the vote, paving the way for the two - minority - 'old school' candidates who are now fighting it out in the ballot. None of the young people I spoke to were happy with the outcome of the first election, which means they are likely to be unhappy with the result of the run-off. All of them said they were prepared to go back to the square if things didn't change. Mind you, the position the Army seems to be maneuvering into may mean no one has a choice.
The politics in Egypt concern me because any kind of change there effects its neighbors. Which will effect us. We have six months left in Lebanon and it's fair to say that might be an ambitious timeline. We live in very interesting times.
It's not just the middle east. Europe appears to have got itself into a bit of a pickle too. Simple things like job security will become more of a problem for everyone, everywhere, as the knock-on effect takes a swipe at the furthest dominoes way down in the peaceful corner of the pacific I call home. Not really a good time to be part of the Euro. Does anyone else find no small irony in the fact that Germany is the country holding it all together?
I think we are finally starting to see the nasty side-effects of globalisation. It was always going to happen. Anyone with half a brain saw it coming - or at least, they will have you believe that they did. All those smarmy World Bank and IMF suits signing money over with a smirk must surely be starting to have a small worry line forming on their brows. Serves them right.
Won't it be interesting if China decides to call in it's debt too.
For me, I've always said I never really understood money. I'm starting to think I actually understand it quite well enough, thank you very much, and I actually understand way more than I want to know because it reveals too much about humankind. Being a mum, it all makes me feel a bit sick. The problems the greed of previous generations have created will be felt worst by the generations that follow. But I digress.
What I want to say is a bit simpler than all that. The reason I was blind to the politics of the middle east was really because I didn't care enough to find out. Sadly, most people live their lives the same way. If it doesn't directly concern them then why should they worry about it. At home we are so removed physically we fool ourselves that it can't hurt us. Living here, I'm learning how wrong I was.