Between Flying Rumours and Real Dialogue

On September 22, 2011, in blog posts, by admin

Between Flying Rumours and Real Dialogue

That dialogue is the means to solve the many problems in our world is an unquestionable proposition to which most, if not all, readily assent. What constitutes real dialogue—in the fast-flying world of tweets and pokes—is an entirely different question altogether.

The suggestion that one can have a conversation of worth at a busy street, with all its associated hustle and bustle, would immediately be brandished as nonsensical. In the world of politics however, it is often the adopted norm. The sheer volume churned out by modern media is astronomical; not to mention the Chinese whispers, rumours and outright deceptions that sensationalist journalism thrives on.

Faced with this tidal wave of information, the extravagances of modern media also demand quick responses and ever shorter reaction times. It is of little surprise therefore that media outlets are today blamed for misleading nations into war. Putting questions of truth to one side, it is clear that in the absence of a real spirit of dialogue there is no shortage of pitfalls. Lebanon is a prime example.

Whilst political disagreement has been, and continues to be a permanent feature of the Lebanese political landscape, it is clear to observers that the extent of divisions is exacerbated by the lack of dialogue—or perhaps, a spirit of real dialogue—amongst key players. In recent weeks, the nation has had to deal with the blowbacks of non-existent interviews, unverified leaks and outright distortions of statements. One can play the blame game, but ultimately the onus of responsibility returns to political and social figures. Moreover, it highlights the need to reinforce the mechanisms of dialogue which ought to permeate through the various levels of society.

At a deeper level, the achievements of the Arab Spring have definitively underlined the strength and vitality possessed by a people who choose to stand under a united banner with shared goals in mind. In answer to those who query what Lebanon can add to this epic phase in history, I would reply: ‘real dialogue that is initiated from within, rather than forced from the outside’.

The nation has been smitten more than its fair share by the whims of more powerful nations and irresponsible media outlets. It is high time we silenced the clutter of a persistent background noise, and actually began to discuss the crucial socio-economic and political problems that beleaguer this nation.

 

By guest contributor

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