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SNEAK PREVIEW: Pride height

This work in progress is a homage to the laborers whose sweat and blood are mixed in every handful of our Lebanese soil.

For the love of family and the service of their sacred land, they had no problem bowing their heads, bending their backs and mixing with dirt. But they would not do it for anyone or anything else. On the occasional reprieves when duty did not call, they straightened those backs, washed the dirt off, attended to their wounds and scratches and put their heads right back up. As soon as they adorned their spiffy starched outfits, placed the absolutely essential headdress, twisted their moustaches and grabbed their favorite masbaha, each probably stretched several more inches in "pride height." Making a living and attending to a family's every need were hard indeed; they were men enough to admit it. But very little that is worth anything in this life comes without perseverance and hard work. That they knew, and proud of their hard labor and sacrifices they were. It did not matter what their stature or material worth was, their sweat and blood were mixed with the earth on which they stood, and that... was the measure of real men.

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