While no story can be a recipe for pain or pain, there are some that can offer comfort in difficult times. Majd Zaher’s first novel, Borderline Love in Beirut, addresses the issue of marginalization and the trauma that comes with being ‘different’ in a conservative community, such as many parts of her native Lebanon, as well as the serious mental health problems that can result from isolation. Although the story follows the relationship between two people, it is far from being a traditional love story. In Borderline Love in Beirut, love itself is presented as a challenge that involves both sacrifice and pain. Ultimately, love is the catalyst for the story and the downfall of its protagonists.
Unlike other contemporary Lebanese authors, Zaher is outspoken about his characters’ mental health and journeys that face psychological stress. Borderline is a revealing story that portrays the prejudices internalized by society. Both characters suffer from the lack of acceptance they receive and develop numerous problems due to the feeling of not belonging. Mental health struggles are rarely written in such detail and energy, making Zaher’s books a great candidate for raising awareness of these issues. Anyone who has suffered, been bullied, experienced trauma, or had a broken heart can read Zaher’s book and acknowledge their own struggles in his words.
The impact of Zaher’s powerful story is that it reminds everyone who reads it that they are not alone. Your insight into the tangible ways mental health issues can affect daily life and social relationships will resonate with anyone struggling with anxiety, depression, loneliness, or stress. His story has the ability to validate the feelings of those who feel lonely and offer comfort to those who think they are not welcome in society.
Today, mental health problems are skyrocketing in Lebanon as a historically severe economic crisis, shortages of basic goods and a protracted pandemic threaten the lives of millions of people. Not to mention the anniversary of the explosion that took place on August 4, 2020 in the Port of Beirut. All of this combined has compounded an already fragile situation. As the situation worsens, mental health concerns mount. Fear turns into anxiety, impotence turns into depressive episodes and those who feel ignored and misunderstood become more and more isolated, so it is essential, now more than ever, to raise awareness about the dangers of social isolation, marginalization and fear-based stigmatization. .
In a world of fast-moving content and breaking news, it can seem like no one is paying attention. Stories like Borderline offer realistic examples of what these dangers can mean for the most vulnerable members of society, including young students, LGBTQ + people, and low-income families, while corroborating the experience of so many who have endured obstacles. seemingly insurmountable. Pay attention to the very real systemic problems facing many Lebanese citizens today. Remind your local readers that trauma is intense, it is real, and it is not something to be overlooked. Borderline is an excellent reminder that through art, comfort can be found, if not solutions.