It’s never too late to go back home

Hassan Bazzi
4 min readDec 20, 2023

Palestine and Lebanon are getting bombed. Tens of thousands are being murdered. Millions of homes are being destroyed. It seems like the place I once called home is on the verge of becoming void of life and civilisation.

The current war with scenes straight out of movies…

All of this makes me want to go back home.

I see your flabbergasted gaze upon the screen, but let’s rewind a little bit…

In August 2020, a deadly explosion rocked Beirut’s port. Yet another massive wave of brain drain swiftly followed. Thousands of highly qualified young men and women «fled» the country in search of a better life. After all, unemployment was at a record high, inflation at its historical peak, and most infrastructure in poor condition. The explosion came to seal the deal and cut any doubts of a Lebanese recovery.

… at least that’s what we all thought.

This wasn’t the first time a massive migration wave hit Lebanon after perilous events. Heck, This isn’t even unique to us or “underdeveloped” countries. People leave their home countries all the time, usually in search of opportunities and a better life. The idea is to get a good education, excellent experience, and then return home. Sometimes, we stay longer. We create friendships, experience cultures, and even build families.

This “it ends with a homecoming” scenario is now almost non-existent among Lebanese migrats.

In fact, anytime I express my desire to return, I’m met with the usual weird look and a classic:

«شو حمار؟» ← click the link if you’re Lebanese.

This more or less translates to: “Are you stupid?”

However, this has never deterred me. Last year, I wrote about Finding Home. It’s something a lot of expats struggle with, no matter how much we try to integrate. A major part of my “home” paralysis had to do with the dire situation in my home country.

Earlier this week, I received a notice that my latest application to extend my stay in Denmark has been refused. They even gave me 30 days to leave the country.

Boom! Just like that. As I write this, It all just feels weird. More accurately, it feels like I’m being tossed out, even after contributing to Danish society and heavily integrating.

May 5, 2017. Landing in Denmark.

And this time, it’s different. It’s different because my home town is getting bombed. It’s different because the one doing the bombing is releasing genocidal threats on a daily basis. It’s different because the other country I can go to is sponsoring this genocide. And although 3 months ago I would have seriously considered going back to Lebanon, It now feels like there’s nowhere to go.

But despite the circumstances, here I am seriously considering the move back home. In fact, I’ve set a plan in motion to make that happen, a plan that’ll hopefully see me back there in the next few months.

“But Hassan! What does Lebanon have to offer you? Isn’t it dangerous? Can you even do any work? Can you thrive?”

Ehh… None of that matters.

It’s about time people go back and help start businesses, educate, lead, and develop the country. This can be said for most underdeveloped countries and it’s about more than that. It’s about being engulfed in our roots, basking in our cultures, eating our own food, exploring our nature, and falling in love with that little place called home all over again.

Life is so damn short, and for me, it’s about the little things.

On a tiny boat off the coat of Tyre, Lebanon

I want my toes to feel the Mediterranean water every day.

I want them to sink into the sand as I watch another sunset.

I want to gaze into the stars as I hug another cedar tree.

I want to laugh as I hear the prayer call from a mosque as I leave a techno club in Beirut.

I want to sail into the horizon.

And yes Adam Levine, “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies.”

I want to be stuck in traffic and hear the beeping of cars.

I want to pay two electric bills and 2 water bills.

I want to endlessly and aimlessly debate politics.

I want to heal and help heal.

There’s so much I want to do.

But mostly, I want to inspire others to go back. And I know that it won’t be easy. There will be many many difficulties. We’re going to have to find work, build a home, re-integrate, and settle in a country where all of that is a lot more complicated than it should be. And yes, loosing the comfort of being in “developed” countries that have routines and health care will take some getting used to. But it’s a tiny sacrifice, and our mothers didn’t raise quitters.

Our home countries won’t evolve without our collective efforts. They won’t evolve without our sweat and tears. They won’t reach new heights without the growing pains. So let’s endure together. It doesn’t have to be now, but let’s at least try and make that part of the eventual plan.

ALL of the people in this picture have immigrated from Lebanon, all of us one after the other.

Lastly, I leave you with the wonderful Gebran Khalil Gebran:

“If Lebanon was not my country, I would have chosen it to be.”

… oh and Free Palestine. 🇵🇸



Hassan Bazzi

🌍 Globe Trotter. 🇱🇧 Putting Lebanon on the map 🦙 Founder @nunacompanion 🍃 Mental Health ❤️Pushing people to live in joy, fulfillment, and empathy.