(The scene: A Beirut cafe)
Abu Michel: Did you hear that they’re trying to lower the voting age to 18?
Abu Samir: Of course. What a ridiculous idea.
Abu Michel: What do 18 year-olds know about anything?
Abu Samir: When I was 18, I was still a child.
Abu Michel: And the 18 year-olds these days? They’re even more immature, with their video games and their internets.
Abu Samir: Well, I’m glad that Hakim has been very clear on this point. He will not accept lowering the voting age unless they also allow Lebanese emigrants abroad to vote absentee.
Abu Michel: What do you mean “Hakim has been very clear”? El-General has been even clearer!
Abu Samir: So we see eye-to-eye…
Abu Michel: Absolutely.
Abu Samir: I have soooo many relatives living outside Lebanon. If they could vote, the entire picture would change.
Abu Michel: I have so many as well. Dozens!
Abu Samir: Hundreds!
Abu Michel: Thousands!
Abu Samir: Fourteen million! That’s the number of Lebanese living in the diaspora.
Abu Michel: I heard it was more like twenty million!
Abu Samir: Whatever the number is, it’s a lot ya zalameh. And they’re mostly Christian. Why do you think the Berris and Hariris and Jumblatts don’t want to let them vote?
Abu Michel: Absolutely. Look at Carlos Slim. Richest man in the world. Lebanese.
Abu Samir: (smiling) Not just Lebanese. Maronite.
Abu Michel: (smiling) Naturally. And I’m sure that Mr. Slim would love to vote in the municipal elections here in Lebanon. But noooooo, what do Berri and Hariri say?
Abu Samir: (sarcastic voice) “He’s been away too long… he’s never been to Lebanon… his father left when he was 14… he doesn’t even speak Arabic…” Give me a break! Once a Lebanese, always a Lebanese!
Abu Michel: Exactly! He has a right to vote in his ancestral municipality, even if he’s never stepped foot in it!
Abu Samir: Hell, I’ve never even been to my municipality either! We were registered erroneously in Akkar two generations ago and we’ve never been able to change it!
Abu Michel: Me too! I’ve never been to West Bekaa, but do you think that’s going to prevent me from impacting the lives of the poor schmucks who do live out there?
Abu Samir: Exactly! And so if it’s good enough for us, why shouldn’t it be good enough for Carlos Slim?
Abu Michel: And Shakira!
Abu Samir: Yasmine Bleeth!
Abu Michel: Salma Hayek!
Abu Samir: Keanu Reeves!
Abu Michel: Tiffany!
Abu Samir: And that hot chick who plays the Czech student in American Pie!
Abu Michel: You see? There are so many expatriate Christians… I mean, umm, Lebanese… who should not be deprived of their right to vote.
Abu Samir: I couldn’t agree more. Plus, if we let them vote in our elections, maybe they’ll finally start taking an interest in Lebanese affairs.
Abu Michel: Good point. If there’s one thing that Lebanon needs, it’s foreigners taking an interest in Lebanese affairs.
Abu Samir: Pass the sugar.