Corruption

Lebanese Men Illegally Block Street in Hamra on New Year’s Eve

DISCLAIMER: I am not against Lebanon’ security forces. I am aware of some great efforts done by them, and the fact that they are under a lot of political pressure (and not all of them are corrupted). However, it is my duty as a citizen to point out at what I see wrong, hoping that a change would take place at a point in time.

Stupidity never ceases to amaze. New year’s eve was here, and all the chaos that comes with it.

In brief,  I was sitting with a friend in a pub on Makdessi Street in Hamra at around 2AM talking about some experiences, when I hear cars honking, men cheering, and cheap Arabic music.

I exit the place to see what was going on, and all I see is a car that has stopped in the middle of an intersection, with its doors swung open, and guys ‘dancing’ (if I shall classify their moves as ‘dancing’) in the middle of the street. Rawa2.

Some of them were shirtless doing some very unorganized primitive tribal moves. Others were just screaming pointlessly and moving in all directions, ignoring the huge fleet of cars waiting behind them. The epitome of civilization.

(excuse the quality of the photos – had to use a smartphone camera)

People watching the scene in confusion.

People watching the scene in confusion.

The 'men'.

The ‘men’.

The waiting fleet of cars.

The waiting fleet of cars.

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Some left their cars and went forward to see what all the hassle was about.

Some left their cars and went forward to see what all the hassle was about.

There were at least 10 cars on that street, full of people who want to get to places, people who still had some faith in the Lebanese society, people who were planning on enjoying their new year’s eve with their loved ones, people who just do NOT want to waste their time sitting in their cars while you jiggle your bodies around pointlessly like its 10,000 B.C..

The songs moved from something with a “Sharmouta(prostitute) in it, to something that has to do with “Bashhar” (The current Syrian president). I am now so grateful for the music I hear in public vans.

People stood around baffled, taking photos and laughing at their misery. No security forces showed up at first. After around 12 (very long) minutes, one security man came and drove the men a bit forward (they were left unpunished and stopped again a few meters away to resume their ‘dance’).

Q: It’s okay, it’s new year’s eve.

A: Are you serious? The law is the law, whether it is new year’s eve, Christmas,  Hanukkah, my birthday, or the day Haifa Wehbeh (Lebanese pop singer) releases her new album. This behavior does not build a country.

Q: What’s the solution to this? Should we kill them?

A: The problem here is not in the people but in the system. We did provide the opportunity for these people to block a street in Beirut for a while just because they felt like acting like savages. It took the security men long enough to come, and when they did (more like when “he” did), the men were left unpunished. Not a single hindrance.  If they were detained for a while, at least it’ll make people think twice before doing something like this, and would give people like me some kind of faith in the Lebanese justice system.I guess we had to thank them for moving away a bit and letting us use the public streets, no?

Shame on our society, but more shame on our security forces. When people peacefully protest in favor of the smoke law, we detain them. When some block a street and delay people while moving around half-naked, we sweetly ask them to move a bit. Yet, we keep electing the same leaders.

And we wonder what exactly is wrong with this country.  What a great start for 2013.

What’s next?

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PS: For a secular and independent political campaign aiming for a corruption-free parliament, join Take Back Parliament (via their website or Facebook page), and let’s make our voices heard in the 2013 Lebanese elections.

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