So many times I have been disappointed by Lebanon, but today was certainly not one of them. Today, with thousands of beautiful people flooding the streets of Beirut demanding a domestic violence law, was spectacular. The protest organized by the NGO KAFA began at 2 pm at the National Musuem where there was a short play before the immense turnout took off on an hour-long march towards the Ministry of Justice. Crowds walked in solidarity behind the victims’ families chanting for justice, and took a moment of silence at the final destination to mourn the passing of the victims. Pictures below, and for previous information on the law, click here.
On an uglier note, as my friend Daniela was leaving at the end, she got a snide comment from a police officer who said “Shou, akhadto 72ou2koun w fallayto?” while other police officers snickered behind him. (“So you’re done getting your rights?”)
I’m sorry officer. I’m sorry for the inconvenience, I’m sorry for the noise pollution of thousands of lebanese citizens asking for the protection of our rights, but most of all, I’m sorry we live in a society where you of all people, you who are allegedly here to protect, can be so disturbingly ignorant.
Even worse, a random passerby asked two of my friends what the protest was about, and after Karl and Wael explained, the stranger said “Aslan l neswen bas baddon dareb? Baddon dabe7.” (“Women don’t just need beating, they should be slaughtered.”)
I think these things should incite rather than discourage us, because they make us realize how important events like today’s protest are when it comes to overshadowing such levels of ignorance. I think we should be grateful for the thousands of enlightened people who stood together today. And I think the protest did infinitely more than just ask for the law to be passed; it screamed for a much-needed awareness. It showed that those who know what’s good for this country and its citizens are not a minority, and absolutely not silent.