Tag Archives: March 8

March 14 and the Myth of the Cedar Revolution (By Marina Chamma)

14 Mar

March 14 and the Myth of the Cedar Revolution

If March 14 2005 would happen again, I would be exactly where I was – in the middle of the chanting and exuberant crowds in Martyrs’ Square – when it all happened.  It was history and I was part of it, along with thousands of others who gathered there. The excitement of screaming Ya Bashar, ya *******, Tal’le Jayshak min Beirut (Oh Bashar, Oh [expletive], Get Your Army out of Beirut) straight into the face of a Lebanese soldier without the fear of arrest. The indescribable feeling of dignity restored, standing in an ocean of Lebanese flags singing along to Julia Boutros’ Ana Bitnaf’as Houriye (I Breathe Freedom). The emotion of seeing the sheer crowds gathered on one day, in one place, for some sort of hope for a better future, which few, if any, knew what would look like. At the same time, it was the implicit awareness, even in the midst of the protest, that such a sight of unity and the seeds of a possible revolution that may come with it wouldn’t survive.

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But was it really unity? It is true that March 14, 2005 was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, demonstrations in contemporary Lebanese history, with an anti-Syria common denominator. However, people also had other reasons for being there. Some where there to mourn Rafik El Hariri and avenge his death, while others were there as part of their ongoing opposition to the Syrian regime (it being the prime suspect behind the Hariri assassination at the time). Others were there because they opposed the gathering of March 8 (the day in which pro-Syrian Lebanese gathered to “Thank Syria” for all it has done, a show of solidarity while it was being accused to killing Hariri). Others were there to call for an end to Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, while others called for a drastic change to the political system and its leaders, which until then, was nurtured and protected by Syria itself.

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KAFA Protest Against Domestic Violence – Pictures (By Ellen Francis)

10 Mar

KAFA Protest Against Domestic Violence – Pictures

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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.

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Lebanese women, fight for your rights ! (By Rania Khayat)

10 Mar

Lebanese women, fight for your rights 

She sat in the corner, her back against the wall, knees together, shaking, until she heard the door slammed shut. Breathing heavily and sobbing like a child, she dragged her seemingly heavy body across the room, in an attempt to reach the nightstand. The carpet will get stained, she kept thinking, how will I get the blood stains off before he returns home. Finally there, she reached for the mobile that was still on the nightstand, her wounds burning and stinging. She called her cousin to go pick up the kids from school, begging her with a shaky voice to keep them at her place for a few hours. She hung up before questions could be asked and called her next door neighbor. It took forever to reach the door, but she did and there was her neighbor, like countless times before, yet her eyes looked different this time. They were full of shock and fear. Then she heard her shouting, and a few more familiar faces gathered. Then all went dark.

This could very well be your little daughter, in a few years from now, and that’s one of the reasons why KAFA called for a march on the 8th.

KAFA's protest against domestic abuse 8/3/2014

KAFA’s protest against domestic abuse 8/3/2014(bs why KAFA called for a march on March the 8th.

Holding pictures of their victimized daughters, sisters and friends, women in black lead the way, with faces washed in tears. Young women taken early seemed to be present, reminding the crowd that this gathering was well worth their time. The streets got colored in red and grey ink on simple protest signs. Each lady, man and child present voiced the same main concerns: protecting women from verbal, physical and sexual abuse. From smiling faces happy to move for a cause, to shouts of oppressed women who lost it all, the streets of Beirut echoed a single thought: Give Lebanese women the right every Lebanese man has always had, that of being a citizen and an individual.

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