Almost everyone in Lebanon sat in front of their TV sets yesterday to watch as our country took on the UAE in Abu Dhabi on their quest to qualify to the second and final round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
This post won’t be, as the title says, a sport analysis of what went on during the game. God knows it was bad. But I guess I’ll leave it to the experts. What’s interesting to note, however, is something that went on over the social networks simultaneously with the game.
So I’ve decided to class people under different categories.
These are the tweeps & Facebook users who immediately started to weave out a fantasy of unity for the country. It didn’t help that we got #GoLebanon to trend worldwide on Twitter. As the game ended, these people were still dreaming, worried about how everything would go back to “normal” in a few days. You know, as if the whole country’s future rested on a football game.
These are those who were annoyed by the extra attention the game was getting. They are definitely many. But few let it known. And they do have a point. After all, everyone has a TV nowadays, a cable subscription and electricity (that last point may be debated). These people do not like to get carried away with the excitement of it all. They have every right to. But they are a buzzkill.
These are the people who either didn’t watch the game and made it known or were actually watching the game and making it known how little they cared whether Lebanon advances or not. These are lesser than the previous two categories.
The Politically Phobic:
They basically panicked when Sami Gemayel popped up on screen. When Nadim Gemayel appeared on screen, I think I might have heard ambulance sirens echoing all around. Heart attacks, maybe? After recovery from the shock, they made it clear how they didn’t want politicians to be part of the game. You know, because Lebanese politicians are not people who are entitled to also cheer for Lebanon’s national team. It’s exclusive to the masses apparently. Who knew?
They are the ones who used the football game to take jabs at every single thing going on in Lebanon today, including the snowstorm. They were wearing t-shirts and skirts yesterday. How in the name of anything that’s holy is there a snowstorm today? Of course, there’s also the occasional tweets about electricity, potholes, traffic, lakes on Beirut’s streets, etc…. All with a football flavor.
Who do you think prepared those fireworks that were lit despite the game’s result? Who do you think was driving those cars that were honking the bejeezus out of your brain? Who do you think ventured out in the cold to make it know how much they absolutely love their country? It’s them. Let’s call them Lebanon’s “activists.” They exist in every shape and form. They are spread all over the land. And they are very active when the need arises. Today was one of those occasions.
And last but not least, and this is a premonition that I believe will turn out correct (move away Michel Hayek), you have the Lebanese politicians who will soon compare this to another Divine victory for the country. Lebanon’s qualification will be compared to a miracle. And with Lent being upon us, the Miracle of Qana seems fitting, no? They will annoy you in the next few days with their enthusiasm, until they notice that gas has actually skyrocketed again and that most people don’t have money to fill up their cars. And the cycle repeats again.
Either way, go Lebanon!