Breaking News: I Almost Died

Well, not quite.

I was in Tripoli when Saad Hariri’s long-awaited Ramadan speech was taking place. I couldn’t care less about what he had to say so I just sat with my friends on a porch, enjoying an afternoon August breeze.

“He’s ten minutes in and we haven’t heard bullets yet,” Ismail said jokingly. And, as if on queue, the bullets started getting fired up the air.

So as we discussed some inescapable politics through the distant shots, we heard something ricochet off the wall and land immediately next to us. We were four people. This surprisingly heavy bullet could have hit anyone:

Bullet tripoli lebanon

I’m not the kind to immediately freak out so we simply retreated inside as they cursed the morons shooting on the streets in celebration. The shooting soon ended as the speech died down.

Then I wondered: what if this actually hit one of us?

Any kind of injury because of this bullet would necessitate hospital attention.  What if we can’t afford the hospital? What if there’s no hospital around? What if the supposed injury was life-threatening? Why is my well-being contingent upon the odds of ricochets?

Till when should we be satisfied that this is simply a “what if” scenario?

The worst part of it is that we have all become so used to this, even those of us who don’t come from a city that has become far too acquainted with such incidents, that the logical thing to do was to simply change rooms and wait it out because we knew there was nothing else we could do and that no entity whose job was to prevent such things from happening would actually do its job.

However, I’m not full of negativity. I can see the silver lining in all of this: they were firing bullets not rockets.

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