Welcome to the jungle, where you can die because some brainless goon, empowered by his wasta and the guns he has around his waist and in the trunk of his can, will shoot you for upsetting him or for talking down to him. Today Roy Hamouche was that jungle’s latest victim.
Picture this. Roy, an architect, had just finished celebrating his 24th birthday with his friends when he got into an altercation with 3 guys in a windows-tinted BMW. When the immediate altercation ended, those 3 criminals chased Roy and his friends around Beirut until they surrounded their car and forced Roy out.
One of them held out his gun, pointed it to Roy’s head and shot him dead. They tried to shoot Roy’s friend, Johnny Nassar, who managed to narrowly escape them and get wounded in the process.
Today, Lebanon adds yet another victim to the growing list of innocent civilians who are being killed by the horrible state of lawlessness that our politicians have permitted to infest, prosper and permeate in all facets of our society.
It hasn’t been a month yet since Sara Sleiman was the victim of a stray bullet because a known criminal, and a henchman of a very influential Lebanese political party, couldn’t take being stuck because of a car-accident outside a pub in Zahleh.
It hasn’t even been two years since Georges El Rif was chased down by one of the bodyguards of one of Lebanon’s most important banks, and knifed in broad daylight in the middle of Achrafieh. The politician who hired that bodyguard is currently working on acquiring a bank in the United States.
And it’s been slightly more than two years since Yves Nawfal was shot dead by Charbel Khalil, after a similar altercation in Faraya, right after Yves’ 26th birthday. Khalil was also protected by one of Keserwan’s prominent politicians, and was arrested after the immense outrage following Yves’ death forced that politician to relinquish his attempts at protecting the criminal.
The common denominator to all of these murders and horrific acts is one: we live in a country where the people who killed Georges El Rif, Yves Nawfal, Sara Sleiman, Roy Hamouche and many others can do so freely because they are protected by the same establishment whose job is to make sure that Georges, Yves, Sara and Roy can go home safely or celebrate their birthdays and be certain that party won’t be their last or even cut off someone on the road and not find themselves in coffins, their names in a hashtag being circulated across the country.
What’s certain is this: those criminals that chased down Roy, forced him out of his car and shot him in the head are empowered by their wasta that allows them to parade around in an illegal car, filled with firing power, to kill whoever pisses them off in whatever processing power their tiny brain can muster.
Roy Hamouche is not a victim because he got into a fight with the wrong people. He is a victim because our country allows those people to exist, and because if we don’t turn every single horrific murder like Roy’s into a matter of national emergency those very same criminals will soon be forgotten, as whichever politician protecting them goes back to doing what he does best, and they become free to kill and terrorize other people again.
In this land they call a country, rule of law does not exist. Some people here can do whatever they want – even kill – and still get away with it through the help of the many Lebanese that are always above the law, on whom there’s no accountability, who never face consequences for their actions.
How many times is the exact same scenario supposed to be repeated before we realize that the way they’re forcing us to live in this jungle is not acceptable anymore, that our lives are not at the mercy of airheads who are bolstered by the power of their wasta and the barrel of their gun. Many in Lebanon keep weapons and knives in their cars. They roam our streets, threaten our security and our lives, aware that their threats will never be faced with any repercussions. But let our security forces be happy they apprehended someone with a funny license plate, because that’s definitely keeping us safer.
Until then, may Roy Hamouche rest in peace. Yet another person with so much future ahead of him taken way too soon by this lawless land. I hope his family finds solace in having the criminals that took his life be apprehended and dealt the worst of punishments, but NOT the death penalty.
Accountability is key.
When a country is not able to hold its politicians accountable, chaos is inevitable among its people.
It is truly a shame whenever something like this happens.A President in an African country told his people that ” the law is for everybody”. This was an African state. Aren’t we suppossed to be ” civilized”??? But it is not the fault of ” these leaders of ours”, it is SOLELY our fault. The people’s fault. Why? Because we let them get away with it. They spend their “stolen money” wisely and we ” shut our traps” quietly.How do these ” creatures” survive? We let them!!!
who told you Africans aren’t civilised?
my thoughts exactly!!!
@Assaad, what is exactly wrong with Lebanon, is that people like you who consider themselves activists, civilized, educated and so forth, still think that Lebanese are better/more civilized than africans, southeast asians, neighboring countries, ethnic people with different skin color, and so forth…. so Imagine what those killers in the car would think!
Heartbreaking. Memory eternal… Prayers for solace & peace for his family…
To the points about law & government accountability: In the States here the police get away w/ murdering any Black man or woman or child. This has of course been going on for centuries — only now people have smartphones for proof (photo & video). Yet still nothing changes in the courts.
Lebanon hasn’t been a country since the French left if you haven’t noticed. This piece of land has never and will never work. It has always been violent and ruled by goons. Same ones for 30 years. And another 30 for sure with hungry sheep voters. Sheep will stay hungry cos those goons need them to control them. It just will always be like. That’s why manu like me chose to chose something else. Anywhere else where you don’t risk getting killed over a parking space. Somewhere where you don’t need to worry about electricity and water and generator. Somewhere where a circuit breaker means a dance move. Lebanon isn’t a jungle. Jungles have rules. Lebanon is what dooms day feels and smells like. And all living there think it’s the best they can do. No one actually sees out when he’s way deep in the toilet. I’m sure some will get offended from what I wrote. But this is the truth…and if you wanna still ignore it. Incidents like these will still remind you I guarantee.
I think calling Lebanon a jungle is a bit too severe for jungles and their natural inhabitants! Animals would never kill for no reason, just because they can. I feel deeply saddened for the victim’s family and the horrifying tragedy of which they are the unwitting victims. Please continue reporting on this story, don’t let them get away with it, just because we all have short attention spans…
No offense for animals please, dogs are more disciplined.
My sincere condolences for the tragic, untimely death of Roy…and the others who went before him in similar murderous fate. Rest in peace, Roy Hamouche and may your spirit witness the demise of those who took your life.I am so sorry to know that this is what is going on Lebanon. It brings no comfort to know that similar senseless killings are happening in other places far nearer to me than Lebanon. We all deserve to live in a just world. I hope that there will be a groundswell of protest and condemnation of Roy’s killing such that his life taken will be the last. Life More Abundant!
To DK —
W/ respect for you: I & many others don’t believe “the French” should be sainted (along w/ the British) for their involvement in this slice of the planet (Crusades where they murdered Christians & Jews & Muslims / colonialism / partition & its after effects which continue to this day in Lebanese govt. & in Palestine & in leading to rise of Islamist extremism w/ Daesh etc.).
This is a common trope: how civilised & humane “the French” were/are. “The French” have committed numerous atrocities round the world. Even in France during their own revolution people were murdered for the most frivolous of reasons. Let us look at history w/ clear eyes & not be the Francophiles that *some* of our parents & grandparents were.
In addition the ‘Syrians’/Lebanese & Palestinians etc. are who gave “the French” much of *why* they are known for being ‘civilised’. Silk & fabrics (damask etc.) & clothing styles & underclothes (white cotton undergowns & undershirts & underpants — as prior to adopting our dress Europeans wore nothing underneath) & soap & parfum & British ‘high tea’ & spices for cooking & marzipan/various sweets & building techniques & styles (Gothic Churches in France & Western & Northern Europe) & the alphabet (beginning w/ Phoenicians) etc.
PS to DK —
& I forgot that we gave “the French” & everyone else GLASS!
Chu badna na3mil eza el cha3eb reji3 khtar el Harèrè :)). May all of these souls RIP. Unfortunately lebanon is never going to change.
Elie ,give it up , blog abt something else , Lebanon was finished long time ago , i respect you as blogger ,i always read your posts , i loove them buut don’t put hopes on Lebanon , forget it and move on , go on with your life
To Amy’s comment:
Elie must keep blogging. Otherwise he may have no other occupation to ‘fall back on’ — aside from being a physician & saving people’s lives 🙂
Also who would all the thorny commenters have to take their otherwise unexpressed anger out on? It is a public service. Or even perhaps a sacred one — like a martyr.
God willing you will keep blogging Ellie.
the last public execution happened in 1997 right before the end of Hrawi’s mandate. It involved 3 people, one Maronite, one Shia and one Sunni. We still look at punishing people based on their religion and not their crime. Let there hang 50 Christians or 100 Muslims, who cares.
. يا عيب الشوم. وينو بينا نايم مش عم يقشع
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I am so sorry to hear about the murder of Roy Hamouche. I did not know him, but feel so sad for his family and friends who are grieving. I also feel deeply shocked, yet again, about the behaviour of certain individuals in society who do not deserve to be free citizens of any country. All governments should do their utmost to arrest the perpetrators of this evil behaviour and punish them most severely.
Lebanon? A country? since when? says who?
Lebanon is the worst peace of land a human being can live on. It is worse than a jungle. It is a criminal land where you might be killed and no one cares for you. No law, no security, no nothing. It’s a piece of s..hit. I am a Lebanese and love the place where I was born and raised. But I never felt that I live in a country except during the so called 75 war. Before that time, and after 1988, Lebanon was always a peace of land where different people live on it. They were never unified to build a country, they were always divided, and still are. As long as the politicians will not admit the impossibility to live together, this situation will keep escalating.
May Roy rest in peace, and may his family find solace. I’ll start with that.
What I do not understand is why every time a crime occurs in this country we blame it on the entire system, stating directly that Lebanon is a jungle, a lawless or failed state, etc. Crimes happen everywhere, even in the most developed countries. Criminals are everywhere, and to imply that they only exist in Lebanon is false and unfair.
I am not saying that our country doesn’t have its flaws. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. But we cannot deny that on the security front, security agencies including the army and police have been doing a remarkable job (an almost miraculous one in a region in turmoil). So let’s all start by acknowledging that by toning down the over-dramatization.
Ultimately, the fate of these criminals will determine whether or not we are a nation of laws. As long as they get a proper sentence in a fair and unpoliticized trial, we have no right to blame the system.
Instead of bemoaning your country which is one of the most beautiful on earth and which is rich in culture and innovation, then do exactly what you did in 2005 when you forced the Syrian army out of the country. If your members of parliament are not listening then hold them to account and get out on the streets exactly as you did by the thousands and millions in 2005. If you are unwilling to do that then shut up and stop moaning.
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