I’ve been writing about Tripoli so frequently on this blog, not only because I loved that city, but because the preconceptions that many Lebanese had of it – mostly out of biased media whose job was to alienate fellow Lebanese from the Northern capital.
Those preconceptions varied from “tripoli is where ISIS is” to “there’s nothing to do there anyway.” Many Lebanese that I know have started their third decade of life without having visited the city.
As Lebanon ends its third consecutive day of massive protests, the like of which the country has never seen, one thing is abundantly clear, regardless of what amounts from the revolution: Tripoli has finally gotten its chance to show its true color to everyone, and it did so out of the sheer will of its own people.
From its world famous Fayha Choir singing a cappella, to Marcel Khalifeh going to this city to sing at a protest, to them turning the infamous “se7et l nour” to not one, but TWO full blown raves, to thousands of them singing the national anthem at the top of their lungs, to their world famous sweets maker Hallab giving away 10,000 knefes, to its people baking manakeesh for the protesters for free. Tripoli was the highlight of Lebanon’s protests as it tore down stereotype after stereotype that was thrown at it for years.
Each of those moments was so fantastic to behold there isn’t a person I know who wasn’t taken aback by them. But I was not surprised, nor were the people who knew what this city was capable of.
Think about how gigantic a step it is for a DJ to be blasting techno music from a rooftop into a square that has been associated with Islamists for years, as thousands of people bopped their heads and threw their hands up for life.
Think about how enormous of a step it is for this city who has been taken for granted by the countless politicians that have claimed it to tell every single one of them to fuck off.
This northern city is representative of the Lebanese spirit like nothing else. It’s been brought down so many times. It hasn’t even been a decade since it had a war that few outside of the North cared about. It suffered through years and years of harmful propaganda – sometime by the same media of current ruling parties… and still it rises.
From the middle of New York, to all those in Tripoli who showed the city in the best light possible, you’re all amazing. Thank you.