A Phone Call with Lebanon’s Police

I keep hearing about security plans for this country, especially for the places where security has been non-existent. My idea of a security plan, despite me not being an expert whatsoever, involves – at the very least – a sense of involvement from the police seeing as we are asked nowadays to report any suspicious behavior because you never know if that behavior might lead to us getting blown up.

For instance, one of the two bombers in Tripoli apparently parked double parked the car in broad daylight and simply walked away. People called after him and I’m sure someone might have tried to call 112. What would 112 have done in that setting?

I present to you a transcript of a phone call of a man from Tripoli, the city that was victim of two explosions on Friday, with the police in his city. I’m not sure if this is funny or harrowing.

Police: Alo, police.

Man: Alo, I want to report a person who set up a checkpoint while carrying a weapon.

Police: Where?

Man: Next to the Ayyoubi store for paint products.

Police: Where? Bab el Ramel?

Man: At Muharram, yeah. He’s standing there, asking people where they’re coming and going.

Police: There are 5000 armed men in Tripoli, okay, habibi.

Man: But he’s setting up a checkpoint!

Police: There are 5000 armed men in Tripoli doing like him.

Man: Do I shoot him then?

Police: I don’t know. You can do whatever you want.

Man: Seriously? Are you the state or not?

Police: It’s fine, may God give you strength.

(hangs up).

I especially liked the fact that the policeman told the civilian to do whatever he wants when the latter suggested to shoot the gunmen. Is this what they’re expecting of people nowadays? Self-security because our police are too nonchalant and passive?

What’s next if every region or sect sects up its own brand of self-security? What’s the point then of having a state from which we need protection?

Check out the video here.

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One Month Phoneless

On March 12th, my iPhone’s power button decided to sink in and become unusable. After asking around, it seemed that any attempt to fix it in Lebanon would render the warranty void, so my friend Ali agreed to do me a favor and I sent him the phone on March 14th to Canada so Apple could check it out.

Ali postponed his flight to Lebanon due to unforeseen complications and Apple eventually replaced my phone with a new one. How awesome is that?

But I’ve been without phone for a month.

Many people asked why I didn’t just use any other phone. Apart from the unavailability of any other phone (I’m not going to buy a phone just to use it for a few weeks), I also have to get my simcard replaced since my iPhone uses a microsim, which I decided not to do.

Instead, I convinced myself that I’d be sort of giving up my iPhone for lent.

So what did I learn from a month of being phoneless?

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