The New Brand of Lebanese Threats: I Will Shoot You

Things have been calm in Tripoli lately. There have been no mass shootings for Lebanese media not to report. Ramadan had been a more or less safe month on the city and Lebanon as a whole despite some irregularities here and there.

Yet there was something rising to the surface during those days that has apparently become so redundant that the people of that city had become used to: individual shootings.

Two people had a fight or a quarrel in the street? Their natural reaction was to draw weapons at each other. In case weapons were not available on them, their verbal threat to shoot the other person sufficed.

Meanwhile, passerby just passed by.

It’s easy to dismiss Tripoli as something out there in the North which many of you don’t care about.

This “I will shoot you” mentality, however, is not exclusive to there. It’s present in areas and settings where you’d expect such threats never to be issued, let alone possibly carried out.

It is probably my luck for Eid to fall on the day I had chosen to do my hospital duties. As I awaited the X-ray results of a patient with some breathing difficulties, the phone next to me rang. It was almost midnight so I answered out of courtesy as no one was around.

“Are you serving on the obstetrics floor?” The man asked.
“Yes,” I answered.
“Can you tell the man who just showed up on your floor to come move his car? It’s blocking the hospital’s entrance.”
“Yeah, no problem.” I hung up.

How problematic could such a request be, I figured. Guess again.

I knocked on their room door, got in, introduced myself and relayed to the husband what the security personnel asked of me.
“Can you call them back and tell them to fuck off?” He replied.
“Excuse me?” I said, not quite hearing what he was saying.
“Yeah, call them back and tell them this car belongs to the president.”
“What president?” I asked with a tone of obvious sarcasm in my voice.
“Tell them I’m not moving my car and if they ask again, I’m going downstairs to shoot them all.”
He had a gun on his waist and a Kataeb wallpaper on his iPhone. I simply looked at him sideways, rolled my eyes and left.

I will shoot you has apparently become the go-to threat for a Lebanese who doesn’t like what he’s being asked or getting exposed to. Nothing can justify this man’s outburst. I’ve seen countless women in labor pain. I’ve seen countless men who are standing by their wives supportably, obviously worried but holding it together.
This was a man, a sample of many others in this country, who are armed, brainless, moronic and ready to act out on it. And yes, we are all used to it.

Next time a psychologist wants to give you some tutorship on how to deal with shooting threats, tell them as Lebanese, we simply walk away and shrug our shoulders.

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The Rapture

It’s already May 22nd in some parts of the world, meaning the day the world should have ended has passed with nothing happening.

So let us recap about what some of us did today: got up, missed breakfast, went online for a bit, met up with friends, had lunch, got bored through afternoon, came up with Saturday night plans, executed those plans, got back home and now you’re on the verge of sleeping. Pretty uneventful end of world day, no?

How many end of world days did/will we have in our lifetime? We’ve had Y2K, May 21st 2011, and the Mayan calendar ending on December 21st, 2012. That’s a lot of world-ending dates, don’t you think?

The main problem with this rapture balderdash is that some people take it way too seriously, making it their job to come up with meaningless dates. I do not like to take scripture literally. I do not believe that God will descend someday and literally “save” everyone. Why? simply because the point of Scripture is not to make you believe in the end of days but rather to give you a way of life until that day comes, be it in your lifetime or some other time.  Therefore, this whole talk about analysis of scripture (regardless of what scripture it is) to come up with a failed date of when that’s supposed to happen is, for lack of better word, stupid.

Honestly, if anyone thinks the world ending will happen in our lifetime, they’re seriously delusional. I hate to break it to you people but in the grander scheme of things, we (and I do mean all of us) are irrelevant. How so? In a hundred years from now, even the brightest people among us, will have their legacy either disproved, or lightly used. Some people’s memories do survive into several generations but those are exceptions. Who of us knows anything about their great grandfather? I barely know anything about my grandfather who passed away a couple of years before I was even born.

The world will end someday. It is a scientific certainty. But the world is still young. There’s plenty of room to grow as well as destroy. You might think the current worldwide political situation (weapons race and whatnot) is bad, but if you look at the whole picture, it’s rather silly. No one will use those weapons of mass destruction against another country because, simply, no one has the guts to do so – even the countries that fake almighty strength.

I’m positive as well that each century has had its series of rapture dates. After all, it has been a constant pursuit for man to reach some sort of conclusion and what better conclusion to be reached than to the most puzzling question of our existence: what lies after?

So until the world ends, which is a time when we, our children, their children, their children’s children (I can keep going here) are dead, I don’t think we should be dancing as Britney Spears would say, but rather, maybe we should lessen focus on the development of weapons and maybe on ways to preserve the planet we call home, at least let us enjoy the natural wealth we have, until it all goes away.

Dear Hezbollah, I Am Not Israeli

While going back to my hometown today, I was surprised to see counter ads to the ones spread by the March 14 forces.

This is a picture I found online of one of those ads:

For those who can’t read Arabic, this reads as:

[The people want our arms surrendered]

And Israel wants our arms surrendered as well

The Islamic Resistance

The apparent meaning of this is quite clear: They want to make people notice that Lebanon’s mortal enemy *gasp* is supportive of the agenda that the protest on Sunday is adopting.

But if you think a little deeper about it, this is Hezbollah’s way of inferring that Israel might be behind this movement.

I hate to break Hezbollah’s bubble again, but Lebanese people wanting its arms to be surrendered sometimes goes beyond Israel’s existent wishes. Sure, Hezbollah being weaponless is inside Israel’s wishing scope, but the Lebanese people have gotten fed up with Hezbollah flaunting its arms left and right. This is a case of: If you got it, DO NOT flaunt it.

In addition to that, Hezbollah is also launching a counter-campaign on Facebook titled: “Mbala”, which is Lebanese for “Yes”. Yes for what? Let us see.

According to Hezbollah, we’re supposed to go down to the streets to support it and say yes to its arms because these arms have:

– returned our pride and glory,

– have liberated our land,

– have protected our families and us.

I would have gladly given those three points to them without even thinking twice about it had the date been March 11th 2001, a few months after South Lebanon was liberated from Israeli forces. However, 10 years later, where do we stand from this?

– Because of Hezbollah’s arms, I had to stay home for two weeks in 2008 because they decided to go into a near-civil strife rampage in Beirut, just because they felt like it.

– Because of Hezbollah, my family’s vote in the last parliamentary elections, against it and its allies, has basically been equated with junk. Why’s that? Because they decided on one Tuesday to send out its personnel, dressed out in black to the streets of Beirut, reminding everyone of the aforementioned point, basically telling everyone that we can do whatever we want whenever we want and there’s nothing you can do about it.

– Because of Hezbollah, our economic boom that started in late 2005 got reversed into a severe economic breakdown when Hezbollah iniated the 2006 war against Israel. Yes, Hezbollah was the main cause of that war and hiding from this fact will not change it.

So how did you, dear Hezbollah, protect me and my family since 2001? Against a war that you initiated? It was your obligation after all. Did you return my pride when you paraded around my university campus with your allies killing people left and right just because those people you killed decided to oppose you? And what land did you liberate since 2001? And do you honestly think you could have even liberated South Lebanon if Israel hadn’t been pushed into implementing U.N. Resolution 425?

As far as I’m concerned, all of this boils down to you and your arms becoming more or less useless. It’s the harsh truth, but it needs to be said. And you want people to come down on March 20th to support you? Is this your way of retaliating to those whose only reason of going down to the streets in 2 days is you attempting to suppress their voices?

Yes, we are going on March 13th. And if I hadn’t been 100% convinced, I am more than convinced now. Why’s that? Because the amount of hypocrisy in this country has become unsupportable and Hezbollah wears the hypocritical mantle with the best possible fashion.

They equate you with being a traitor or an Israeli-supporter whenever they feel threatened. And they’re a bunch of tyrants as much as Israel is. So to them we say, we are not Israelis. We are pure Lebanese, whose minds are only for Lebanon.

So on March 13th, let us all go down as a testimony of our belief that Lebanon will never prosper under a mandate of unlawful arms is unacceptable. Martyr’s Square will be our testimony on Sunday

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