Update: His name is Maroun Nachef and is known as The Seller of Songs. Here’s an old article with more details about Maroun. Thank you Alexis!
I was once told about an old man who sits on Sassine Square and plays the Oud but I never really met him until today. He was sitting in the middle of the square with a hat in front of him to collect tips and a banner on his right that basically says that he’s unemployed, he’s playing the Oud and singing to earn few bucks and he’s willing to attend parties and events. I think this is the first time I meet a street musician in Beirut and I thought of a way to help him out:
– If anyone is getting married or planning an outdoor event this summer, invite this old man to play at the event and earn few bucks. It’s a pretty cool and original idea and it would help him earn few bucks. I will share this post with all the agencies that I usually work with and I hope they will consider my request.
Until then, make sure you leave a good tip if you spot him on Sassine Square.
Someone photoshopped Martyrs Square statue to make one of the statues look like they’re disgusted from the smell (or maybe suffocating from the tear gas canisters) and joined the #YouStink protest. I think it’s pretty funny but I really hope that we won’t be having any martyrs in the upcoming protests.
There’s a big demonstration planned in Beirut on Saturday and we’ve witnessed the birth of 4 or 5 new movements this week which is not necessarily a good thing. It’s like everyone wants to start his own thing now and create a new hashtag because it’s cool and trending. I hope things will be organized and coordinated properly on Saturday to avoid more violence.
At the same time, there’s a protest taking place in New York on Saturday in solidarity with the Lebanese Youth “who have taken to the streets demanding their rights and ours in a modern, clean, and just Lebanese Republic”.
The DailyMail shared an article on the recent Beirut Protests stating that “a female reporter was attacked by protesters on live TV during the anti-government demonstrations in Lebanon”. I’m not sure how they came up with that conclusion but the “mob” that they are referring to was actually protecting the LBC reporter from the riot police. The crowd didn’t assault her and her clothes weren’t torn down. In fact, I don’t see anywhere in the video her clothes being torn down so I’m not sure where they got this information from.
Here’s what the DailyMail said about this picture: “Dramatic footage shows the reporter screaming and cowering for cover as she is assaulted by the crowd who tear at her clothes”.
And here’s the LBCI report where Nada Andraos Aziz, the reporter shown in the video, explains how she was attacked by the police along with her cameraman.
I have no idea who originally shot this video but Ninar shared it first and Tchuup sent it to me. It’s hilarious lol! If you know who originally took it, please let me know so I give him/her the credits.
Batman was spotted at the protest giving interviews
I had no clue riot batons can fire bullets – Picture by Mohamad Cheblak
In case you missed the Red Bull Car Park Drift this year, there was another M113 drift happening in Beirut last night. Check out the [video].
A Lebanese policeman was in the middle of the clashes when he completely lost it, sat down on the side of the road and started crying. When protesters spotted the police officer, they rushed and helped him out. One of the protester (Nassif el Rayyis) even caught the incident on [video] and I absolutely loved his caption “We cooperate, they dominate… They have orders to keep us apart, we have the courage to make the change”.
Police officers are just following orders and I’m sure most of them would never want to hit peaceful protesters. It’s too bad that the demonstrations turned violent and were hijacked by thugs yesterday night.
If you are planning on participating in the #YouReek protest or any kind of protest, it is important to know how to protect yourself from tear gas canisters. The effects of being tear-gassed usually last around 30 minutes but trust me it’s a very long 30 minutes. Here’s a brief post on the effects of tear gas and few tips on how to handle tear gas as shared by Zod security and based on few articles I looked up online.
What to expect when you are exposed to tear gas:
– Burning in your eyes, nose, mouth and skin.
– Blurry vision.
– Coughing and difficulty breathing.
How To Protect Yourself
A gas mask is usually the best way to protect yourself from tear gas. If you are unable to get one, you can always use swimming goggles, respirators and even wet bandanas over the nose and mouth can do the trick.
What To Do When Exposed
– Put your gas mask or goggles on, or cover your mouth and nose with cloth.
– Try to stay calm and walk away quickly to fresh air. Avoid visible clouds if possible.
– Don’t touch tear gas canisters as they are extremely hot.
– DO NOT RUB your eyes. Wash them with water or soap and cold water if available.
– DO NOT APPLY cream, sunscreen or makeup as they absorb tear gas.
– AVOID swallowing and try to cough and spit repeatedly.
– AVOID wearing your contact lenses to the demo.
On a last note, keep in mind that security forces are legally allowed to use tear gas for crowd control just like we have every right to protest. I strongly believe in civilized and peaceful demonstrations and I’m sure we can keep it this way if we are disciplined enough. If there are thugs and troublemakers among the crowds, the organizers should figure out a way to isolate them and expose them. I truly hope you will never need any of the tips above and that what happened yesterday will never be repeated.
Throwing garbage in nature is a crime and Lebanese who are illegally dumping their trash in valleys, mountains and in the sea should be put behind bars. Ghaleb Cabbabe came up with a smart campaign to raise awareness on this matter by replacing the usual recycling signs with the ones shown below.
This is not the solution we want for the waste crisis. This is corruption and ignorance at its best.