I follow VICE religiously. They have some of the most intense documentaries like the one on The Cannibal Warlords of Liberia. I hope one day they’ll make a video report on Tripoli or Ain el Helwe or maybe on the armed groups and gangs in the Beqaa.
Child soldiers have long been a problem in Lebanon. During the civil war that ravaged the country for nearly 15 years, many kids were practically born with machine guns in their hands. Since the war died down, most Lebanese thought those days were over, but the conflict in Syria has caused the security situation in the country to deteriorate, especially in northern cities like Tripoli, and has prompted a new generation of kids to pick up guns. Poor and mostly Sunni, many of them are drawn to the growing Salafist militias that have spread throughout Lebanon over the past few years.
Jamal grabs a cell phone off the desk and opens it to play two videos. The first one is of him holding a PKS machine gun that looks to be at least three times his size. His dad watches him carry it to the corner of the block, where he helps him shoot off a few rounds at the Alawite houses across the street.
The other video shows Jamal scampering around after his dad and the other militiamen, all carrying weapons. Jamal is wearing a Palestinian kiffeyeh. The sound of gunfire echoes from close by.
Jamal returns the cell phone to his father. Asked if he likes school, he nods emphatically. His dad beams when asked if his son gets good grades.
“He’s second in his class,” he says with some pride. “Just like his dad. I liked going to class, too.”
Check out tons of pictures from the Guns N’ Roses concert in Lebanon [Here] and a video uploaded by Francois on his blog below. There are other videos that will follow but the internet connection doesn’t allow more than one video per day. I still haven’t uploaded my ASOT600 videos because they are around 200mb each.
I know for a fact there’s a place near Sagesse school in Achrafieh where they take care of elderly and homeless people. If someone is able to talk to the man, email me (Najib@blogbaladi.com) so we try to find him a decent room to stay in.
I just remembered this video that LBC’s Cheyef 7alak team produced back in June 2012 to fight sectarianism in Lebanon and raise awareness among the young Lebanese generations. Sadly enough, we’ve adopted an electoral law (taking aside all political considerations) that promotes sectarianism and makes kids sound like the ones in the ad.
I don’t care who you follow or vote for, each one of us has a social and an ethical responsibility to refuse this backwards thinking and this destructive way of dividing Lebanese into sects and obliging each to vote for his own sect only. By doing that, Lebanon, as described so well by Elias, “could find itself in breach of UN protocols and other conventions on human rights that require certain basic democratic principles like equality of suffrage, guarantees of the free expression of the will of the voter, etc. In other words, Lebanon’s confessional system would become a liability for its international obligations, which has often created opportunities for activists to get progressive legislation passed (as in the case of the anti-smoking ban).”
Here’s a video uploaded by LBCI yesterday showing Arssal’s residents taking out the injured soldiers in an ambulance. Since we have proof that there were injured, why doesn’t the army interrogate them and tell us what really happened?