When I first posted the video of the Ethiopian woman being humiliated and beaten in front her own embassy earlier today, it had around 300 views. Looking at it now, it has surpassed 6000 views and counting.
Almost everyone on twitter was talking about the video; I got like 4 emails talking about the same issue, not to forget Facebook, blogs, news portals and other social media tools. Tomorrow we’ll have new Facebook groups, conferences and sit-ins and online petitions. But then what?
Will we be able to arrest those who beat this woman? Will the government do anything about it? Will our dear ministers or deputies propose new laws to protect domestic workers? Will the Lebanese protest in large numbers against such actions?
Sure the government condemned the incident and ask for a probe, the same way they did for the red diesel scandal, and the Fassou7 building collapse, and the Ethiopian plane crash, and Joseph Sader’s disappearance etc …
I am not trying to blame any official here as I honestly lost hope in them, and that’s part of the reason I post and make fun of all of them, regardless of their political affiliations, but I always ask myself whether the Lebanese online community is actually making things better by raising awareness or is just trying to reach out to more people?
I mean social media has helped us spread a message quicker and to a wider range of people, but I feel like we have become more concerned in posting and tweeting and blogging about issues rather than taking actions. I’ve become almost convinced that unless violence and money are involved, nothing can be really changed in Lebanon, except maybe the size of forks at Roadster because their management happens to be highly flexible and customer-oriented.
I’ve supported throughout the past two years many causes on the blog, and even joined demonstrations against women rape laws and offered my help when possible, but when you see more Lebanese concerned about another country’s well-being than women rights in Lebanon, you can’t but reconsider your actions. (That’s just one example).
I am not trying to depress or target anyone here but what happened with the Ethiopian woman in this video and on social media channels shows an unprecedented level of negligence. People were watching from their balconies, some were too busy filming it, and none of the security officials (military hospital is right across the Ethiopian embassy) intervened.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s better not to post about such incidents at all, or think of better ways to make use of social media and the internet as a whole.