It’s hard to be a hipster in Lebanon as cops might mistake you for a terrorist if you have a long beard, just like what happened with Lebanese Rapper AA the Preacherman back in January. Kayan Bartender Mazen Hariz has the same problem as he gets mistaken for a Jihadist at checkpoints and was once threatened by a police officer.
Of course such mistakes do happen here and abroad but Lebanese cops should be more respectful towards such “suspects” and anyone they arrest, and more importantly should apologize in case they mistreat an innocent civilian.
“My beard is like my girlfriend,” he says during a cigarette break from a shift at the Kayan bar in east Beirut.
It took seven months to grow, and needs 30 minutes of attention every morning. First, hot water, then shampoo, conditioner, blowout and then sometimes straighteners. But not too often because that’s not good for the beard.
Girls like it, he says. But the Lebanese police at checkpoints, which have sprung up on his route to work, aren’t so enthusiastic. He says cops stop him every day.
“They say, ‘What’s this, why do you have a beard?’ ” he says.
Lebanon is a small country, yet its social spectrum is broad. It ranges from cosmopolitan hipsters like Hariz to a very different tribe that’s also fond of long beards: Islamist extremists, who’ve attacked the army and planted car bombs. Hariz says it’s annoying that people assume he’s an extremist because of his beard.
“Maybe I’ll cut it,” he says, reluctantly.
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