It’s not the first time buildings shake and window glasses break. not the first time smoke rises in the skies of Beirut and phone networks stop working, definitely not the first time ambulance sirens are heard mixed with the cries and screams of the hurt and scared and frightened.
At 4:10 PM, an explosion took place in Beirut’s southern suburb, ending the lives of four civilians. Less than a week ago, on Friday, an explosion took place in Downtown, taking away the lives of eight. Total death toll :ten. Ten in less than seven days dead because some terrorists decided they can do so.
It has happened a handful of times in Beirut and its surroundings.It happens everyday or the other in Tripoli. People die; their names forgotten in a few days, the whole incident forgotten in a few weeks.
Apparently, nothing’s new. We’ve adapted, got used to the scent of blood hovering in the streets.
And that is just sick.
It’s sick that we got used to it, that we’re ready to continue our daily routine a few hours after hearing of the explosion. It’s sad that people die in such a gruesome way just because they happened to be passing by the wrong place at the wrong time, and it angers me how the media turns their death into a scoop, and how politicians use it for their own benefit and for encouraging hate between people of different religions and sects. One of the victims of last week’s explosion was a 16 year-old boy called “Mohammad Chaar” – a name that would’ve gone unnoticed if it weren’t for his friends, who did something unusual : They tried to organize something. They organized a peaceful march from his school ” Hariri Highschool II ” to the site of the explosion in Downtown,Beirut. The march was joined in by many teenagers from all around Lebanon, who didn’t necessarily know Chaar but wanted to give out a message, a cry. They wanted to let their call for change reach the entire country. And they did; the march got great media coverage. Social media buzzed with talks about Chaar. Tweets about him filled timelines; hash-tags like ‘ #TheMohammadChaarRevolution ‘ and ‘ #RIPMohammadChaar’ trended.
And then what?
In the past two days, the thoughts of Chaar gradually faded, and if it weren’t for the explosion today, which reminded people of what happened a few days ago, I bet his memory wouldn’t have survived the rest of the week.
Often, when we’re first introduced to a new idea,we get excited about it. We always pour ourselves into it at the beginning. A sense of fulfillment fills our hearts as we take the first few steps. It’s quite beautiful at first, that feeling of initiating a change, of doing ‘something’ – a twist from the every-day routine. But what’s disappointing is that most of the time, the idea withers away before getting the chance to blossom. We get bored, or tired. More ‘important’ things fill our time, or so we claim. We get sucked into the never-ending hurricane of selfishness, self-doubt, and laziness. ‘What’s it to me? How will I make a change?’ and so we sit and wait for other people to continue our work. That’s exactly why Lebanon’s been in this sad state for the past decades. Oh, sure, blame the politicians, the government, certain terrorist groups, and other countries, but we’re to blame too, because we’ve been sitting here and allowing them to do what they do : to steal and kill and control.
I’m not saying that tomorrow we should all go to the streets and protest. This surely will not work, since a large group of people is still blindly swallowing what their religious and political leaders are telling them. A real revolution can only work if all the people stand together, which does not seem possible in Lebanon at the moment. What we should do ,though, is try to wake these people up, show them the truth; and gradually, change will come.
What we should do is not let the case drop once the blood dries.