The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, now has a street named after Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut.
On Wednesday, July 22nd, the UAE Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamad Al Shamsi, announced the naming of a street in Abu Dhabi’s el-Ain city “Beirut”.
Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri thanked the UAE capital via Twitter and wrote, “Beirut continues to be a lit beacon in the conscience of the Arabs.”
وتبقى #بيروت علامة مضيئة في وجدان العرب. شكراً #أبو_ظبي. pic.twitter.com/JI2Gg6IHNK— Saad Hariri (@saadhariri) July 23, 2020
وتبقى #بيروت علامة مضيئة في وجدان العرب. شكراً #أبو_ظبي. pic.twitter.com/JI2Gg6IHNK
While the news is quite flattering to Lebanon, many people were quick to bounce back to reality.
“It’s so bad that Abu Dhabi values Beirut more than our government does,” a Twitter user wrote.
“At least it has electricity,” he said highlighting Lebanon’s electricity crises.
It’s so bad that Abu Dhabi values Beirut more than our government does. At least it has electricity. pic.twitter.com/1HRu4SZBSe— karim (@mcdonaldspunch) July 23, 2020
It’s so bad that Abu Dhabi values Beirut more than our government does. At least it has electricity. pic.twitter.com/1HRu4SZBSe
Al-Jadeed’s news video editor, Enzo Mokdad, was not afraid to make a comparison between the Beirut street in the UAE and the actual streets of the capital city.
He posted photos of the clean and advanced street next to humiliating pictures of garbage overflowing in Beirut.
شوارع بيروت في الإمارات العربية المتحدة 🇦🇪 Vsشوارع بيروت في الجمهورية اللبنانية 🇱🇧 #دبي #أبو_ظبي #بيروت pic.twitter.com/ofxLDIQVr9— 𝐄𝐧𝐳𝐨 𝐌𝐨𝐤𝐝𝐚𝐝 | عبَّـــــاس (@EnzoOfficialRAP) July 23, 2020
شوارع بيروت في الإمارات العربية المتحدة 🇦🇪 Vsشوارع بيروت في الجمهورية اللبنانية 🇱🇧 #دبي #أبو_ظبي #بيروت pic.twitter.com/ofxLDIQVr9
Meanwhile, in Beirut, you’ll find a street named after UAE’s Sheikh Zayed.
Gestures like these show the ties between the two countries. Lebanon is now in need more than ever to improve its ties with the West and the Arab Gulf.
Earlier this month, President Aoun assigned Lebanon’s General Security Chief, Abbas Ibrahim, on an official mission to two Arab Gulf states to try and gain financial support for Lebanon.
However, Lebanon and the Arab Gulf countries have a complicated relationship. Last month, an Emirati official said that Lebanon is paying the price for weakening its ties with the Gulf states.
Can simple gestures like naming streets after each other mend the broken bond?