The outbreak of the Coronavirus has incited fear in many people and Lebanon is not exempt. However, being scared of something shouldn’t make us forget our humanity.
The fact that the virus initiated in China does not mean that all Chinese people are infected. Amir Wang, a Chinese student in Lebanon, has been targetted by discrimination and bullying because of his race that people are sadly now connecting to the coronavirus.
Wang came to Lebanon to study about six months ago and has been living in Chehim since then. He is an Arabic Literature student at the Lebanese University.
In a video that is circulating online, Wang speaks about how much he loves Lebanon and has enjoyed living here until recently. Since the coronavirus outbreak, he has been constantly harassed for being Chinese, which has made his daily life a constant pain.
“When I am walking in the streets in Beirut, Saida, or Chehim, people are afraid of me, avoid me, or call me Corona,” he stated in his video. “I can understand your fear of the virus, but I cannot tolerate this harassment. What are you getting from this harassment?” he added.
The fear that overpowers our ability to differentiate between what is right and wrong is very dangerous. This young man is far away from home, away from his parents, in a country that has immediately turned against him.
“China for us Chinese people is our mother, and our mother is sick, and we wish her a quick recovery,” he stated. Wang ended his video wishing everyone good health.
Even though Wang has been witnessing harassment for the past month, he has not once said a bad word about Lebanon throughout his video.
Him being Chinese does not mean he brought the coronavirus or that he is infected. Bullying is not joking. Bullying is harsh and brutal on the target. Discriminating against this young man is not acceptable and does not reflect our ethics.