Speaking on LBCI News and Sawt Beirut International, Lebanese lawyer and political activist Jihad Zebian called for the formation of a human chain along the Lebanese-Syrian border on Thursday, April 1st.
The reason behind the human chain is to stand in the face of the controversial smuggling of goods from Lebanon to Syria, which actively exists but is not formally acknowledged or dealt with by the government.
With all the smuggling that has already taken place over the past years, some people on social media criticized this idea, deeming it “not serious” or an April Fool’s joke or useless in yielding any change.
A human chain formed for one day won’t solve the smuggling crisis but it will certainly make a powerful statement by the people that they refuse to match the idleness of their state in front of such massive injustice towards them.
That has been, after all, the stance of the revolutionaries with their countless protests for over a year.
It was also the stubborn stance of historical change-makers like Gandhi whose idea was deemed absurd and useless back then, yet ended yielding the impossible: liberating his country from the once-unbeatable British empire.
The Lebanese people have once succeeded in joining Lebanon, border to border, with a human chain that made a powerful statement of unity.
Its impact was felt in that it empowered the nation, proclaimed the Lebanese people’s stance for unity and peace, and impressed the world with the international media streaming about it for weeks.
It did tell the international community that the Lebanese people refuse to yield to sectarian and political conflicts.
As the eyes of the world are turned to Lebanon and the international community has been looking to help, a human chain at the border with Syria will have its impact.
For a long time, the people have tried to voice out their frustrations at the smuggling depriving them of their goods by exposing these operations on social media, to no avail. Maybe it is time they try a human chain in a one-day symbolic closing of the northern border.