In an attempt to put an end to the media’s blackout of the Lebanese people’s revolution and demands, a number of Lebanon’s most relevant celebrities entered the building of Tele Liban, six days into the continuous protests. Up to then, the official Lebanese Television was still not covering any news of the major uprise of its own nation on its own streets!
On October the 22nd, Wissam Hanna, Badih Abou Chakra, Anjo Rihan, Jouneid Zein Eddin, and many other protesting celebrities took their protest into the Lebanon National Television, Tele Liban, raising the Lebanese flags.
These public figures have been doing their share of participating in the protests all along. We have seen pictures and videos of them on the streets with the protesters, and when they saw an opportunity to give further support, they were quick to act. Tele Liban wasn’t covering any of the unfurlings, and these celebrities couldn’t accept it any longer.
Inside the TV station, they confronted the employees, politely yet firmly, for their unacceptable negligence towards the historic revolution taking place all over Lebanon. They demanded fair and truthful broadcasting of the protests.
The group of celebrities insisted on the importance of getting the voice of the people through and not to yield to any governmental pressure. They made it clear to the staff that it is the people’s rights and the station’s duties, which are funded by Lebanese tax-payers from the money of their own daily hard-work.
In response, the TV station’s employees said that, as reporters, they want to do their job of conveying this important event and transmit facts and real situations but, as employees, they have to do as ordered.
No clarification was given on whether that vague response is pointing the fingers on the government, on their superior, or on some other power. The employees listened to the celebrities’ demands but didn’t give other answers, saying that any further complaints should be addressed to the administration of the television.
The group of celebrities took then the time to express their concerns and ended the visit with them warning the staff that they will be back the next day if the television stays absent from the events on Lebanon’s grounds. They then stepped outside the building and gathered chanting the Lebanese anthem at its doors.
The celebrities didn’t need to return to the station the next day because, soon after, a broadcast of the Revolution was transmitted. It seems that many such institutions have been needing to be told by the people of their must duties these days.
This result is important and essential. Lebanese people are in pain, whether they are celebrities, reporters, or unemployed. The need for a radical change is real and urgent, and it concerns the nation in its entirety. We are all in this together and the demands of the Revolution are the minimum basics of citizens of all countries that respect themselves, hence the same for all Lebanese today in the homeland.
People’s voices need to be heard, and it is the media’s job to ensure it. Any pressure or suppression of the press freedom needs to be stopped and acted upon, and that is exactly what these celebrities have done.
This action is an encouragement for everyone to be independent and loyal to their country. The Lebanese press should stand on its principles of freedom and integrity in conveying the truths, independently of any influence.
History will record these days, and this generation will remember, and the following ones will hold accountable those influencers who had failed the nation in its revolution; a revolution against oppression and abuse, and for a better Lebanon. So, we halt a moment here to ask the press: How do you want to be remembered for generations to come?
Thanks to everyone doing their roles and everything in their power for the sake of this national cause!