For Abdel Rahman Jaber, Charbel Francis, Carine Helal, and all those who lost an eye, a finger, or suffered from any other injury while fighting to save their country from its misery: Thank you! We appreciate you, all Lebanese people do, and this is the proof:
To support all those injured during Beirut’s conflicts that took place over the weekend, two hashtags have taken over the internet: ثورتنا_عيونكم# (Our Revolution is Your Eyes) and أوقفوا_قنص_العيون# ( Stop Sniping the Eyes).
Along with these hashtags, people are posting photos of themselves covering one eye.
Abdel Rahman is only 18 years old, and he lost his right eye after getting shot with a rubber bullet. A heartbreaking video of his father talking about his son’s misfortune circulated the internet. He pledged to continue Abdel Rahman’s journey in fighting for Lebanon.
Carine Helal got beaten so hard her nose broke and her eye was also wounded. Charbel Francis was also hit directly on the head with a tear gas tank.
Rafif Sunni got hit on the head with a metal object a few days ago in front of Thakanet el Helou, resulting in temporarily losing her memory and sight, and that’s to name a few.
People posting their photos with a covered eye are captioning them with all kinds of supporting and empowering statements:
“The people were enlightened, so they extinguished our sight.” – “If you put out the eyes of all our youth, the eyes of our revolution will be watching you.” – “If you injure one eye, I have another one to see my country with love and peace.” And so on.
News anchor Nicole Hajal has also joined the campaign with the following caption: “In solidarity with every Lebanese who came down the street demanding their basic rights, and were confronted with the bombs of political failure and the bullets of corruption.”
And no, there can’t be any justification for the vicious direct assaults, all the pain they led to, and the maiming of civilians whose only offense is to want to save their agonizing country and free it from corruption.
Whether done by ignorance or lack of training, or whether executed under orders to harm, the way security forces and riot police handled the situation was unacceptable.
The people are not the enemy. They are their brothers and sisters, their mothers and fathers, their children. They are the children of Lebanon.
As many professionals pointed out, including Melhem Khalaf, head of the Beirut Bar Association, rubber bullets need to be shot from a certain distance in order not to be fatal because they can be, and they can cause serious injuries, as they did. Plus, it absolutely mustn’t be aimed at faces.
And for those wounded, I say: “Our revolution, Your eyes. Rubber bullets cannot extinguish them.”