Walid Raad is the name that has perhaps been the most prominent and trending in Lebanon over the past couple of days. It is the name of the young man who got beaten up, just for being from Tripoli, by a group of FPM affiliates and supporters. After the appalling incident, Walid has spoken out - from Keserwan - against his assailants.
"In rejection of sectarianism and the practices of power-holders to sow discord," the people of Keserwan honored the young man and his fellow victims by holding a large demonstration of unity and solidarity on Thursday night, February 6th.
The unemployed 25-year-old revolutionary was present at that demonstration where he shared, for the first time, his comments on the brutal incident that left apparent scars and bruises on his face.
In a brief speech, Walid maintained to Al-Jadeed's reporter his attitude towards the revolution: "I'm willing to be beaten again as I am to die for this nation."
He also took the opportunity to address his attackers, calling them "cowards and rabbits" for also "attacking a woman and 2 minors."
Playing the devil's advocate, the reporter asked him to answer the question of what he was doing in Keserwan. "You're from Jezzine, what are you doing in Keserwan," he answered, again addressing his aggressors through TV.
Walid elaborated on his answer, praising the people of Keserwan for their hospitality and asserting that "Keserwan is for everyone; open to all sects and [a symbol] of humanity."
Al-Modon was able to get the details of the ambush from Walid Raad's perspective: "We were sitting at night, a young group, in the revolution tent of Jounieh. Then, a person came and told us that MP Ziad Assouad was having dinner at Al Jazira restaurant."
He continued, "We went as a group of 3 young men and a young woman in one car to confirm whether or not Assouad was at the restaurant, in all peacefulness, and then come back."
"Later," he added, "as we arrived at the [parking lot], we were surprised by an ambush set by around 40 people who attacked us, pulled us out of the car, destroyed it, and began beating us." He noted that among the assailants were "armed civilians chanting in favor of MP Assouad."
As for the backstory of Walid, he has resided in the tents of the revolutionaries since the very first day of the October 17 uprising.
Walid had lost his job as a waiter in Tripoli after the Lebanese economy began to speed downhill and has been among the first people to join the protests in Tripoli since day one, he told Al-Modon.
"I did not participate with any group on a regular basis, but rather I joined with everyone, on my own, because I believe in the causes of the October 17 revolution," he declared.
He also mentioned that he had never experienced any encounters such as the one he was the victim of on Wednesday night, where he was verbally and physically assaulted and humiliated by the partisans.
The attack and insults that Walid and his group had to endure on that night represent exactly what the revolutionaries are rising up against.
Aside from the blind worship and protection of corrupt officials by their partisans, these shows of bigotry and discrimination are what further fuels the protesters against the advocates of segregation; the parties who speak and operate under righteous slogans from which they are clearly divorced.