This event took place on Saturday evening, November 9, in Martyrs’ Square of Beirut, a site that has been a celebration ground for many occasions during this revolution. That’s because this square is the area of gathering for the highest number of dedicated and loyal protesters, all of them bringing along their sorrows and their joys.
On the Prophet’s Birthday, the Lebanese protesters of the Islamic faith chose to celebrate their holy occasion in that area, and in this specific way, due to a number of reasons. One, they deem it to be a great day that deserved to be remembered in a great place. Two, they just don’t want to leave the protest. They have come to love the place like home and the people like family.
Moreover, in this particular time in which they seek justice and freedom from oppression, the message of their Prophet to them becomes even more relevant: adjust wrongness and refuse injustice, and never give up fighting them.
Henceforth, after their night prayer, they lit their floating lanterns and released them into the sky from Al-Amin Mosque at the Martyrs’ Square. The night sky view turned into a beautiful scene of sparkling lights representing their hopes and wishes for a just and peaceful Lebanon for all.
In fact, these thousands of sky lanterns carried the Lebanese flag imprinted on them as they rose to the sky over the square. The celebrating protesters stood in reverence to their occasion, their eyes to the sky, their faces expressing trust and hope.
This event, like the numerous similar occurring these weeks in Lebanon, will be remembered with a certain emotion. A couple of weeks ago, Saida protesters held a similar event of Sky Lanterns.
Earlier this week, women protesters had gathered in Riyad El-Solh to lit candles. Christian gatherings of prayers are also being held by protesters of the Christian faith, including a mass in Jal El Dib amid the protest. Gatherings around lit candles have been relevant in various towns in Lebanon as well.
These events within the revolution are significantly reflective of a particular feature of the Lebanese protesting on the grounds. Demanding a secular government doesn’t imply at all that they are letting go of their religions or their faiths.
They want to be free from the oppressing sectarianism that has divided the nation so they can live in harmony and practice peacefully their beliefs, whether religious or spiritual or simply one’s own perspective of them.
While little has been said about that feature of the Lebanese revolution, it is that beautiful spirit that is empowering the movement and uniting the nation. Peaceful coexistence has never been more relevant and true than now in these times of the Lebanese revolution.
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