Qassem Soleimani’s Stand At Beirut Arab Book Fair Triggered Clashes (Video)


The Beirut Arab International Book Fair inaugurated the start of its 63rd edition this Friday, March 4th, scheduled to run on March 13th.

The cultural event turned violent on Monday when an anti-Hezbollah activist tried to remove the displayed images of late Iran’s Quds Force commander, Qassem Soleimani, who had a controversial stand at the book fair.

A group of activists gathered by the Iranian book stand and started yelling, “Iran Out, Beirut Free” and a clash ensued at once between many attendees and participants.

Qasem Soleimani is hailed as a hero by Hezbollah and its partisans and, although he wasn’t a Lebanese hero or figure or martyr, a memorial statue of him was erected in Beirut last year, inciting anger among the Lebanese people.

That came almost 5 months after the Beirut Blast when people were still grieving the hundreds of deaths and no official memorial for the victims was erected by any Lebanese governmental institution.

Back in January 2021, Lebanese people also took to the streets to protest against the flood of pictures of Qassem Soleimani, after their tweets stormed social media against what they called “signs of Iran occupation.”

They tore down and burned Soleimani’s posters and raised instead photos of the two main Lebanese martyr leaders who were assassinated on Lebanon’s soil: Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and President Bashir Gemayel.

Independent Journalist Luna Safwan commented on Twitter about the Book Fair, “This year, Qassem Sulaimani’s theme seems to be present very boldly causing controversy + tension,” adding “Let’s not forget that Sulaimani committed documented war crimes in Syria.”