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The Myth of the Beirut Demonstration?

February 24th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Monday’s massive march in Beirut was hailed as a turning point.

It was the first time, commentators said, that Muslims had campaigned together with Christians and Druze against the Syrian involvement in Lebanon.

Protestors even held placards with the Cresent and the Cross. United at last it seemed.

But now it has been revealed that we were conned. CNN reports that “Monday’s demonstration was mainly composed of Christians and members of the Druse community”.

Although I disagreed with the anti-Syrian sentiment, I was comforted by the togetherness of the Lebanese nation. The Syrian-brokered peace has held, I thought.

You see, for years a minority of Lebanon’s Christians have been railing against Syria. They had shouted loudly, breaking the peace of the last decade.

Sour grapes, said the rest of the world. But Monday’s demo seemed to show that it was the whole of Lebanese society that was against Syria, driven by the murder of Rafiq al-Hariri.

But now, it seems, the gathering may not have been anything different to the protests of the last decade.

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