Wednesday, August 12, 2020

In Lebanon, not all deaths are equal (UPDATE)


 Look at the photo above. Moving and very pertinent. Full of names of people who died in the horrific explosion if the Beirut port.

Thankfully, it does include some foreigners. Not sure which nationalities though. But in Lebanon not all deaths are equal. 43 Syrian workers died in the explosion, no one even knows their names. The port area is a hub for migrant workers. So the fact that many people of foreign nationalities died is a normal statistical fact. I do not know if these people are being included in the official death tally. But this would not be new.

In 2014, when the Sawt Al Mahaba happened in Jounieh, late Patriarch Nasrallah visited the place since the radio station was owned by the Maronite patriarchy and thanked God there were  no deaths. The problem? A woman had died. The bigger problem? She was Sri Lankese. The much bigger problem? The words came from a leading religious figure who could not fathom that all lives are equal. That a woman - a human bring being - died, no matter her nationality. 

Oh an isolated incident you say? Try this for size. In 2010 when the Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed, leading television station LBC was interviewing a Lebanese parent of someone who was on the plane. In the background, an Ethiopian woman was crying over a friend or relative who was in the same plane. Suddenly, a hand pulls the woman so violently, she disappears from the frame (she was not trying to be in anyhow) and her crying is heard no more. 

Do I go on?

Oh and did I tell you 43 nameless Syrian workers died?


The list of the names of Syrian workers has been issued. Am in awe someone had the decency to do it!