History in the making
March 30, 2020
The teens in Lebanon are living through a historic turning point.
“For the first time, Lebanese citizens are putting their religious and political beliefs aside, joining forces as one, and taking to the streets to peacefully demand the government’s resignation,” Saddi said.
Moawad attends protests when she can, but many times the roads are closed. She and her peers participate to express their discontent with the government and their desire for profound change in the country.
“At the protests, we sing songs that we created, we scream, we shout, we wave the Lebanese flag, and one day, we made a human chain from north to south,” Moawad said.
Saddi has participated in eight protests; her first one was the most memorable.
“It was the third day of the revolution, and I didn’t know what to expect; I wasn’t used to this,” Saddi said. “I was with my friends, so we had a great time together, and the protesting experience was amazing.”
Saddi enjoys the protests and feels as if they give her a chance to express herself.
“It might seem weird, but they play Lebanese music, and we all sing and dance to it. In some cities, couples got married, and people celebrated Halloween during protests,” she said.
Historically, protests often tend to be violent with minimal participation from families and children, yet Moawad feels that these protests are relatively peaceful.
“I feel very safe at the protests; it’s amazing,” Moawad said.
If violence erupts at the demonstrations, members of the Lebanese community are prepared to help. According to Saddi, food, transportation, medication, and legal consultations are all given to protesters, free of charge.
So far, the demonstrations have brought hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people to the streets, paralyzing the country’s transportation and banking system. According to a Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, the protests drove the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Oct. 29, 2019. Despite this success, teens still feel as though their voices are not as heard as they could be.
“I love my country, but our generation is not given enough opportunity. We’re protesting against the government, and we believe that this is where it ends,” Moawad said.
Nonetheless, both teenagers are optimistic about the future and believe that the protests will make a difference.
“This feels like a life-changing movement for Lebanon because we won’t stop until we get what we want; the protests are our only hope,” Moawad said.