Adonis Diaries

Mocking US embassy message in Lebanon on: ‘Tips’ for foreigners

Posted on: January 10, 2014

Lebanese satirise ‘tips’ for foreigners after US embassy message

Security alert, from the US embassy in Lebanon, on avoiding Western establishments prompts criticism online.

Twitter users are poking fun at a recent security message made by the US Embassy in Lebanon telling US citizens to avoid “Western-style” establishments if they choose to remain in the country.

The release said,
“…The U.S. government strongly urges U.S. citizens in Lebanon to exercise extreme caution and to avoid hotels, western-style shopping centers, including western-style grocery chain stores, and any public or social events where U.S. citizens normally congregate, as these sites are likely targets for terrorist attacks for at least the near term”.

Lebanese soldiers stand behind razor wire in front of the US embassy in Awkar near Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday 15 March 2005. (EPA/WAEL HAMZEH)
The US embassy frequently issues security alerts to residents of Lebanon, but the specific advice against “Western” establishments such as hotels and shopping areas was alarming to some Lebanese online.
A spokesperson at the embassy told the Daily Star Lebanon that the intention was not to create panic, but to raise awareness, especially after the recent bombings in the country.
Others were more skeptical about recommendations that seemed to advise US citizens to avoid attracting attention in “Western” areas.
Criticising the embassy’s detailed choice of words, the hashtag#USactLebanese was created to provide “advice” to foreigners on how to blend in.
Note 2: A few of the criticisms and fun poking comments:
  1. Others used the hashtag to express their frustrations with Lebanese society, from issues with sectarianism to government accountability.
  2. Thanks to Stream community member Angie Nassar for pitching us this story on Twitter. 
Note: I pasted the Twitter tips and realized that they have been effaced.

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