Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘tear gas

We Choose Lebanon: It will take more than Tear Gas and Bullets.

Aside from this being a political matter, it is not a matter of who’s right and who’s wrong.

This is no longer about trash Sukleen, electricity, roads, water, or pollution.

This is simply about the right that was acknowledged internationally in 1948 in the universal declaration of human rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.”…

What’s actually funny is that these words were written by mainly 5 people, including a Lebanese man.

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But hey let’s not cry about the past and say that it was all better in 1948 for our own damn constitution, the one all noble politicians in our country are striving to apply guarantees that right in its 13th article.


On this night, we as a population that considers itself as “outstanding” and most of us are, especially every individual that was in the manifestation today, WE got attacked by our employees.

Our employees who received orders by employees who have “for our sake” decided to rape our right to vote for 2 years till now,and today decided also to rob us from our right to protest. (Parliament extended its tenure twice for lame excuses)

You see our rappers are amazing, they’re just great after doing their “3amle” they decide to proceed with lies!

Going publicly and denying these acts? Where do these damn soldiers get their orders? A ghost?

For the love of anything that’s precious to them, Money mostly, buy some damn respect.

I am not just appalled by how I am being treated for expressing my opinion but how I’m being lied to!

Have they become so shameless that such orders were given, for bullets to rain on protestors?


On this night, the men, women and children who went to those streets in order to express themselves were somehow considered terrorists because somehow we ended up being shot at, Lebanese citizens in the middle of Beirut, but not da3ech in 3ersel.


On this night, I congratulate my government or actually my rapist for all that he has done.

This totally unproductive government not only tried to suck out every right I have but actually hit me when I said that their shit smells bad.


I refuse to live in denial anymore.

I refuse to stand by watching others asking for their rights. There are too many loose ends. There are too many questions unanswered.


The parliament might have the money, the power, the ability to amend and change laws as they please, the ability to influence the media to make us believe whatever their next plan is to rape us and our pockets…

But what they don’t have is whatever we’ve got.

We got heart and the last bit of hope they couldn’t kill in us, that no tear gas or bullet can kill, take down one, but you can’t KILL a whole nation.

We’ve got brains and a whole lot of guts to look your guns in the eye and tell you to move along.


We’ve got no religion controlling us or political party biding our thoughts.

We have too much heart to be passive and indifferent and we choose LEBANON over whatever reward this government has been choosing.

We will choose Lebanon every time and time and time again.

What The Hell Happened Yesterday In Riad el Solh?

Note: This was the first day of the peaceful rally and most of the crowd were educated youth, demonstrating peacefully

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When I wrote a post yesterday morning on how to gear up for today’s protest, I never thought for a second that we might actually need to protect ourselves from tear gas canisters, water cannons, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

I never imagined that the ISF and the Lebanese Army would attack the protesters this way and would storm a group of peaceful protesters, beat them up and arrest them.

I haven’t slept all night following up on the news and checking on my friends to make sure they are all safe.

To be honest, I think we are very lucky that no one died in the protests yesterday because things were totally out of control

So what really happened?

I got to Riad el Solh around 6:20pm and walked all the way to the statue where protesters were chanting slogans and waving banners against the government.

Things were relatively calm until the riot police started firing water cannons.

People stepped back a bit and then all of a sudden tear gas canisters were fired in the middle of the crowds and one of them fell few meters away from me.

I’ve never been tear gassed upon before and I hope I never do again because it’s the worst feeling ever. Your eyes start burning and you feel as if you’re suffocating.

One protester got the tear gas right in his face and fainted for a second, while parents who had come with their children were panicking and running away from the gas.

At that time, I wasn’t aware what was happening near Annahar building but then we heard gun shots that were being fired in the air by the Lebanese Army as shown in many videos.

At the same time, the riot police kept throwing more tear gas and started attacking the crowds and trying to disperse them all the way from Riad el Solh to Beirut Souks.

Rubber bullets were used at this point. The clashes continued till around midnight when things calmed down and the police was ordered by our Interior Minister to free all the detainees.

The protesters were pushed back outside Riad el Solh square but they resisted and decided to set up tents and spend the night there.

I will not bore you with more details because the pictures and videos speak for themselves but I still can’t figure out what triggered all this mess, and who gave the order to fire at protesters but it’s outrageous and shocking.

Thousands of Lebanese men, women and children went down to protest for their most basic rights and for a clear and transparent solution to the garbage crisis away from politics and were all suppressed in an unnecessarily violent and disproportional way.

Even the press was caught off-guard and got its share of the beating. I have no idea what to expect next but hopefully things will be clearer by next week.

Whatever happened yesterday should NEVER be repeated and those who assaulted and fired at harmless protesters need to be reprimanded and this garbage crisis needs to be resolved once and for all in a transparent and efficient way.

(Note: Firing live ammunition and rubber bullets backfired and people from the 4 corners of Lebanon converged to spend the night with the protesters)

Giza Zoo in Cairo: Suspicious animal deaths?

The giraffe committed suicide in thisold zoo, an Egyptian newspaper reported.

From tear gas and frequent chanting of demonstrators gathering nearby?

And the government pulled a former zoo director out of retirement to deal with the resulting media storm.

“The problem is with the press,” Nabil Sedki said on a recent afternoon, taking a deep drag on his cigarette as he settled into a giraffe-patterned armchair in his office.

He was five days into the job. “The media fabricated the suicide.”

Giza Zoo in Cairo is beset by poverty, tear gas and suspicious animal deaths

, Published in The Washington Post this December 18, 2013  (E-mail the writer)

The deceased animal in question was a 3-year-old giraffe named Roqa. Sedki said that the giraffe inadvertently hanged herself in early December after getting tangled in a wire inside her enclosure.

The state has launched 3 separate investigations — one purely forensic, another by the government’s official veterinary body and a third by a legal committee — “to see who will hang instead of the giraffe,” Sedki said with a wry laugh.

Zoos are prone to bad publicity, especially when something goes wrong. The government-run Giza Zoo, in the heart of Egypt’s chaotic capital, may be particularly susceptible, given the country’s floundering economy, the tumult of nearby political demonstrations and an overall poor track record in animal care.In May, three black bears died in a single night under mysterious circumstances. ”Zoo riot” 
In 2007 and again in 2008, local media reported that zookeepers were slaughtering the camels for meat — to eat themselves, and to sell to other hungry Egyptians.
And this month, the independent daily Al Masry Al Youm newspaper reported that Roqa had committed suicide. The article went viral.(The same newspaper reported in August that the giraffes and other large animals at the zoo were so troubled by Egypt’s ongoing political unrest — especially the protest chants of demonstrators from the Muslim Brotherhood in a nearby public square — that they had been mulling suicide for a while.)

“Is there anyone who actually believes that this giraffe committed suicide?” Sedki asked one recent day.

As he spoke, a fresh, stinging cloud of tear gas wafted in through an open doorway, and the thudding blasts of tear-gas cannons could be heard from the latest clashes between police and student protesters at neighboring Cairo University.

The campus is located just northwest of the 122-year-old zoo, the biggest and oldest of Egypt’s seven zoological parks.

On its north flank, just outside the zoo’s main gate, is Nahda Square, which served as a permanent protest encampment for supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi for more than a month last summer.

Police used bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters in August, killing scores of people.

When police fire tear gas at protesters, the irritating vapors inevitably make their way toward the animal enclosures, compelling zookeepers to wrap their faces in scarves on the worst of days. It has gotten to the animals, too, Sedki said.

“The sounds of the bullets and the tear gas affect the animals,” he said. Some of the large animals, such as lions and hippos, have displayed “restlessness and tension,” he said.

He said zoo authorities had moved some of the animals to different enclosures but found they had few good options, given that all 80 acres of the zoo are bordered by roaring traffic and the gritty urban sprawl.

For that same reason, Egyptians see the zoo as a rare — if dilapidated and underfunded — oasis of green.

It costs around 73 cents (5 Egyptian pounds) to enter. Families bring picnics and set up camp for the entire day on the grassy medians. Couples stroll hand in hand, and bands of giggling teenagers roam.

“I know that in the West, going to the zoo is like going to a museum — you go to get knowledge,” Sedki said. “But here, they come to visit a garden, not a zoo.”

Animal rights activists — themselves a rare breed in Egypt — have long been concerned about conditions at Giza, which echo the nation’s widespread poverty and bureaucratic failings after decades of authoritarianism and turmoil.

“This is not a zoo,” said Mona Khalil, a founder of the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals, which runs two shelters and provides free veterinary care to poor farmers on Cairo’s outskirts. “This is hell for animals.”

Many of the zoo’s employees earn less than $60 a month, activists say, and have little experience or training and even less incentive to protect the animals they care for.

Instead, the employees follow visitors over the zoo’s muddy and potholed paths, offering scattered “facts” about the animals’ daily lives or an opportunity to get closer — in the hope that it will yield tips.

On a recent afternoon, some keepers touted the chance to hold a baby lion — or if the visitor would prefer it, a monkey or a baby crocodile — for just 25 Egyptian pounds (around $3.60).

Adult lions, cramped in small, iron-barred cages that resembled the circus pens of an earlier era, crunched on animal carcasses, as visitors used their mobile phones to take pictures. Hippos and pelicans drifted through murky water. And a sickly black bear watched as a pair of stray cats hunched over its food dish.

Anyone want a picture with a baby lion? Anyone want a picture with a baby lion?” an employee droned monotonously as he stood next to one row of cages, a camera around his neck.

A different zookeeper gestured toward a rhinoceros that was nosing around in the shade of some trees.

“Her husband died six months ago,” the keeper said, in a cheerful, casual tone. “She killed him with her horn.” Without further explanation, the keeper quickly walked away.

No one in the zoo’s administrative office was quite sure how many animals are kept on the premises.

Staff searched through files in the high-ceilinged administrative headquarters — a building full of binders, and apparently devoid of computers — but were able to find figures only from 2009: 78 species of mammals, 82 species of birds and 26 species of reptiles — for a total of 4,631 individual animals.

Of those, about “forty-something” are lions, Sedki said.

In 2010, the zoo began to separate most of the lions by gender in an effort to stem its skyrocketing lion population. Meat is pricey, and space is limited.

To cope, many of the big cats are packed two per cramped cage. They eat mostly donkey carcasses, zookeepers said, and they “fast” one day a week.


Reporter Kevin Sullivan and photographer Linda Davidson set out to document the size and complexity of the Syrian refugee crisis.

Here are 18 stories of misery, resilience and survival. Explore.




February 2023

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