November in the October Revolution

I’d been fighting back tears all October long, and had managed, quite successfully, to keep the tempests in their tiny bottles despite the highs and lows of this eventful month. Then some footage of a young man from Sidon emerged. This man is a metalhead, from what I could glimpse of his t-shirt in the aggressively framed video; the cinematography directs your eyes elsewhere—to his bloodstained teeth, to the fear in his eyes. “I didn’t mean it,” they have him say. Once more, with feeling. And the bottles fell off their shelves. And here they are, still falling—for this young … Continue reading “November in the October Revolution”

#LebanonProtests in Seattle, Part 2

Seattle stands with the #LebanonProtests for the second Sunday in a row. Back home, a human chain was formed earlier today connecting cities across Lebanon’s coast in a show of unity, as the fissures begin to manifest on day 11 of the revolt. Pro-President friends and family have started to speak out after days of silence; moods swings in people once exuberant and supportive are more noticeable—maybe due to the daily inconveniences to ordinary lives, maybe thanks to pro-government agitprop, I don’t know. Tempers are flaring on the other side as well; the vanguards are in tension, with some raising … Continue reading “#LebanonProtests in Seattle, Part 2”

Reflections on Bus Map Project in the October Revolution

Bus Map Project emerged just before the last wave of protests in 2015, and part of its DNA was a desire to see “less talk, more action.” We were tired of hearing the question: “where is the state?” At first, this alienated some of our potential allies. What we wanted was to see more people stepping into their rightful place as “the people.” At the end of the day, we are “the state,” because: 1) people are its source of legitimacy, 2) and people are what make it all function, through everyday “doing.” It’s so heartening to see the current … Continue reading “Reflections on Bus Map Project in the October Revolution”

#LebanonProtests in Seattle

I’ve had a problem with the flag since I was a kid—a story for another time—and from 2005 onwards, my relationship with that objectively-attractive piece of visual communication has been, at the very least, “complicated”—there’s another story here too, that I’ll also save for later. So color me surprised; this particular wave of protests seems to be indirectly bringing about a cessation of hostilities between us, maybe even a thaw. If a bit of nationalist mythology could ever signify anything more, it’s what you’re doing right now, Lebanon. A signifier is finding its referent. This was from Seattle’s show of … Continue reading “#LebanonProtests in Seattle”