Saturday, May 19, 2007

Funny Incident in Jemayzi

Well, nightlife usually focuses on three hubs in Beirut: Hamra - Jemayzi - and Monot St...tonight I was in Jemayzi

As I was walking from one pub to another, the road was jammed ahead because there was a fight between two cars... a lot of people rushing outside the pub to see what is going on, and of course, ladies screaming: "wooooohoooooo".

Well, I crashed into one of the pubs (Jemayzi is made up from over 30-40 pubs in the same area, and guess what, another fight broke inside it. Usually the pubs are loaded with foreigners and Lebanese, but the fight broke out (well definitely alcohol speaking between both) between the Lebanese, but they were cursing at each other in English. That has been the case a lot of times elsewhere. Usually a fight takes place between two people, they start yelling at each other (in the hope someone notices them yelling and jumps in between to stop them), and dear "God" how much they swore at each other, then they pushed (a Push is a second invitation for friends to intervene and hold the fight from becoming physical, or the two do not want to indulge into a fight but displaying their "masculanity" ). This time people intervened, held the "glorious fight", and each gang sat alone, while the two "epical warriors" were yelling at each other. The funny part, swearing in Arabic is much more practical than in English, as trillions of vocabulary can be used to swear at the "evil other". The girls were laughing and saying: "this is cool, yay", the couples remained making out (here I refer to "Straights" and "Homosexuals" usually Lesbians) as if nothing took place.

Nevertheless, after 15 minutes, the two combatants sat next to each other, shook hands, and then started talking, eventually the two groups directly socialized and cracked jokes with each other. Eventually shots were flying around between them, and everyone was happy. Eventually, turns out one of the two combatants was a Lebanese who lived half his life in Texas, while my friend goes: "Screw Texas and Bush" (another Lebanese who lived in the States). He didn't notice her, and the group went out. As I walk, an Irish was explaining to his German friend, 95% of the fights take place are like that.

Well, eventually I saw bumch of Foreigners, (and we inter-mingled), and one of them was bragging how brave he is, to whom I remembered the image of the first person FLEEing during the evacuation, last July War, while the others I know were part of the Civilian Resistence to the Israeli Aggression through the websites and relief work.

Technically, I noticed a quadro racial treatment.

First, you got the Foreigners from all over the world, who brag, look at us, we are between you, Lebanese.

Second, you got the Lebanese who pretend they are foreigners, despite the fact they never left Lebanon at all, and try to emulate them.

Third, you got the internationalists, who think people are people wherever you go (my favourite)

Fourth, you got the Lebanese who think these foreigners are dumb and crack sarcastic joke (such as Khales La Allah: which means, no longer IQ and he is out of this planet with God).

For me, I am lucky. I am a Marxist, ie an Internationalist, people are people wherever you go, as simple as that. I felt like sharing this piece of experience at tonight's mini adventure.


AM said...

mmm I enjoyed reading this piece and felt like adding my bit about the categories of Lebanese you mentioned.

The problem with these folks is that the majority hasn't left Lebanon and did not live in a place where 'Lebanese' is just another group of people working and living, where 'Nous les Libanais' and our IQ is very much challenged by others' IQ and where we are forced with time to respect others, their culture and their way of thinking and actually find interest in the new cultures.

This philosophy in which 'everyone else who doesn't think the way we do is dumb' is revolting and is nothing more than just one more proof of ignorance ... and one more point which make my return to live in Lebanon difficult.

frankyb said...

look reverting to the fourth kind of lebanese,i think you have to look at this phenomena more carefully.Its not that the Lebanese think theyre better then anyone else,or look down on a foreigner for not thinking the same as they do.Closer attention to this phenomena shows that generally speaking the Lebanese are socially sharp people,business wise and socially and this is reflected not only in Lebanon,but all over the world.They might have no credentials and a low IQ but socially they will swipe the carpet from under your feet without you knowing.A foreigner,especially an Anglo,even if he is academically advantaged wouldnt realize that the Lebanese are being sarcastic and will go along with what theyre saying in all seriousness,hence the term "khalles la allah".The Lebanese are known for this here in Sydney,Australia.There known for their sharp wits.Its not about ignorance,Its just one of the culture attributes of being Lebanese.And this is what will make my return all the more delightful.

MarxistFromLebanon said...

I am from Lebanon, frankyb, but I was refering to the categories I have seen over here, or usually who are in the pub streets :), not all Lebanese are smart, you got different types of people in all countries.

I would welcome your feedback on what is happening over there btw,

AM, I am highly impressed with your writings, welcome to my blog

IsraeliMom said...

"people are people wherever you go" - how true!

I have to agree, Arabic is the best language to curse in lol. Here in Israel, most Hebrew speakers will curse in Arabic (I'll refrain from examples ;)).