Weddings, DJs and Baby Shark: Top five iconic moments from Lebanon's protests

Weddings, DJs and Baby Shark: Top five iconic moments from Lebanon's protests
As thousands rallied across the country's major cities, videos emerged showing crowds protesting in a typical Lebanese fashion, with fireworks, dabke performances, a wedding celebration and a DJ-hosted party.
3 min read
20 October, 2019
The humour did not mask the seriousness of the protestor's demands [AFP]
As Lebanon entered its fifth day of protests on Sunday, with thousands rallying demanding the government's resignation amid a major financial crisis, the Lebanese penchance for humour and satire came to the fore. 

Amid angered calls against corrupt politicians, rallies saw citizens launching into song and dance, from the traditional dabke to the more current viral Baby Shark children's song.

In Tripoli, Lebanon's traditionally conservative second city, protest rallies were given carnival atmospheres as DJ's pumped out dance music from loudspeakers. 

Civic pride has also appeared as a prominent feature of the protests. On Sunday morning, volunteers were cleaning the streets near the parliament in Beirut while rubbish collectors righted upturned dumpsters.

The protests have also been marked by their diversity, drawing wide swathes of Lebanese society largely united on what they oppose, with many condemning the entire political class as thieves and criminals.

The New Arab has put together the top five iconic moments from Lebanon's protests this weekend.

1. Here comes the bride

The city of Aley saw a twist to the traditional wedding procession as a bride and groom joined in protests amid cheers from other protestors. 

"We wanted to pass by the protests and see everyone before the wedding," the groom told reporters.

"We want to show that there is hope that Lebanon can be rebuilt again," his bride added.

2. Fireworks display

With much of Beirut's recent history scarred by the explosions of airstrikes and explosions, Beirut this time saw fireworks exploding above the crowd to mark the emergence of people on the streets. 

3. Saturday night fever

In Tripoli, a now viral video showed a local DJ playing to a fully-packed crowd who needed little invitation to party in  Lebanon's second largest city.

4. Dabke dance

Usually a mark of weddings or other festivities, Lebanon's recent rallies have been marked by repeat performances of the dabke folk dance, as people celebrated what seems to be a momentous moment in the country's recent history. 

5. Baby Shark

Even shark fins made an appearance in Lebanon after protestor's greeted a confused toddler with their own rendition of the recent 'Baby Shark' phenomenon. 

Despite the viral videos and spread of joy from Lebanon to the rest of the world, the humour did not mask the seriousness of the protesters' demands. Lebanon's public debt stands at around $86 billion - more than 150 percent of gross domestic product - according to the finance ministry.

Growth has plummeted in recent years, with political deadlock compounded by the impact of eight years of war in neighbouring Syria.

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