This badass woman has become the face of Lebanon's uprising

This badass woman has become the face of Lebanon's uprising
A a woman kicking a firearm out of the hands of a man has become the icon of the Lebanese protests.
3 min read
18 October, 2019
This photo has become the icon of the revolution [Instagram/@adeelaofficial]

Protests have kicked off across Lebanon with people having had enough of corruption that has crippled the economy, with the government attempting to compensate by punishing citizens with higher taxes.

For the second day in a row, Lebanese citizens have banded together to protest the elite’s sleaze across the country. In what seems to be the next wave of the Arab Spring, social media in Lebanon has been swamped with photos and videos of brave citizens uniting for the sake of their country.

One woman, however, became the icon of the uprising overnight. She was filmed kicking a man holding a firearm and confiscating it from him. 

Symbolic of the prominent role women play in social movements, the video was circulated across the Lebanese Twittersphere until it reached the rest of the world.

Read more: Lebanon Rises: Second wave of Arab Spring protests arrive in Beirut

Lebanese artists made tribute to her as a symbol of the protests which has had political elites across all sects and spectrums rattling in their incoherence.

Washington Post journalist and Muay Thai expert Karen Attiah explained the kick she used was to stop the forward movement of an opponent – in this case the man holding the firearm. 

“In conclusion, the woman in this video demonstrates a nice example of a Muay Thai push kick”, she tweeted.

“It's also another reminder that from Sudan to Lebanon, Baltimore to Ferguson, women are always on the front lines against injustice and corruption! Yalla!”

It is unclear whether the man is riot police or was simply trying to capitalise on the protests to commit crime.

In this together

Meanwhile, in a show of patriotism and a true desire to want better for their country, Lebanese protesters have expressed unity. 

Anticipating the government will try to quell the protesters by shutting down the internet as what was recently done in Iraq and Sudan and a classic counter-revolutionary tactic by Arab dictators, articles have emerged giving advice on what to do in such an event.

Protesters are being advised to use VPNs to access the internet, use encrypting messaging applications such as Signal and Wire where users can register without the need for a phone number and to publicly call on carriers to refrain from slowing down or disrupting internet services.

Whilst carrying out what they say is their national duty, protesters ensured lives of fellow civilians were not disrupted. As protesters blocked roads in Beirut, they offered scooter rides to travellers to ensure they won’t miss their flights.

Photos and videos of them cleaning the streets also emerged – a symbolic act considering the Beirut government has failed to act upon a rubbish crisis.

Legal services have offered free advice in case protesters face arrest.

Diaspora communities in Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, London, Montreal, New York, Sydney, Nice and Rome have also organised solidarity protests.

Diana Alghoul is a journalist at The New Arab.

Follow her on Twitter: @SuperKnafeh