Thursday, June 16, 2005

I was talking to two people who attended the early days of the Hummus festivities in Lebanon following the assassination of Hariri. They say that the `Awn people were running the show. Among the racist anti-Syrian slogan chanted (and not reported in the Arabic or the Western press) were: "Ya Bashshar, Ya Bashshar; Ash-Sha`b As-Suri Kullu Hmar" (Oh, Bashshar, Oh Bashshar; the Syrian people are all donkeys). The crowds were so fragmented into sectarian groups, and did not even mingle. Each segment stuck to itw own corner, my sources tell me. The anti-Syrian racism of the crowds, and the leading roles played by notorious right-wing anti-Palestinian militia types, turned off many people, including my friends.