Last Sunday, I went to the beach. And even though I absolutely hate going to the beach on weekends, we found a quiet, simple little place where only others, like us, go for some peace and quiet; sun, sea, and sand.
As we were making our way back from Jiye (south of Beirut), we were expecting to see the regular vendors of ears of corn, watermelons, and whatever is planted in the vicinity. We sometimes stop by and buy really beautiful ears of corn – you know, the kind you don’t find in even the most prominent supermarkets – before heading home. However, as we drove through the area where they usually set up their little stands, I was shocked to see the first three stands empty, with a few ears of corn laying on the floor. The next three stands seemed to have been the object of a massacre.
Almost all of the ears of corn were on the floor and seemed to have been trampled on. The little wooden planks that the vendors use were broken into pieces and thrown around the stands. Some kids who were driving back from the beach on their motorcycles did not hesitate to stop and steal whatever they could salvage from the scene.
As we drove further, we spotted a police car parked nearby. Naively, I thought something had happened to some of the vendors. I did not expect to see one of our very own
obese Lebanese policeman, bent over his current pray, holding an obviously handmade baseballbat/hammer-like device and DAMAGING THE CROPS, the old scale, and the whole setup, right in front of a panicked vendor who was, helplessly, participating to the carnage.
I was getting ready to snap a picture when a horde of cars started honking; most of them had slowed down to either witness what was happening as well, or grab whatever they could. But I wish I had taken at lease one snapshot of the expression on that policeman’s face, because that air of enjoyment can rarely be perfected in such circumstances.
I understand these vendors had most probably illegally set up their little businesses on the side of the road. And I also understand that sometimes, a simple warning simply does not cut it. But COMPLETELY destroying their crops? Not only is that insane, but nothing justifies the disrespect of another man’s hours of labor. These people have spent days in the fields.
As far as I have been told (but this is not yet confirmed), these policemen are not given orders to destroy the crops. Their orders are to make sure the stands no longer exist. The stands, NOT the goods. What is this really about?Tweet