Something very messed up happened yesterday in Baysour, Lebanon, and just goes to show how desperately we need to erase all the sectarian detritus that runs this country. A man known only as “Rabih A.” from Akkar, northern Lebanon, was rushed to West Shahhar hospital after being castrated by his significant other’s-“Rudeina M.”-knuckle-dragging kin and fellow townsfolk after they’d decided to further their relationship despite the objections of her family out of tradition (I use that word loosely).
“Rabih”, as the story goes, was basically ambushed by “Rudeina’s” relatives after they’d caught wind of their plans for marriage. They’d called him up to dinner to bury the hatchet, and after dinner, they dragged him to the town square of their hometown in the Aley district, Baysour, where they proceeded beat him senseless and leave him to bleed out with a large hole where his phallus used to be. Fortunately, the townsfolk intervened and had him rushed off to the nearest hospital where he remains at this moment.
At first glance an outsider would call this a case of bad blood or sister-complexes, but as I mentioned earlier, this was entirely sectarian. “Rudeina” belongs to a certain sect called the Druze, who are largely present in the Chouf and Mount Lebanon districts; among other things in their religion, eloping with and marrying people outside of the sect is out of the question. “Rabih” is a Sunni Muslim from northern Lebanon; both areas are known to be quite conservative, but then again my experience in Lebanon has shown me that pretty much anywhere in this small patch of earth is conservative.
To say that this couple was dealt a bad hand would not be enough to describe the sheer obscenity of the situation. In fact, who knows how frequently this kind of thing goes on here? Who knows how many “Rabihs” have been beaten and humiliated by their partner’s relatives “for the sake of the faith”, or how many “Rudeinas” have fallen victim to “honor killings” (heavens forbid that happened to her)? Most of these stories usually remain under wraps thanks to the Lebanon’s overreaching taboo system (as I like to call it), but with the advent of the information age more and more of these stories are coming to light, for better or for worse. I for one am appalled and disgusted at yesterday’s events, but ever the cynic I am not surprised. For all its religious diversity and interaction, Lebanon still remains a house divided over the stupidest and most menial of things, religious tradition and marriage in this case. Everybody has the right to believe in and practice whatever they please, but the moment they let that dictate how they and others live their lives, choose their partners, etc…, they’ve gone a bridge too far. The worst part is that most of the population either doesn’t care or are themselves part of this vicious cycle. But, and this is gonna sound morbid, the story itself carries a thread of silver lining. What I mean is that the disgust and shock that people will feel upon hearing this story will hopefully compel them to take further action and finally clean up this centuries-old mess.
To end this article, here’s a song by Ziad Rahbani that perfectly sums up yesterday’s events and beyond.
Y’all take care now.