Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is Gebran Bassil a rock star?

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Yesterday, Foreign minister Gebran Bassil got angry about the campaign aiming at stopping the Janneh dam. No real surprise there. But who are the two girls that kept popping up while he was fuming on TV?

Gebran Bassil – Lebanon’s Foreign minister, Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) unelected president and occasional slayer of tyrants, according to the famous song glorifying him – got very angry yesterday. He didn’t understand why people were opposing the building of a dam in Janneh – Paradise in Arabic – one of Lebanon’s most beautiful regions, thus destroying that said region.

His anger is justifiable: the Janneh dam is his baby, his legacy, his ticket to History and eternal fame. He’ll obviously defend it with all he’s got.

Sadly, all he’s got is not much, but Bassil doesn’t know it. He didn’t yet grasp the fact that the FPM popularity is only embedded in one man: general Michel Aoun. It’s Aoun people love, not the party he created, let alone its changing policies. It’s Aoun people cheer, not his son-in-law and designated successor. And the dam, so dear to Bassil’s heart, could very well go doing in History as one of the worst crimes against Lebanon’s environment.

But delusion is a strong Lebanese trait, so let’s not cast the first stone at the orange heir.

What actually had me puzzled during his televised speech were these two girls that kept popping up. One of them seemed ecstatic while listening to him threatening us with popular demonstrations and fuming about trampled rights, in other words: while being his usual charming self.

Besides wondering why would OTV (the FPM television channel) repeatedly cutaway from Gebran Bassil to these two girls standing there in their colorful outfits, posing, smiling and lovingly batting their eyelashes, we have to ask ourselves this fundamental question: does Gebran Bassil have groupies following him everywhere, like a rock star? If so, will he, some day soon, grab a mic and start rocking the casbah while his groupies will scream their lungs out?

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely booking my ticket to that concert.