Protest and party: Lebanese crowds demonstrate, sing and dance

BEIRUT (dpa)- Protesters have filled the streets across Lebanon for the past six days, rallying against austerity measures and economic problems while making sure they are having fun.
They have divided their time between shouting anti-government slogans and celebrating by singing and dancing.

At one gathering in central Beirut, a belly dancer performed on top of a parked car, entertaining the crowds. Videos were shared online showing her dancing next to a protester covering his face with a Guy Fawkes mask.
DJs and singers have joined to entertain the protesters. Other times, demonstrators were dancing traditional Dabkeh. One video that went viral showed a crowd entertaining a small child by singing and dancing the "Baby Shark" song.
At night, protesters put on the flash lights on their mobile phones and wave them in the air as songs blast through the speakers, transforming the rally into a giant open-air concert and club.
"We party even if we are broke and demonstrating," Leila, a university student, said.
While during the 2011 uprisings, protesters in Egypt and Tunisia spent their time singing and listening to patriotic songs, Lebanese demonstrators have switched between patriotic and party music.
Some have made up songs that lashed out at the political figures.
Many people were seen carrying placards that read "Happiest depressed people you’ll ever meet."
The protests began on Thursday in response to a government proposal to impose new taxes in the form of fees for users of smartphone messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.
On Monday, the Lebanese cabinet approved an economic blueprint put forward by Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Yet the reforms were not enough to appease protesters, who continued their rallies on Tuesday.
"Simply, Lebanese are survivors and continue enjoying their time despite the difficult times they are passing through," Ramia, a Lebanese housewife with three children said.

Tuesday, October 22nd 2019

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