The clowns gathered at Ziko House, each had his/her clown on, Bob Marley was singing the good vibes in the background. The ready clowns clowned around, cloning others, until an army of clowns was born.
Clown smiles mixed with roars and laughter, and Rocky the dog, not to be left out, got his clown on too. At the entrance to Ziko House, another kind of clown, the everyday clowns: the police were there to make sure the cheerful clowns didn’t get out of line. The difference here is that today’s clowns are coming out to draw a smile on people’s faces, something that has been missing in this chaotic city; these everyday clowns, the police, come out every day seeking bribes or maybe a chicken sandwich from Barbar and to draw a sad face on people’s lives.
Before the clown march started Words Of Action had a word with Jancouz the clown:
“We are coming out for laughter as the title says, we are coming to laugh at our miserable situation in this country.”
The red noses, the colored faces, the clown hair, and the baggy pants were in full gear and ready to start the street invasion. Out of Ziko House the clowns started their walk for laughter to the rhythms of drums and bells: down Spears street they skipped, jumped and sang their way, a U-turn and up to Hamra Street. An invasion of spontaneity into the usual scene of shoppers, and café goers.
On reaching Hamra they took the whole street, cars had to be stopped. In the middle of Hamra Street the clowns loud, joyful voices raised together rang out amid car horns and brake pads: “Beirut is ours; Beirut is for us”. A woman clown raised an olive branch to the sky and started waving it while chanting loud: “This is my gun, this will protect me”.
Snowballing through Hamra the Clown Walk grew as people started joining the Walk for Laughter, loving the clowns and joining in with the laughter. On Jeanne d’Arc Street an angry clown yelled the secret word: ”Batata” and the clowns froze. The angry clown took the microphone and yelled: “we are sad be sad”. The other clowns began moaning and sobbing. “We are sad and divided, we are sick of being divided, we don’t want to be divided anymore.”The Angry clown continued. “Batata” he shouted and the music played again the clowns were back in high spirits and the Walk for Laughter carried on pushing through the narrow traffic jammed Beirut streets.