Momentary panic fell upon Makdissi street Hamra.
Around 5 pm today two men parked their car in the middle of the intersection at Marble Tower hotel and took off running.
On the busy intersection people panicked and they too left their cars and took off running.
A bystander told me “there might be a bomb in the car lets get inside the shop before it blows up”. After we entered the shop the bystander went on to say: “I saw them, two men, they were two, they ran up to the main Hamra street. They look Syrian, they are Syrian” people inside the grocery store parroted after the bystander “yes, the Syrians want to create chaos in Hamra. Why don’t they leave Hamra alone”.
So, its the Syrians.
Unfortunately I was one minute late and missed witnessing the two men who fled the scene after they left the car in the middle of the crowded street.
My curiosity spilled out of my mouth and I asked the still panicking people in the store: “how did you conclude that the two men were Syrians?”
“They looked Syrian, I’m telling you, I saw them. I know what a Syrian looks like, walaw”. The bystander replied and the three others hanging in the store agreed: “Yes, they are akeed Syrians”. 10 minutes passed and we were all still waiting for the car to blow up.
Then came the police followed by the Information Branch (al-ma3loumat) followed by anti-explosions squad and they created another kind of panic which emptied the streets faster than the whole “car bomb” incident.
Luckily the car that was left by the two men was only a stolen car left in a strange, unprofessional, and unsubtle way. I mean, come on guys! Unless it was meant to create that kind of panic among people on a Saturday night. Maybe the two thieves are simply rookies? Who knows what plots are being sown in Lebanon at the moment.
And so Hamra was saved from a new tragedy and went back to continue living its daily tragedy.
PS: if this incident happened 35 years ago the two men would be dubbed Palestinians by the Lebanese. We, the Lebanese, are angels, its never us.