June 28, 2009

Celebratory (Gun) Fire Works

I used to associate fireworks with New Year. That was until I moved to Beirut.
Fireworks for the new PM

Now I associate it with weddings and politics. In summertime it is usually weddings. These fireworks display can cost up to $25,000 for a good wedding. I think my entire wedding cost me a total of 100,000 LBP. That’s $66, for the wedding license. We didn’t have fireworks. That saved me $24,934. I’m not sure where it all that went, but I know it is spent.
We had fireworks earlier this week for the new Speaker of Parliament

And anytime a political leader speaks, or gets elected, there’s fireworks in town. For the more simple politicians, the usual Kalashnikoff tracers will suffice. The more elaborate politicians will go for the real deal. This week parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri got re-elected, and Saad Hariri got a job as Prime-minister; two occasions to celebrate with some explosive displays.

Fireworks. The red lines are kalashnikoff tracers.

I don’t mind the fireworks. Last night’s firework was quite impressive. I bet over $50,000 went up in the air, if not more.

I’m not too happy about the Kalshnikoff bullets. A year ago Mythbusters did an emission on that. They were checking the statement that ‘ Bullets fired into the air maintain their lethal capability when they eventually fall back down. The myth was not busted.

Because everything that goes up, has to come down in somebody’s neighborhood. I once lost a window due to an incoming bullet from up above. It didn’t hit the window but the tiles on the balcony, which than shattered and the debris went through a window. My very first car received a bullet in the roof in the summer of ’96 (sounds like the title of a song); a fact which I did not notice until wintertime, when the car started leaking during rain showers.

I don’t know of anyone getting hit by a bullet from above, but I am sure somebody must have been hit in Lebanon, if you see what goes up during these ‘celebrations’. It’s not just a Lebanese thing though; other regions seem to experience problems as well.
Now we wait for the next display. A speech from Hezbollah's secretary Nasrallah is usually good for some fireworks.


Kheireddine said...

15 people got injured when Nabih Berri got re-elected. Some 28 years ago, I saw a bullit falling near my arm and our cars had multiple built holes...Obviously, astray bullets are still a hazard in Lebanon...
I read that this evening, you got a real battle in Aicheh Bakkar with two dead and two injured :(

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