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Labib Mansour 20 Apr 2023

Water Drained From Samir Kassir Garden Pool After Children Spotted Swimming

A video of kids swimming in the Samir Kassir Square went viral yesterday across Lebanese social media channels. This prompted a barrage of racist posts, tweets, and messages, decrying the “desecration” of a monument in Downtown Beirut. Of course, this was countered by a similar onslaught of users defending the kids and their interpretation of public space.

Today, having witnessed this discourse play out, the authorities in charge of the pool have taken the absolutely insane step to completely drain the pool.

The footage, which was captured by @thisislebnews (هنا لبنان), was “submitted” to the municipality of Beirut, with its captions decrying that the Samir Kassir pool had become a “pool of chaos” after some Syrian children had taken to swimming in it.

Twitter users were quick to defend the children against the racist hate that spread around the video, highlighting the absurdity of being enraged by children having a quick swim on one of the hottest days of the month.

Other users emphasized how this was exactly how public space should be used, highlighting the increasing encroachment of private property on collective leisure spaces.

The irony of this taking place at the site of tribute to a Lebanese-Palestinian was another added layer of absurdity.

The decision to completely drain the pool because some children were playing it is a testament to the increasing spread of hate in the country, and an interesting look into some people’s priorities as the country continues to go through a never ending series of crises.