This is how we cheer for sports in Lebanon :S

After 7 consecutive hours of nagging, I finally agreed to take my 14 years old brother, to watch the final basketball game of 9th Arab basketball tournament, Lebanon vs. Egypt. I picked up my friend Haitham, who himself isn’t a basketball fan, and headed to the Madina Riyadiya (where the game was held). We got there at the end of the 2nd quarter, but getting in wasn’t easy.

The army people at the door wouldn’t let us in, saying that it is full inside and no one can enter anymore, so I asked him if it is possible for my brother just to have a sneak preview, since he is leaving in a couple of days (its is true), after few minutes of non-stop talking, he finally let him in. Few minutes later, my brother goes up calling Haitham and I to follow him, and we ended up at the VIP section, that was packed as well. (zabat wasta ma3 el jayhsi :P)

So we get there and the first thing I hears is ” Allah w Nasrallah wel Dahyeh killa ” from one side, and “Allah w Hariri w Tari2 Jdideh”, from the other side, and off course there were a couple of Alis and Omars as well. I was shocked, we are here to watch the game while some others are only present to prove a certain irrelevant point, that makes completely no sense, I was disappointed.

That wasn’t it, some even reached the point to cuss the Egyptian president using the worst words you can imagine, I felt offended. Being there made me feel enraged, how can you people cheer for the same team yet you are cussing each other, how can you be so illiterate, uneducated, that you mix sports and politics. I wanted to shout at them, but they wouldn’t listen to me. It was like they came to watch this game just to prove a certain political point.

4th Quarter

These same persons didn’t mind dancing on the music that was played during halftimes, ” I wanna fly so high” made the audience stand up and dance, I believe some of them even took the advantage of this occasion to show some of their dancing abilities,ughhhhhhhhh…..”hayetiiii ma atyabooo” were also some of the words used by the crowds when a female reporter stood in the court to film her piece to cam, poor her :@

I decided to stand away from all the guys surrounding me, while Haitham was with my brother “taking care of him”. Because i was looking lonely and scared, one of the army guys called me up and asked me to stand next to him, at first i smiled and I said it is ok, but he insisted so i did go, finally a good view and now I was at the VVIP section, yeyyyy me: D

The VVIP section, where I was standing ๐Ÿ˜›

Leaving all these “uncivilization” aside, it was a good game, even though it ended with the loss of Lebanon. It was nice to hear every now and then the crowd cheering for Lebanon, and screaming out loud when any of the Lebanese team members scores. People from all ages were there clapping, and shouting for their country, that was something not to be missed.

Here is a video I shot of the audience cheering for Lebanon ๐Ÿ™‚



  1. Dany Awad Said:

    As I promised you, I read it first thing at the morning with a big mug of #Nescafe.. lovely post, I felt as if i was with you. Sara, you succeeded creating the atmosphere of the playground to your readers smoothly, with your pen [keyboard in this case], you grabbed the readers’ hand and took them with you to the match, so Haitham was not the only one who went with you to the match ๐Ÿ™‚ . Also your style is entertaining & I Like it.

    I feel bad how people here mix sports with politics, very stupid and illiterate, same as when Lebanese people cheered for Algeria when it win against Egypt, only because Lebanese hate the Egyptian regime for some reason! Not mentioning the Ali & Omar conflicts that always happen in every match and I can’t find any reason why those two “holy” & “sacred” figures are always dragged to playgrounds and narrow alleys! Sho kamen? bikaffe nashr ghasil ๐Ÿ™‚

    ุนูŠุจ ู…ุง ูŠุตุญุด ู‚ุฏุงู… ุงู„ุงุฌุงู†ุจ ูˆุงู„ุณูˆู‘ุงุญ

    Keep writing dear Sara, and I’ll keep reading ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. L like it
    Yes Sarah this the way how everything is going here in Lebanon. but tell me what happen there in VVIP with jaishi u miss putting details about this part hahahahhaha

  3. Nadine Abdul Sater Said:

    I loved it Sarah !!
    Ur words explain the real and true atmosphere people usually perform..
    Unfortunately Lebanese have to always sprinkle their special spices while cheering no matter what the occassion is !!
    It felt as if we were all there right beside u watching the game!!
    I love the way u write, and I’ll be always waiting for new articles from my favourite journalist !!
    Best of luck dear ..

  4. Doha Farhat Said:

    when I heard them clapping
    I couldn’t stop dancing!!!!
    you know what….
    I wish I were there too
    you made me feel excited and thanks that you inserted a video so we lived the event more
    and I agree with Dany
    you translated the atmosphere into your blog
    and lucky you
    you got the VIP !!! how niceeeeee ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. sarahilal Said:

    Dany, Mariam, Nadine and Doha, thank you guys so much fro your kind words, I really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚
    I am reallly happpppy that you liked my post….it means a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Pazuzu Said:

    Well, it’s annoying but sport competitions are by far a male-dominated spaces where all forms of supremacy are concentrated and justified, we say things like “fairplay” in order to make it look less hostile, but for the most part, it is all about proving “meen l rijjel”, and the good part like good tactics, smart playing, solidarity, self-discipline, etc., often come in second place

  7. sarahilal Said:

    ya Pazuzu i understand what you are saying, but when you are watching a game you seek to listen the audience cheering for the teams playing and not drag politics into it…if they wana prove “mee l rijjel” this is definitely not the right way to do it…

  8. jana Said:

    Welcome to lebanon! i love lebanon

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