A most peculiar scene just unfolded on Bliss, one of Beirut’s busiest streets facing AUB. The policeman (above) stood in the middle of road and gestured at a woman driver to stop: “Please madame, Please!”
Within a few seconds, cars started piling up behind her. The officer stopped both lanes of traffic and now there were over a dozen cars in minor traffic jam. Perplexed I looked around but didn’t see anything going on. Suddenly the policeman looks at a new Infiniti luxury SUV parked at an ice cream shop across the street. He looks at the window and salutes the driver as he slowly reverses and pulls into the street.
I look at the driver as he passes by and I see a chubby college-age kid wearing a T-shirt.
It is not until the driver had fully sped off that the police man allows traffic to resume on Bliss:
So who was this boy? The policeman had stopped two lanes of traffic on one of the city’s busiest streets for over a minute as he adjusted his seat. Over a dozen drivers waited patiently, perhaps blocking other intersections and even more cars, until he decided he was ready to go.
Maybe the better question is: who is his father? But even then, with so many traffic laws being violated every minute, how do some police still have time to act as valets for the wealthy and well-connected?
Many in Lebanon believe the police simply work for elites. But I also wonder if they are intimidated by them.