The oldest profession of all time is still illegal according to Lebanese laws despite the fact that it’s exercised countrywide and somehow controlled by la “crème” of the Lebanese political figures. Unlike countries that legalized it, prostitution in Lebanon is present under the form of a Super Night Club, a Massage Center, or simply a brothel in a residential area. Checking-in to a hotel in the company of a prostitute is not accepted in Lebanon until you pay them an extra fee or if the pimp of the prostitute recommended you to the hotel desk.
Anyhow, the reasons behind not legalizing prostitution tend to have both a religious and political aspect; some claim it’s a morale issue while others want to preserve a lucrative business under their personal control. Beside the fact that prostitutes are labeled as “artists” within the working industry or on their Lebanese immigration papers; depriving at the same time the label “artist” from real sculptors, painters and designers.
Legalizing prostitution can to a certain point, lower the frustration within the Lebanese population, boost the economy, and decrease the number of rapes and sexual harassments.
You can watch a TV commercial about a new hunting gun, you can buy a gun from legal stores, you can buy a load of ammunition, you can see outdoor ads related to hunting filling the streets, you can buy hunting accessories, you can pass a police checkpoint with your guns, you can open an ammo factory, you can find a gun repair shop, you can purchase a bird caller machine, and you can even spot policemen hunting near you, but it’s still illegal to hunt in Lebanon.
The aim is not to ban hunting but rather to organize it, in a way that preserves nature and allows hunters to carry out their hobby, citing few points in many other that could be applied:
- Creation of hunting lodges across the country away from residential areas where hunters can joyfully enjoy their hobby.
- Educate the hunter with a booklet that identifies the species that can be hunted during a specific season, and strictly punish the hunting of endangered species.
- Recycling of the empty cartridges by selling them again to the ammunition factories.
The never-ending story of legalizing cannabis is getting bigger and bigger everyday. Its cultivation is widely spread in the Bekaa and its eradication is more of media propaganda rather than strict elimination of crops. The cultivation of hashish is limited to certain areas in Lebanon and politicians who have an overall influence in setting the Lebanese laws control the business. This hypocrisy is shown in a market that is flooded with rolling papers and other smoking accessories that are sold legally in grocery stores, supermarkets and tobacco stores. Legalize it!
4. Smoking in public closed areas
This law was simply born dead. It was approved and regulated without a proper study of the Lebanese businesses and of the Lebanese mentality. Applying this law granted the non-smokers some sort of victory, and gave smokers the image of the victim. These should not have been the intended goals of this new law.
Before approving such law, several steps should have been circulated:
- Heavy awareness campaign on different medias about the danger of smoking, to push the Lebanese smoker to quit or think again about this bad habit.
- Inform the local businesses that depend on smoking such as the shisha places, restaurants and pubs in order for them to allocate a special area for smokers within their premises.
- Narrowly cooperate with tobacco producers and importers to slightly increase the price of cigarettes.
Failing to do so pushed people and businesses to rely again on their “protectors” by asking for favors on how to bypass this law.
Once I asked the owner of a well know shisha place about the ban, he replied: “The son of Mr. X comes to have his shisha here, everything will be alright”. I will restrain from naming Mr. X , simply because he might not know the smoking habits of his son.
5. Crime of Honor
This is definitely illegal in the entire world but in Lebanon you might witness a murder by someone who will get away, and it’s called “crime of honor”. Such law doesn’t really exist in Lebanon whereas a family member can commit murder to save the honor of his family but the sentence of the convict is dropped down when proofed that he acted in retaliation of a dishonor and humiliation to his clan.
In August 2011, the Lebanese government annulled one part of the criminal code that mitigated sentences for people who claim they killed their wife, daughter or relative for family “honor” (source)
This was just a model of many other laws that need to be modified according to the changing way of life of every Lebanese. Some of these facts are a pure state of contradiction and hypocrisy at the hands of people who are governing this country. To sum it up in one sentence on how things work. “Lebanon is a country where we teach the raped woman how to avoid rape instead of teaching the man not to rape…”