On The 31st of October 2011, LAU became a battleground for the students and/or members of the “8” and “14” coalitions. Rocks, tables, and chairs were thrown above the wall from both sides. 7 Students were injured, 3 of them taken to the ER.
This fight would later be known as the Infamous “Mashkal” that took place on Election day of the student council, scaring a good number of students from voting or even being present during elections in the following years.
3 years later, A series of events cause Tension between the same two sides. But all the people who witnessed the events, still doesn't know what happened on that day. I bring to you an Insider Explanation of that day in detail.
Upper gate, A well known Spot where Students of the Shiite sect Meet, Hang out, and gather Usually since they've grown in numbers several years back, is where LAU decides to hold a Halloween Party. Normally this wouldn’t be an Issue, but on the 6th Day of Ashouraa, when hundreds of Students are mourning the Death of one of the Most Important men in Islamic History, It was a Big Issue.
This is how more than 250 Students greeted LAU’s Halloween Party.
Days before Friday, the Coalition spoke with the Person Responsible for the Event in LAU’s Administration. And an agreement was Reached stating that “The music would be low volume for 5 min while a single dance would be performed.” Instead of the full hour of music and dancing .
Had LAU not reached an Agreement with Shiite population on campus, and Played music During the Sacred time of Ashouraa in a place known to always be full of people who commemorate this occasion, it would have been a Violation of a Code in Lebanese Law that Clearly States “The Disrespect, Violation, or attack of a Religious occasion is Punishable by Prosecution in Lebanese Court.”
LAU’s answer to being Accused of these actions? “We didn't know it was Ashouraa” “What a Coincidence” “We'll be more careful next year” The same Empty answers they gave when they had a similar event Last Ashouraa that was also shut down.
After several Hours of sitting in for the Halloween party,
a new issue Arises. The “14 March” Coalition gathers about 50-100 people Outside upper gate to celebrate the Deceased Rafic Al-Hariri’s Birthday. After LAU prevented them from having music, they looked for Different ways to provoke the Demonstrators from the “8” Coalition. Which including Singing, Shouting, Clapping, and Giving out White flowers. The Demonstrators showed great Patience, and Gave these Provocative actions little attention as they Marched down to Sage Hall to give space for the people passing in and out of the gate.
At the end of The march to Sage, It is decided on to Shout for a Prayer for the Prophet and His family after this Victory.
At the end of the Day students were confused and didn't know what was happening, most people took pictures and Selfies. Few Understood what took place, But for us, We knew that on this day The Sons of Husain Ibn Ali (AS) Proved Victorious and up to the challenge whenever Their Rights were Violated.
A Group Picture with the Head Of Security at LAU, Shows from the beginning a Peace Protest is in mind. And there is no plan of violating the Rights of others.