A heartening video of anti-corruption protesters in Lebanon singing to a frightened toddler has gone viral, amid a week of unprecedented street demonstrations that have brought the country to a standstill.
Eliane Jabbour told CNN she was concerned for her 15-month-old son Robin after she approached a protest south of Beirut Saturday night and demonstrators waving flags and chanting slogans surrounded her car.
Jabbour said she was worried the commotion would upset her toddler son, who was sitting wide-eyed in the passenger seat of her car after he woke up from a nap.
“I told them, ‘I have a baby, don’t be too loud,'” she told CNN. Instead of being ignored or admonished, Jabbour said dozens of protesters encircled her car and spontaneously broke out in a song-and-dance rendition of the worldwide children’s hit “Baby Shark.”
A video shot by Jabbour shows Robin looking on, somewhat nonplussed, as a dozen or so protesters at Beirut’s Furn El Chebbak neighborhood waved Lebanese flags and belt out the ubiquitous children’s song and earworm.
Thanks for the animation on road from baby Robin HaddadChabeb furn el chebackAnd the shark Elie-joe Nehme
פורסם על ידי Eliane Jabbour ב- יום שבת, 19 באוקטובר 2019
“It was spontaneous,” she said. “He likes this song. He hears it many times at home and laughs.”
Jabbour later told NBC news her son was “surprised but not afraid” to hear the protesters’ boisterous version of “Baby Shark.”
The video of the encounter has gone viral across Lebanon, with some calling it a symbol of the anti-government demonstrations that have paralyzed Lebanon since last Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of people have flooded public squares across Lebanon in the largest protests in over 15 years, unifying an often-divided public in their revolt against status-quo leaders who have ruled for three decades and brought the economy to the brink of disaster.
Sparked by proposed new taxes, the protests have shaken the country and top leaders, who are scrambling to come up with concessions to appease the public.
Given the size of the gatherings, the six-day-old mobilization has been remarkably incident free, with armies of volunteers providing water to protesters and organizing first aid tents.
Agencies contributed to this report.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.