On basic human decency.

I understand that people in Lebanon have been driving this way for as long as they’ve known themselves, and I also understand that the lawlessness has its roots in war (or rather, wars).  I understand that the concept of “pedestrian right of way” does not exist in Lebanon, and that when choosing to cross the street here, I am accepting the risk that cars might not stop for me, even if I am in plain sight.

But one thing I do not understand is how people do not yield to a woman pushing a stroller when she is trying to cross the street.   No excuse or explanation will ever make me understand that type of behavior.  It is beyond my comprehension.  Way.. WAY beyond my comprehension.

To try and get people to change their driving habits in Lebanon would be an exercise in futility –  but maybe..just maybe..I can get people to change the single habit of not yielding to pedestrians in the street.

To all of my readers, understand that when people are crossing a busy street or intersection, it is likely that they have no other means of getting to their destination than to cross a busy street.  If they had another way of reaching where they need to go, I’m sure they would take it!  Please, especially in the case of women/men with strollers, exercise basic human decency, and let them pass. And that doesn’t mean inch your car as clooooose as you can to the pedestrian in question..it means leaving an ample amount of room for the person to cross without feeling pressured.

Where did all of this come from?  Well, I was crossing the street in downtown the other day when I spotted a woman who was in obvious distress..there she was, stuck in the middle of downtown traffic with a stroller, trying to get cars to stop for her so she could pass.  When I saw this, I ran to where she was standing and put my body in front of an oncoming car so that she could finally cross the street.  The driver threw his hands up in the air in disgust.  I threw my hands back at him in disgust.

After the woman and her stroller reached the sidewalk safely, I turned to her and said, “I’m so sorry, I really am so sorry.”  Angry and flustered, she looked down at her baby to see if she was ok..and then looked at me and said, “This is the worst country in the world. Really.  Thank you so much for your help.”

Please. Yield to pedestrians when they are trying to cross the street.  It is the decent thing to do.


Filed under life in Lebanon

11 responses to “On basic human decency.

  1. I definitely agree. It’s extremely stressful to cross a street in Lebanon, let alone if you are holding things, even worse pushing a stroller. Everytime I cross the street in downtown though, the one between blom bank and Azarieh building, I seriously feel like I’m on a suicide mission. It is impossible to cross without running or to get the cars to slow down for you.
    When I drive, I honestly seriously try to stop for people crossing. But sometimes I am unable to because a car is probably speeding behind me (usually on a street where no speeding is required) so stopping is getting that car to hit me.
    Seriously driving sucks in Lebanon.

    • meinlebanon

      That’s exactly the area in Downtown that I’m talking about! It really is insane and scary! Well, I’m happy that you try the best that you can..What more can I ask for? 😀 Be the change you wish to see in the world, right?

  2. Rikkles

    Only proper traffic lights and speedbumps will solve that particular problem downtown.
    After all, in gemmayze it’s the people not stopping for the cars. 🙂

    • meinlebanon

      Traffic lights and speed bumps? What are those? haha. Lebanon already has those..and they are ignored..all of the time!! The only thing that will work is a change of mentality..or very hefty fines!

  3. Simon

    twas very brave and considerate of you to help this poor lady. well done Dany.

    Usually when i see such a scene and i’m in my car, i usually block both lanes, making sure the pedestrian can cross safely. seen this done here with school buses, and been doing it ever since.

  4. That’s the Lebanese for you, unfortunately.

    People no longer feel the need to be good to each other. It’s weird. They are slowly becoming less and less heartfelt. They don’t feel they need to follow laws and there’s no one out there enforcing it.

    And its sad that this is how she feels about her own country. We really push ourselves out then try to keep ourselves together.

    Hope all this can change in the near future at the hands of Minister Baroud!

  5. Armigatus

    Those pedestrian do not contribute to the traffic, they do not pollute, they are not a danger to other pedestrians…

    Why wouldn’t any sane person yield to them?

  6. Driving in Lebanon #Epic #Fail.. I think people need more lessons about manners in schools! lets forget math and science a bit and learn some manners.

  7. Pingback: The foreigners’ guide to moving to Beirut, part 2 | This is Beirut

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s