Always in Our Minds....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Day in Beirut

I've always felt weird of how people's acts and perspectives differ even from one city to another, And Beirut is no exception.

My roommate and I decided that we can't live in our dorm without a fridge, so we went yesterday to get one. At first we tried to find a nearby shop, so we tried Achrafieh and Mar Mikhail areas for a while. But we realized that if we are going to find what we need, we have to go to a professional store, so we went to BHV Jneh.

As we were shopping, I couldn't NOT notice how people were looking at us! The idea of two guys shopping for a fridge is not something usual in Beirut (apparently). The sales woman couldn't hide her smile while asking us : "Do you wanna buy a fridge for your home?". My friend, whose a little bit religious, didn't notice her smile and tone, but it was clear enough to me, but I decided that it won't get me anywhere trying to explain that we are not gay, it would only makes her believe even more that she's right...

But to be honest, the level of tolerance in Beirut is somehow high; even though almost everybody was looking at us, none of them was offensive or rude in any way.

I guess even in Beirut, where you would expect people to be open-minded, you can't go shopping with a friend of the same gender, specially for home appliances.

Being put in such situation made me think about how homosexual people feel being treated like that. I don't think it is a positive attitude to smile sarcastically at others, no matter what you think or believe. And I think it's even dumber to stereotype people's behavior and actions, and start categorizing them accordingly. What you think about someone's behavior shouldn't not interfere with the obligation you have to him/her to treat him/her with respect, specially if you are not even sure your judgment is correct or not.

People make choices in this life, and sometimes, they are forced to act in a certain way. But as long as they are not causing you any harm or trouble, you ought to be civilized and treat them with respect, just exactly how you think you have the right to be treated with respect, without being classified according to stupid meaningless stereotyping patterns.

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