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Scottie Andrew and Paul P. Murphy, CNN


Published Tuesday, October 22, 2019 4:44PM EDT

After days of tense protests in Lebanon over a crumbling economic system, a minutes-long reprieve got here within the type of a beloved youngsters’s music.

Eliane Jabbour was driving via Baabda District, simply south of Beirut, when a crowd of cheering protesters surrounded her automotive. Her 15-month-old son, Robin, was with her.

“I told them, ‘I have a baby, don’t be too loud,'” she told CNN concerning the encounter Saturday night time.

That’s when the protesters began singing “Baby Shark,” the music that is turn into an anthem for toddlers across the globe.

“It was spontaneous,” Jabbour mentioned. “He likes this song. He hears it many times at home and laughs.”

The video rapidly unfold throughout Lebanon–so rapidly, Jabbour mentioned, that her husband noticed the video earlier than she may inform him about it.

Protesters opposed new taxes, weakened economic system

Jabbour’s encounter with protesters marked a light-weight second in a turbulent time for Lebanon as a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals demand reform.

Demonstrations started Thursday after the Lebanese authorities introduced proposed new taxes on residents, together with a 20-cent cost per day for voice over web protocol (VOIP), a function on WhatsApp that enables customers to make calls with an web connection as a substitute of a telephone line.

But protesters’ anger runs deeper than an app. Residents are difficult a sectarian authorities the place energy is consolidated amongst political and enterprise elites, usually one and the identical. Crippling debt has stalled the nation’s financial progress and has saved many voters from accessing primary providers.

Mounting strain from protesters pushed the federal government on Monday to drop the measures, minimize officers’ salaries and approve a 2020 funds that would enable billions of {dollars} in pledged worldwide donations. Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri refused to resign regardless of protests.

Jabbour mentioned the video of protesters singing to her son represents the truth for kids in Lebanon.

“Kids in Lebanon should have a better future,” Jabbour mentioned. “Robin will see the video when he grows up and know that Lebanese guys have been combating for him.

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