Lebanon: Protest against increased censorship

26 March 2012


In light of the notable increase in censorship in Lebanon over the last year, a number of musicians, performers, filmmakers and comedians decided to put on a show at Metro al-Madina in Beirut on 15 March 2012, entitled ‘I am Free’.

The event brought together popular artists such as the Lebanese producer and musician Zeid Hamdan, the local Indie-rock band Adonis, and the comedy duo of Lebanese brothers Saeed and Jamal Malaeb.

“The situation is sensitive,” musician Zeid Hamdan told the magazine NOW Lebanon which published an article about censorship in Lebanon on 16 March 2012 where a number of Lebanese artists are being interviewed about their take on censorship. He also gave this short interview which was posted on



Poster for the event

Interview with event organizer Zeid Hamdan. By Yasmine Sarhi.

“As of late, General Security has had its fingers in every piece of the proverbial cultural pie. From films to music and plays, General Security hasn’t spared any of the artistic mediums from its oversight and regulation,” wrote Naziha Baassiri in the article which was published on on 16 March 2012.

“In the 1990s, there was no censorship. There was intimidation. They would call you up and [threaten to] harm you… Now, with the assassinations and the [Arab Spring], the situation is sensitive… So the [December ban] on Danielle Arbid’s film [Beirut Hotel], to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s verdict… It is all interconnected,” Hamdan told NOW Lebanon. The musician believes that without consistent enforcement of the law, it’s ‘anything goes’ in Lebanon.

“It’s uplifting to see many Lebanese engaged in the fight against cultural censorship,” wrote Naziha Baassiri.


NOW Lebanon – 16 March 2012:
‘Censorship: Not black and white’

Terranet – 14 March 2012:
‘A call to freedom from Lebanese artists’

Facebook page for the event:




Zeid Hamdan


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