Photo posted on Facebok by Toni Yammine .

A Samba street party on its way to a town in south Lebanon was stopped in its tracks after a group of religious dignitaries labelled it "pornographic" and "against Muslim beliefs". According to one of our Lebanese Observers, the decision is a disgrace to the country.

The Brazilian dancers landed in the country on September 23 and had already put on four performances in central Beirut and the cities of Zahle (central Lebanon) and Batroun (east coast), all of them majority Christian areas.

In the hope of appeasing the largely Muslim population of the southern city of Tyre, Brazil's ambassador in Beirut suggested toning down the performance by donning the dancers in a bit more than is traditional.

His efforts however, were in vain. In the eyes of around 50 religious dignitaries, even a censored version of the show was too indecent for the residents of Tyre, and it was officially given the no-go by one of the group, Sheik Ali Yassine.  

The parade in Beirut

Toni Yammine on Facebook.

Photo by Darine Sabbagh.


Toni Yammine on Facebook.



Darine Sabbagh.

“Once again, Lebanon will be associated with extremism and intolerance”

Darine Sabbagh is a translator and blogger from Beirut. She watched the first parade in Beirut on 23 September.

When I heard that the dancers were planning to make a stop in Tyre, I was quite surprised, considering how conservative the place is. But then I thought, well, it has been given the go-ahead by the authorities (rightly so), and it's an event organised by a private organisation and in collaboration with the Lebanese Tourism Ministry.

Its cancellation is a disgrace and a danger to the country's reputation. Once again, Lebanon will be associated with extremism and intolerance. This affair risks waking some old demons in Lebanon. My country is multi-faith, and what has happened only reminds us that we have a lot to learn if we want to live together happily."