Two of the major power plants, Zahrani and Deir-Ammar, in Lebanon suffered from “unknown” technical difficulties on Monday 18 June, 2012, which plunged most of the country into complete darkness. Lebanon already suffers from a severe shortage where it barely generates half of its daily consumption.
In protest, citizens from various areas blocked main roads. Netizens as well expressed their anger (and sometimes sarcasm) towards the situation they called #DarkLebanon. Below are some of the reactions:
Many Twitter users expressed their frustration with the situation [ar]:
@daywood:الشعب لا يريد بواخر لتوليد الطاقة الكهربائية بل ينتظر بواخر تحمله خارج #لبنان #DarkLebanon #LebanonOnFire
@3antar: #DarkLebanon!!! This is NOT a life!
@dimamasri: #darklebanon it went from being #lebanon to LebanOFF
@MahdiBerjaoui: I think Lebanon is literally a failed state. Electricity Off #Lebanon #DarkLebanon
@walidfreiha: Everyone traveling to #Lebanon this summer: Make sure you pack lots of candles, matches, batteries and flashlights. #DarkLebanon #لبنان
Khadija sympathized with high school seniors, who are taking their finals this month [ar]:
@khadijaomari:مع احترامي للجميع الا اني اكاد اجزم ان طلاب الشهادات الرسمية هم اكثر المتضررين من قطع الكهرباء #darklebanon #bac2
Many Twitter users blamed the Minister of Energy Gebran Bassil [ar]:
@marxist92: ويل لأمة كان جبرانها خليل وأصبح باسيل #DarkLebanon @GEBRAN_BASSIL
@Marxist92 was referring to Gebran Khalil – a very well known and respected Lebanese writer.
@khadijaomari:ما اضرب من باسيل الا مافيات المولدات…العمى بياخدوا اكثر من الدولة ويادوب تجي الكهربا لان “المازوت غالي” #tfehhh #darklebanon
Abir blamed all of the politicians for the power fail [ar]:
@AbirGhattas: هي مش واقفة بس على جبران باسيل. الكل عم بعرقل، يعني بدكن تشوفو الكهربا متل شي وحدة فاتحة اجريها و الكل محروم و مهييج. #DarkLebanon #Lebanon
Some netizens still managed to find a bright side in this blackout:
@eltooks: On the bright side of #DarkLebanon I've recorded the fast Internet speed yet at my place! #مصائبقومعندقومفوائد
@walidfreiha: Lebanon is such a romantic country Every1 is spendin the night either under the moonlight or by the candlelight #DarkLebanon
The very popular Facebook Page “Lebanese Memes” published some funny memes about the situation. Here are two of them:
The technical difficulties are reportedly resolved, bringing the country back to the existing severe shortage. Stay tuned to the hashtag #DarkLebanon for more updates and reactions. You can also check the initiative Nawwartuna[ar](a Lebanese slang for “welcome” which literally means: “You've lightened us up”) for updates.