And if the phenomenon of possession of a firearm was common in Lebanon, even before the years of the civil war (1975-1990), then this phenomenon was limited to men, but what is new is the entry of women.
More than 30 years after the end of the civil war, international estimates indicate that there are around two million weapons in Lebanese hands and in their treasuries.
Local media quoted a security agency as saying that “a large number of small 5mm and 6mm pistols are purchased by women daily and in large numbers, especially in areas where the arms trade and the carrying of ‘weapons were not active before’.
The weapon is in the bag
A middleman in the sale of weapons, who refused to reveal his identity, explains to “Sky News Arabia”, that “a new phenomenon these days among women is to carry these guns in their purse, similar to a mobile phone or a bottle of perfume, in order to protect After the robberies and attacks against them have multiplied in recent times.
Laila Seif El-Din (a former fighter in one of the Lebanese parties during the war) indicates that she still knows very well how to protect herself from the pursuit of a pickpocket who intends to snatch her bag.
Seif El-Din added, “I bought a little licensed gun that I carry in my bag with my makeup bag every time I go out on the street or take my car.”
Nada Halawani believes gun ownership is necessary for women in Lebanon, especially after the professional thief broke into the car fearlessly.
One of the arms dealers in northern Lebanon told Sky News Arabia: “Small guns are wanted, and most of them tend to be silver in color and are sold to women.”
A security source commented
An official security source told Sky News Arabia: “The task of authorizing weapons is limited to the Ministry of Defence.”
He explained that “the security services on the roads must arrest any girl or young man in possession of a weapon without a licence”.
Increase in car thefts
Security indicators in Lebanon, based on data published by the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, recorded a high rate of car thefts.
Comparing the years 2022 to 2023 from January to April, there is an increase in car theft crimes of 8.4%. The indicators recorded a decrease in the number of deaths by 20.3%, thefts by 38.3% and kidnappings by 74.2%, noting that there are thefts, murders, suicides or kidnappings not reported, and therefore the actual numbers are likely to be higher.
Sociology expert Adiba Hamdan told Sky News Arabia: “The phenomenon of theft is spreading to unexpected areas, and the lack of security has raised concerns about exposure to any attack, especially as the theft rates are increasing and targeting everyone, and its rates have increased to the point where women are protecting themselves. They take certain personal precautions.
And Hamdan continues: “Faced with the absence of prestige of the State, the citizen, man or woman, prepares to protect himself”.
And she added: “Not all women have the personal strength to protect themselves or to carry weapons, but there are women who resort to non-violent tools and the purchase of toxic sprays, and all this against the backdrop of the fear of attacks that have spread to all regions.”
Hamdan said, “Women are physically weak beings, and they took it upon themselves to arm themselves to defend themselves so that they could deal with aggression, even if it required the use of weapons.”
Hamdan said the case “is normal because we are living in abnormal circumstances.”
Indulge in fighting games
Hamdan revealed, “The girls rushed to practice self-defense games such as taekwondo and judo to protect themselves.”
Hamdan concluded: “The weapon does not solve the problem, and it is evidence of a lack of trust at a time when the demand for security force protection has disappeared.”
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