When one Lebanese minister's bodyguard thought firing his rifle into the sky was going to scare people away, little did he know he would get kicked right in the groin.
She's been called the "kick queen" and "the icon of Lebanon's revolution" and now she's become the revolutionary bride. Malak Alaywe, the badass woman who kicked the armed bodyguard at the beginning of the protests, headed to Riad El-Solh on Wednesday to celebrate her wedding with husband Mouhamad Herz on the seventh day of ongoing protests in Lebanon.
In an interview with L'Orient-Le Jour, the woman said the couple decided to celebrate the wedding in the midst of the protest because it is where "everything started." The couple met at a demonstration in 2015 when people protested the country's ongoing waste management crisis.
"Riad el-Solh has become our second home," she told L'Orient-Le Jour.
The couple originally wanted to hold a civil wedding, but that is not possible in Lebanon, a country that lacks a unified civil law covering personal status affairs. This means civil marriages on Lebanese grounds are not possible and are only recognized when conducted abroad.
Instead of throwing a typical extravagant Lebanese wedding, the couple decided to take to the streets instead. In a video shared online, the couple can be seen fighting with unknown individuals for reasons that have not been made clear.
Despite the scuffle, people took to the internet to celebrate love and union in the midst of a historic revolution.
"Celebrated her wedding among protesters"
Mabrouk was in order
"The hero who kicked the government in the balls is getting married"
"The most epic revolutionist"
Lebanese women on the front line
The video of the iconic woman has been clicked and shared tens of thousands of times on social media since it first made its way online. In it, a bodyguard of MP Akram Chehayeb, Lebanon's education minister, can be seen getting kicked by Alaywe-Herz.
A motorcade accompanying the minister and his bodyguards got caught up in the demonstration that day, prompting one of the men to leave the vehicle in an attempt to scare away the protesters. It didn't end the way he expected, thanks to this badass woman.
Women of all ages and backgrounds have taken center stage at the ongoing protests. They are not going down without their voices being heard.
On the first day of protests, a group of women stood hand in hand on the front lines of the protests, creating a human barricade between protesters and armed forces. This scene was not just a one-time thing, it occurred nearly every day since the start of the protests.
"The women of Lebanon have been outstanding in demonstrating their leadership, courage & commitment to peace throughout the Lebanon Protests, calling for change & gender equality," said Moez Doraid, UN Women Arab States' Regional Director.
The coverage of the protests in Lebanon were not void of objectification of women, unfortunately.
On Tuesday, the Saudi daily Okaz published a piece in Arabic covering the protests in an incredibly sexist manner. It has been translated in two different ways by English-language publications, both of which criticized the Saudi daily for its unprofessional coverage.
"Lebanese babes: All the beautiful women are revolutionary." - Al Araby
"Lebanese Beauties: All of These Wonderful Women Are Revolutionaries." - Deutsche Welle
Either way, the sexism and objectification of women are evident in both cases, no matter how you choose to translate the original one. The piece itself compiled images of "beautiful women" who Okaz also called revolutionary. These women were taking to the streets to protest corruption, inequality, patriarchal and sectarian systems - and all the publication could focus on was their appearance?