NICOLE SABA WRITES – Imagine being estranged from your mother for years and then seeing her on a talk show, aimed at helping families reunite and fix their issues. While talking, your mother calls your father an abusive drunk. What’s your reaction?
For Ahmad, an angry 15-year-old Lebanese boy, the logical response was to get up on the studio table and kick his mother in the face.
According to Al Arabiya, they had not seen each other in about seven years, since the boy’s parents divorced. The mother, Dunya Al Asaad, wanted to appear on the talk show, Bil Akeed, meaning “For Sure,” on Lebanon’s Future Television network. While Ahmad initially refused to meet with her, the program eventually convinced him to.
With a panel of specialists, the mother began to explain to her son why she left his father, who was granted child custody. According to this video, she experienced much domestic violence, which even occurred in court, where Ahmad’s father “attacked [her] in front of the judges and the sheikhs.” International Business Times explained that Ahmad was full of attitude towards his mother and the show. His mother told him that he was behaving like his father and sounded like a drunk. Refusing to believe a word, Ahmad began defending his father and eventually stood up on the table and kicked her on live television.
The crew ran to pull him away and hold him down, and disappointment filled the studio as the host, Zaven Kouyoumdjian, kept repeating, “this is what came out of you?” This family issue may have more serious implications as it reflects the level of disrespect women face in the Arab world as a whole, including the rise in domestic violence deaths in Lebanon. But, there are efforts to curb this, such as a new law aiming to protect women.
Dunya escaped the abuse of her husband only to now face abuse from her son, but even so, she was lucky to have escaped the fate of many women in Lebanon. But, if more children are like Ahmad, having lived through the violence against their mothers, what is to say that these kids won’t grow up to mimic their fathers? This episode should serve as a wakeup call for Lebanon’s citizens to protect their women and respect them as equals.