2019-2020 Lebanese Revolution Slogan “Hela Hela Ho”

On the 17th of October 2019 barely 100 Lebanese citizens of Beirut “The Capital” started protesting against WhatsApp imposed Tax. What they did not know that it was a revolution 30 years in the making.

Photo Credit Majed Dagher

Thawra“, Revolution in Arabic, is now the trending word in the Arab world. In Lebanon the revolution took, let us say, a unique look and feel, I believe it is related to Lebanon’s eastern public identity and western hidden culture. When the people first took it to the streets no one had any idea it will reach that level of creativity, art, innovation and originality.

29/November 2019 by Anne-Lot Hoeck

“Hela Hela Hooo” can be considered the main slogan in the Lebanese revolution, where it can be applied on different activities done by the rebels. It started all by applying it to the former minister of foreign affairs Gebran Bassil until it became his recognized nickname all over the country and everyone started to call “Al-Hela Ho” it means the “Hela Ho”. The slogan by itself has no specific meaning in Arabic vocabulary, however in the Lebanese dialogue it is used sometimes in songs that makes people perform the “Dabkeh” (Lebanese Dance) and with Gebran case it refers more to a person who talks non-sense all the time with no tangible achievements. Rebels expressed their anger towards this politician by chanting to him on the streets saying “Hela Helaaa, Hela hela Hooo, Gebran Bassil {censored}” a popular Lebanese swear word at the end.

“Lebanese DABKE – Lebanon” by whl.travel is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Gebran Bassil Photo Credit Al-Jazeera / Edited by Majed Dagher

The Gebran Bassil song by the Lebanese revolution became the talk of the town where creativity played a big role around it. YouTubers, Bloggers and almost all social media platforms had something to do with the “Hela Hela Hoo”, where you can see the original song…

hela hela ho gebran bassil song Lebanese revolution 2019
18,567 views •Oct 22, 2019
MM trendzzz

Adapted to different TV Shows like “The Voice” in its Arabic version even a YouTube channel created called HELA HOOO

The voice GEBRAN BASSIL “censored
13,058 views •Oct 21, 2019

And some Opera show for example

29,539 views •Oct 21, 2019
JaMaLShoW- جمال شو

Step by Step, Lebanese protestors locally and internationally expanded even more the “Hela Ho” slogan to reach different medium like animation, Ringtones, piano, cartoons, etc…

#جبران_باسيل #لبنان_ينتفض #Lebanon
HeLa Ho Gebran Basil [ALL] هيلا هو جبران
114,998 views •Oct 22, 2019
JaMaLShoW- جمال شو

At this stage the “Hela Ho” was still only for the former minister of foreign affairs Gebran Bassil. Later on the protesters started to adapt the slogan to specific activities like blocking the roads “Hela Helaaa, Hela Hela Hooo, AlTarik msakkar ya heloo” which means the slogan followed by “The road is cut sweety”.

“هيلا هيلا هو الطريق مسكر يا حلو” بالموسيقى متظاهرون يغلقون الطرق في بيروت
Slogan followed by “Road is blocked Sweety”
7,044 views •Oct 28, 2019
Al Aan TV تلفزيون الآن

Eventually the “Hela Hela Ho” was applied to different politicians across the country with maintaining the rhyming closure. Thousands even millions protestors took it to the streets using the same melody with different words. Always starting with the slogan followed by whoever there target.

Credit Majed Dagher
Credit Majed Dagher
Credit Majed Dagher


The Lebanese Revolution Through Music and Art.

How are Lebanese protesters using art to express their views?
843 views •Nov 28, 2019
euronews (in English)

facebook Do you believe with a peaceful creative revolution people can reach their goal?

Twitter Do you believe that the Lebanese revolution is different from the Arab uprising?

One thought on “2019-2020 Lebanese Revolution Slogan “Hela Hela Ho”

  1. Thanks for the blog. Slogan’s have become like names of pop songs. Just whispering the title Johnny Be Good for instance would instantly release a thought of the power and energy behind the Chuck Berry classic. Social and political movements have shown to do the same thing, which is why I’m not entirely surprised that the “Hela Hela Ho” slogan took off. Its amazing to see how social media can distribute messages like this one and spread them throughout the world, while occasionally influencing policies.

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