Apparently the love of World Cup flags extends beyond Lebanon:

Youssef Bassal’s heart swelled with pride when he draped an enormous German flag on the building [in Berlin] where he runs a cell phone store in support of the World Cup team.

So the Lebanese immigrant was stunned when German leftist groups tore down the 100-square-meter (1000-square-foot) flag — not just once, but twice.


The German radical leftist group “Autonome WM-Gruppe” went a step further and published a post on the Internet calling for the destruction of Bassal’s flag.

Bassal, who moved to Germany 25 years ago, responded to the online threats by organizing a group of five immigrants from Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon to protect the German flag at night. He has also pressed charges against those believed responsible for tearing it down the first time, who were caught by police.

This almost sounds like something that can happen in Beirut – except you need to replace “German radical leftist group” with “opposing team supporters” and delete all mention of the word “police” and “police-related activity“.

Lebanese Ibrahim Bassal poses near the four-storey long German flag to show their support for the German national soccer team in the FIFA 2010 World Cup in front of the electronics shop in the district Neukoelln in Berlin, Tuesday, June 29, 2010. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)