Now Beirut, Lebanon

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Chile, Ecuador, Catalunya, and Beirut Lebanon


Lebanon Roiled by Second Day of Protests as Frustration Over Chronic Corruption Boils Over


From the article:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Cities across Lebanon rang with antigovernment chants and smoldered with burning roadblocks as thousands of people around the country protested against their leaders on Friday, the second day in a row that frustrations over chronic corruption and dysfunction spilled into the streets.


Protesters massed outside the government palace in downtown Beirut and marched on the presidential palace in Baabda, blocked the airport road and burned posters of politicians from Tripoli in the north to Tyre in the south — Christians, Muslims and religious minorities alike. In downtown Beirut, trucks loaded with huge speakers blasted upbeat patriotic songs and the national anthem. “Revolution! Revolution!” people chanted. “The people want the fall of the regime.”


. . . The Lebanese have had no shortage of things to protest in recent years, with a barren economy that forces many young people to leave the country for good jobs, with landfills and beaches overflowing with trash and with the government perpetually deadlocked over reforms. But the last month has brought more than its usual share of indignities: a faltering currency, crises over wheat and gas and, earlier this week, forest fires for which the government was so unprepared that it was forced to turn to its neighbors for firefighting help.


. . . On Thursday evening, the government announced a tax on calls made using popular internet messaging services including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and FaceTime, a measure it said would help raise revenue amid a fiscal crisis. For many Lebanese, who already pay some of the highest mobile service rates in the region — there are only two telecom companies in the country, both state-owned — this was going too far.


. . . The protesters’ disdain for Lebanon’s leaders seemed omni-partisan. In Sunni-dominated areas, people tore down posters of Mr. Hariri, the country’s most powerful Sunni. In largely Shiite parts of southern Lebanon, they chanted against Nabih Berri, the Shiite speaker of Parliament, whose popularity usually goes unquestioned, and in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburb of Beirut they attacked the offices of Hezbollah members of Parliament. Outside the government palace in Beirut on Friday evening, a chanting crowd alternately mocked Mr. Hariri and Gebran Bassil, the foreign minister and a leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, a Christian party.


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Comments (7)
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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Not surprising in the least. I am astonished Lebanon managed to cope amidst the chaos surrounding it and the chaos imposed on it.

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maifleur01

I am old enough to remember when Lebanon was considered to be the Paris of the Middle East then it was torn apart and all the beautiful things and people were destroyed. Makes me very sad that of all things the cell phone rates are the reason the people are rioting. I have not paid attention for about 15 years but I do worry now about the people who would be in their 60s and 70s that moved back after things had quieted.

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dublinbay z6 (KS)

Thank you, nancy, for keeping us update on selective international events that do not always (maybe never) make our headlines.

Kate

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lurker111

I am old enough to remember when Lebanon was considered to be the Paris
of the Middle East then it was torn apart and all the beautiful things
and people were destroyed.

I get invited to Lebanon every year for Christmas. My friend sends videos of the celebrations and nativity scenes. Much more extravagant than anything here.

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maifleur01

Lurker did you travel to Lebanon between 1973? to perhaps 2008 and see the destruction. The people of Lebanon do wonderful celebrations. The holiday food for most holidays is simply divine but very time consuming to make.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

You guys are killing me. I want kibbeh now. Sadly my best Lebanese friends don't live close by and I have no idea how to make that delicious dish. Off to YouTube for some help.

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lurker111

Lurker did you travel to Lebanon between 1973? to perhaps 2008

No, I've never been there. My friend went to college here in the 70's. That's how we met.

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