Lebanon’s financial, social, and cultural behavior has been in jeopardy since the end of the civil war in 1990 that tore its population and economy apart. Over a month ago, protests were sparked by a series of proposed austerity measures bringing almost 2 million Lebanese people – close to 50% of the population – to the streets in protest against the current government and the sectarian system it upholds. After 12 days of strike, the prime minister Hariri resigned, bringing the people one step closer to their goal. 

Lebanon has been paralyzed by almost a month of consecutive protests while the country is on the verge of economic collapse. Banks, schools, universities, offices are all closed pushing the country deeper into a standstill. Peaceful protestors are closing down main roads and filling the streets and public spaces in the major cities to demand the resignation of the entire government and the issuing of a new technocratic administration.

A regime’s only concern should be to promote the interests of its people. And yet, this has not been their preoccupation even in times of relative stability, which is why the people have finally started demanding more attention in these times of uncertainty. The administration needs to adapt to the new reality that has presented itself through this national outcry. 

The most important goals of this revolution are: first, saving the population from the factional kleptocracy that has paralyzed the country for three decades now and robbed many generations of a good future within their lands. Second, despite the corrupt ruling elite’s attempts to misrepresent the current uprising as a tool for foreign influence to exert its ‘Machiavellian force’, I urge every one of you reading this to avoid the trap of “tribal epistemology” – which is our individual bias – and focus on the common objective that is taking our country back from its destructors.

It is very unclear where the country will be heading in the next months; whether the revolution creates a power vacuum that could be strategically abused by foreign states who are trying to establish themselves in the area, or whether it brings a new and unprecedented technocratic structure and stability to a zone of conflict. What is certain is that challenging years are ahead.

We, the united Lebanese population, have finally decided to take our country back from the corrupt ruling class, the oppressors of generations who have kept us down with myths of progress and their cynical, self-serving opportunism. 

It is the Lebanese government’s duty to embrace the new essence of ideas conveyed by the united population in order to build a functioning civil state that respects the values of freedom, justice, equality, and unity by ensuring the rights and duties of its citizens. 

The current Lebanese government has robbed an entire generation of people from believing in their country’s ability to provide us with a decent future where our dignity and rights won’t be undermined. They robbed me from having my voice heard by pushing entire generations to migrate. Most importantly, they robbed me of making history with my compatriots on the streets today. I am missing out on the most important fight in our nation’s history. I am living this incredible event virtually on foreign land, powerless and alone without even the sound of my native tongue to soothe me. 

This movement has achieved a striking popular rally against confessionalism, nepotism, and the incoherence and unsustainability of the current plans for the future of the country. The once divided people of Lebanon need to reconnect as a society in order to digest what has been accomplished so far and understand where we stand now. 

For such a small country that encompasses the immense diversity of a multi-confessional society, Lebanon has the potential to be a great nation, especially now that a new educated and skilled generation is rising and demanding to build a new and secular type of government that promotes better values like tolerance, integrity, and equality. Every citizen, regardless of his religion, social class, or political affiliation has the chance to play a positive role in our national uproar for salvation. 

It is the Lebanese government’s duty to embrace the new essence of ideas conveyed by the united population in order to build a functioning civil state that respects the values of freedom, justice, equality, and unity by ensuring the rights and duties of its citizens. 

I condemn all attempts – either through the spread of fake news or the creation of fear within the people by recalling traumatic events that led to the civil war and the current instability – to suppress the demonstrations. 

I thank every single Lebanese citizen who, by striking, has shouldered the burden of keeping our long-mistreated country on track; may you have the courage to break the patterns in your life that are no longer serving you. And remember, the day you plant the seed is not the day you reap the fruit, this is only the first step on a long road to recovery!

I also request that the Lebanese Army and Security Forces maintain their humane and admirable position by remaining on the side of the people and protecting them because they are also the main beneficiaries of this protest. 

 

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