On the Verge of a Failed State



For the past few years, the small nation of Lebanon has been failing on several state aspects. On the 17th of October 2019, the youth of Lebanon took to the streets and started what they now call the 17th of October Revolution. To this day, they are demanding the resignation of the entire political class and a change in the political system. However, that revolution has not been a peaceful one. Shortly after the start of the revolution, Covid reached Lebanon and from there, the complete collapse of the state became a reality the country cannot avoid.  

After a circulation from the Central Bank of Lebanon, all banks in Lebanon have been practicing under capital control. This has made it impossible for the people to access their money. To top that off, the Lebanese currency (the Lira) lost more than 90 percent of its value in just over a year while the Central Governor of Banque du Liban has issued a law unpegging the Lira to the Dollar, making its worth completely within the hands of the black market. (In reference, in 2018; 1USD = 1.1515 Liras, now; 1 USD = anywhere between 19 thousand to 25 thousand Liras depending on the day). 

Apart from that, and due to a failing political structure that has been built on pure sectarianism (religious division of the political powers of the state), clientelism and corruption, the people of Lebanon were the victims of the tragic August 4 Port Explosion (the Catastrophe). After the Catastrophe, Lebanon has been living in constant run outs: the country now ran out of the Dollar, medicine, baby formula, bread, electricity, and worst of all, fuel. The once vibrant capital Beirut is now covered by complete darkness that stretches over all corners of the city and around 75% of the land has no access to electricity at all. Fuel owners now are selling the fuel they have on the black market for almost 200% more than their actual price and the majority of the people start their days by waiting in the long queues of the petrol stations to be able to fill not even half their tanks. 

Amidst the lack of fuel, the Lebanese Army has announced its plan to raid most petrol stations and distribute petrol to the people free of charge, yet due to the huge levels of corruption, many army personnels are giving their family and friends first, while making the rest of the population wait for an average of five hours in the queue. 

Most recently (August 15, 2021), the historic northern province of Akkar has been a victim of wildfires (due to extreme changes in the climate conditions of the province) and yet another major explosion that left more than 28 dead and more than 80 injured all with second or third degree burns. Despite not having a concrete idea of the details of the story, the one thing that is certain is that it was caused by a stray bullet. 

To sum it all up, and in the words of many Lebanese; “I can’t believe that the port explosion was not the lowest point of the country.” 

If you would like to donate to Lebanon, these links are for trusted NGOs and the Lebanese Red Cross

Red cross: https://supportlrc.app/donate/donate_guest.html

Beit El-Baraka: https://beitelbaraka.org/donate-now/

Beb w Shebek: https://www.ulyp.org/donate

Offre Joie: https://offrejoie.org/donate/

Impact Lebanon: https://www.impactlebanon.org/donations/new

And if you want to follow up with what’s going on:

Megaphone: https://www.instagram.com/megaphonenews/ (available in both English and Arabic) 

Daraj media: https://www.instagram.com/darajmediaenglish/

And the stories of most (if not all) of your Lebanese friends. 

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