People in Lebanon are tying to draw attention to their frustration over Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's participation in this year's World Economic Forum. Taking to social media, many are voicing their rejection to having Bassil represent their country amid a tense economic climate.
Protests that erupted across Lebanon since October have frequently attacked Gebran Bassil and other politicians who have been accused of exploiting the political system for their own benefits.
Lebanese people on social media are rejecting Bassil's participation in the global economic event, where he will ironically speak in a session on January 23rd about the return of unrest in Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon.
As a Lebanese citizen, I urge the @wef @Davos not to welcome the deposed minister Gebran Bassil. He does not represent #Lebanon. He is a symbol of the corruption, nepotism and injustice that millions of Lebanese have been revolting against for 95 days. pic.twitter.com/9wFikLJUIk— burnt out (@mxnocxromatic) January 20, 2020
@Davos if you are truly committed to improving the world as you claim, start by expelling Gebran Bassil who epitomizes racism &corruption and in no way is a legitimate representative ofLebanon &its brave people.#Lebanon_revolution #Gebran_Bassil_out pic.twitter.com/Bh1nfYOUwz— makram rabah (@makramrabah) January 19, 2020
1/ It's utterly astonishing & shameful that Lebanese FM #GebranBassil is being welcomed at @Davos @wef to speak this week at a session ironically entitled "The Return of Arab Unrest." Bassil is a documented racist & refugee-loathing inept politician https://t.co/5avtYC87zu pic.twitter.com/6riUjO5Lft— Zahra Hankir (@ZahraHankir) January 20, 2020
Some people expressed their shock that the Lebanese politician has been invited to comment on a topic that he "hasn't successfully dealt with," urging organizers of the World Economic Forum to withdraw their invitation and emphasizing that "he doesn't represent them."
I am Lebanese, and Gebran Basil doesn’t represent me! Please reconsider inviting him, we dont want him speaking in our name.— Vera Shamseddine (@verasd93) January 19, 2020
Davos is designed for shady unrepresentative elites, there's no contradiction here. https://t.co/pKBXpbXJFH— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) January 20, 2020
@wef @Davos— Bee (@accountrunbycat) January 20, 2020
Are you not aware that your guest Gebran Bassil is one of the reasons for the current "unrest" in Lebanon? Are you not aware that you invited one of the most corrupt politicians to speak against corruption? What are you playing at exactly? #boycottwef #لبنان__ينتفض pic.twitter.com/HQGBS5swRE
While social media exploded in anger in reaction to Bassil's scheduled talk during the WEF, some tweeted their support for the foreign minister, calling him one of the "best politicians in Lebanon's history" and the "right person to represent their country internationally."
GEBRAN BASSIL is the only man to represent Lebanon - we trust him & believe in his hard work & dedication for Lebanon— carla kassab (@CKassb) January 19, 2020
I am a Lebanese Citizen and my choice goes only to GIBRAN BASSIL to represent me at the 2020 world economic forum @wef @Davos ??
A minister who uplifted the tasks of the MFA,a minister who worked on appointing economic attache, a minister who worked on bringing back the brilliant emigrants to invest in the country, his place in @WEF is well deserved!— Ramona Haddad (@Ramonahaddad) January 19, 2020
Gebran Bassil is our minister of foreign affairs and he is the president of the biggest parliamentary bloc in Lebanon. That's a fact and his legitimacy isnt to be proven to anybody. And he is known to be clean!— Elie C. ???? (@Elie99422423) January 19, 2020
Bassil is a leading politician in the Free Patriotic Movement, the political party founded by his father-in-law and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, tying him in deeply with the elite political class that many are protesting against.
Deadly clashes over the dire state in Lebanon have broken out only days before Bassil's expected attendance at WEF.
This marks the third month that anti-government protests continue to rock the country where people are calling for a new non-sectarian political system and better economic policies.
According to economic experts, the Lebanese economy is in its worst state in decades and is on the verge of a complete collapse, especially if protests endure and the formation of a government continues to stall.
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