Desperate Lebanese Fight for Simplest Rights

Published January 24th, 2022 - 11:47 GMT
Lebanese protesters
Frustrated protesters rally against bank owners and the Lebanese government. (Twitter)

A wide rage of protests took place across Lebanon yesterday night. Angry demonstrators have locked several areas. Dozens have also staged a rally in front of the Central Bank of Lebanon.

Frustrated protesters chanted various slogans against bank owners and the Lebanese government and carried banners that read: “The bank owner has a Yacht in Cyprus and you can't even afford your medicine.”

Lebanese protesters also called for the removal of the current cabinet and the formation of a new government that will be able to ensure simplest living requirements including water, electricity, fuel as well as medicine. 

A trending hashtag “#الى_الشارع -to the street” was shared widely on Twitter as demonstrators encouraged people to join them in a new wave that might likely be turned into a new revolution.

In Beirut, a huge rally took place in front of the Association Des Banques Du Liban against monetary and banking policies.

According to statistics, continued financial collapses and the depreciation of the Lebanese pound have pushed large segments of the population into poverty. The poverty rate has nearly doubled -- from 42% in 2019 to 82% in 2021, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.

Furthermore, the national currency has lost 90% of its value over two years while the country witnessed a dramatic collapse in basic services, an unemployment surge and closure of businesses.

The situation in Lebanon has gone from bad to worse. According to the World Bank report, For nearly 18 months now, Lebanon has been assailed by compounded crises—specifically, an economic and financial crisis, followed by COVID-19 and, lastly, the explosion at the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020. 

Lebanese are expected to hold general elections on 15 May 2022, which President Michel Aoun approved in December. Workers helping to run the legislative elections will head to the polls on 12 May, while Lebanese citizens living abroad will vote on 6 and 8 May, Lebanon's presidency tweeted.

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