‘Maybe Don’t Go Out So Much?’: Lebanese Official Under Fire for TV Advice to Citizens

Published August 24th, 2021 - 09:08 GMT
Aurore Feghali
Aurore Feghali was commenting on the deepening energy crisis in Lebanon. (Twitter: @LarissaAounSky)

As Lebanon tackles its all-time worst economic crisis coupled with severe shortages in fuel, medicines, and other basics of life, Lebanese social media users were triggered by remarks made by an official at the ministry of energy on TV, as she recommended "unusual actions."

During the interview with the Beirut-based LBC channel, Director-General of Oil Facilities at Ministry of Energy Aurore Feghali weighed on the worsening economic crisis in Lebanon which has resulted in surging prices of fuel and many other products, calling on the Lebanese public to "not go out so much."

Then Feghali went on to say that "Lebanese people always protest things at first before they get used to them."

Feghali's statements have been perceived as the last solution offered by the Lebanese government to the people, which has been described as "helpless." Social media users condemned Feghali's advice suggesting it oversimplifies their suffering, especially that the fuel crisis is endangering lives at the country's hospitals, where electricity is scarce.

Moreover, many commentators pointed out the fact that Feghali's house, showing in the background of the interview, was lit up with huge chandeliers, pointing at the contrast between her advice to lower the consumption of energy and how bright the lighting is at her house.

Others also noted that even though she is an official at the government who is strongly linked to the same political party of the Lebanese President Michel Aoun, she was released from prison on bail in May 2020, due to a corruption scandal involving fraud.

Translation: "Best thing ever is when an official feels what their people are going through. Meanwhile, their houses are fully lit, they make full use of ACs, their refrigerators are full, their kids go to schools and universities abroad, they keep their second passports in a safe place, their pianos are in good shape, and their cars are full with 99 octane fuel."

Since October 2019, thousands of Lebanese people have been protesting decades-old corruption in their country, one that has resulted in the world's third-worst economic crisis since the 1850s, according to the World Bank

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