It has been a year already since the Beirut port explosion occurred—a year since our city was ripped apart both physically and emotionally. A year has passed and the wounds are still slow to heal.
In October 2019, many Lebanese took to the streets in a festive manner with dancing and chanting to denounce mounting economic pressures and demand political accountability for three decades of corruption and mismanagement of public resources.
After nine years of war, we had hoped that the worst was behind us. However, the most severe humanitarian crisis since the beginning of the war is currently unfolding in Idlib, a province in Northwestern Syria, following efforts by the Syrian government to recapture one of the last rebel and jihadi-held strongholds.
For a city that has prided itself as one of the best destinations for nightlife in the Middle East, the battlefield-like scenes broadcasted on national TV over the weekend of January 18th – 19th and January 22nd were quite the change from the usual glitz and glamour of Beirut’s party scene.
The Lebanese uprising has been raging since October 17th and there seems to be no solution in sight since the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri on October 29th.
Lebanon is a unique beast. It is a country of sharp social contrast and a fragile sectarian balance—a balance that has dominated Lebanese politics since the end of the civil war in 1990 and that has recently started to show cracks.