A heartfelt eyewitness account of August 4, 2020. Wissam was with his friends in Karantina until an hour before the explosion. Moments later, he rushed back to a scene of utter devastation to see if any of them were still alive.
Elias Khoury has become the symbol of our failure to convince his generation – our sons – that Lebanon is a country worth living in. Our sons would say: ‘Look at Elias’ photo. Is that what you want for us too?’
The news of the Ceylon tea incident might have been less complicated but more striking than other news, since it was chosen to be announced by the National News Agency (NNA). A clear-cut piece of news, no beating around the bush! The tea that had been donated to the blast victims was distributed to the officers and elements of the Presidential Guard brigade.
The tourism sector is a vivid example of the country’s economic decline, with enterprises partially or totally closing down, reducing employees’ salaries, or laying them off completely, particularly by forcing them to offer their resignations.
It is only a matter of time. In days, or maybe weeks, the Lebanese state’s failure to subsidize raw materials like fuel, wheat, and medicine will be announced. There won’t be any loud explosions, but it will be another time bomb that will destroy whatever had survived the crime at the port.
Populist accusations that refugees are stealing Lebanese jobs ignore the fact that Lebanese employers are happy to hire non-citizens and pay them much lower wages than what they would pay to Lebanese workers and not pay social security fees.
No country can ever recover from a catastrophe at the scale of the August 4th explosion with only food and humanitarian aid. First, this matter requires transparent management that would be serious, accountable, and aimed at serving public interests instead of the interests of political parties and their partners.