Rear View – Lebanon in review (11 July 2021)
6 July: Prime Minister Diab fears imminent social unrest
Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab has warned that the country is on the verge of a social explosion.
Speaking to ambassadors and diplomats at the Grand Serail, Diab urged the international community to intervene to end Lebanon’s economic crisis.
Diab claims the current government has no right to resume negotiations with the IMF, “for this would entail obligations that the next government may not agree to.” Diab’s government is currently only in power as a caretaking government.
He also stated that tying international assistance to the formation of a new government poses a threat to the lives of Lebanese and to Lebanon, but does not affect the corrupt ministers advancing the crisis. Diab is among those being prosecuted by the Lebanese judiciary over the devastating August 4 2020 explosion.
The lack of action by Lebanese politicians to resolve the political crisis sees the country continue to spiral downward toward chaos, with more and more sectors raising the alarm.
8 July: Lebanon gas station worker breaks gender barrier
21-year-old Amani Muneimneh has drawn nationwide attention and enthusiasm for working at a gas station in Sidon, a traditionally male-only job.
Long fuel queues and the scorching heat of a Lebanese summer day trump gender stereotypes as Amani Muneimneh fills up gas.
“I do not differentiate between man or woman. Everyone must abide by their turn to fill their tanks. I treat everyone equally and I refuse any bribery to skip the long queue,” said 21-year-old Muneimneh.
Instead of a “gender-appropriate” occupation, each day she fills up cars in gas stations for eight hours and makes around LL 700,000 (about $42USD). Her station on the outskirts of Sidon is possibly the only one in the country with a female employee.
What seems like a small thing has received an overwhelmingly positive response in Lebanon. A Facebook post by a friend of Muneimneh with photos of her working has received 11,000 likes, 1,300 shares, and 1,700 comments.
8 July: Maronite Patriarch urges Hariri to form a government
Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rahi urged Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to urgently form a government in collaboration with President Michel Aoun “according to the spirit of the constitution.”
Al-Rahi’s statement followed his return from the Vatican, where he took part in the Day of Prayer and Reflection for Lebanon, hosted by Pope Francis on July 1st.
The Maronite leader warned that each day Lebanon goes without a real government is another day that takes the nation deeper into crisis. “I’ve told him before in person,” he said. “Forming a government is the first step to solving every problem.”
“We are here because the government cannot be delayed any longer, not even a quarter-minute,” he said.
8 July: Plane crash leaves 3 dead
Three people have died in a plane crash in Ghosta in the mountainous district of Keserwan. It is believed that the pilot and two passengers, siblings Hadi and Joelle Moussa, died instantly.
Reports say that visibility in Keserwan that day was restricted due to high levels of fog. The plane departed Beirut International Airport at 1:30pm and flew towards Jounieh-Jbeil until it veered off its preapproved route and crashed in Ghosta at around 1:50pm.
The Lebanese caretaker minister of public works and transport ordered an immediate investigation into the crash
9 July: Meeting between KSrelief chief and US envoy to Lebanon
The US envoy to Lebanon, Dorothy C. Shea, has met with the supervisor general of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, to discuss humanitarian relief for Lebanon.
Through KSrelief, Saudi Arabia provides humanitarian aid to various countries, including Lebanon and its refugees. Over the past five years, KSrelief has carried out 1,616 projects worth approximately $5.3 billion in 68 nations in collaboration with 144 local, regional, and international partners.
Recent research from the centre found that Yemen is the country that receives the most assistance ($3.8 billion), followed by Palestine ($364 million), Syria ($305 million) and Somalia ($206 million).
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