the continuing tragedy of Lebanon

I work with a dozen different nationalities in my office. It is a truly multicultural, trans-national environment that I go to five days a week. Four of my friends are Lebanese. They sit in the open space around me. This afternoon it was quiet, everyone working, each absorbed in his or her task. Suddenly, cell phones rang and people spoke Arabic, their voices raised and worried. My Lebanese colleagues rose in one movement and moved into the corridor to talk amongst themselves and make phone calls to their families and friends back home.

A terrible thing happened this afternoon. If you have Lebanese friends, colleagues, clients, neighbors (or your local hairdresser, shop or restaurant owner) reach out to them. Already, the country is on its knees what with COVID, corruption, the economic collapse and the influx of millions of refugees over the past decade.

Is it any wonder that one of the largest diaspora populations in the world is Lebanese? The majority of them are of the Christian faith.

Lebanon remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, with Government estimate of 1.5 million Syrian refugees, some 20,000 refugees of other origins, in addition to the Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate. Lebanon has contributed immensely to the response by giving refugees equal access to the public schools, hospitals and social development centres. (source UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency)


10 thoughts on “the continuing tragedy of Lebanon

  1. Years ago, had Lebanon agreed to peace with Israel, and dealt properly with Hezbollah, today it would be among the most successful of the Arab states in.the ME


  2. Yes, it is far more complex and one cannot rewrite history. But, the fact remains that if Lebanon had not continued on the rejectionist front, its modern history could be entirely different. As it stands, even before yesterday’s explosions, Lebanon is one of the failed nations in the Middle East. BTW, as far as Israel is concerned

    • Sherman, you are correct. This is true for so many of Israel’s neighbours. Decades spent, not to mention money and lives, refusing to accept a tiny Jewish state in their midst. A waste of humanity and energy that could be better used. I was in Ramallah a few years ago and went to a luncheon given by a local journalist who said he had to stop writing for Arab papers as they wouldn’t publish anything even remotely suggesting that the existence of Israel wasn’t the real problem. I can only hope that out of this tragedy, the Lebanese people realize Israel isn’t their enemy, Hezbollah is.

    • Exactly, I’m with you. President Macron is currently in Beirut and being received like a messiah (well, not by everyone.) Showing non-stop on TV screens here.

      • President Macron is receiving a lot of MSM coverage here in the US. Regardless of the motivation, it is a bold and brilliant move for a wounded country.

  3. Juliet thanks for this post. Lebanon indeed has been through so much and continues to host a staggering number of refugees despite that. My friend is working there and her entire apartment building was wiped out. Owing to a stroke of luck, she and her husband took their six year old daughter out when this took place and they are all safe and sound. It is a horrific tragedy 😢

    • How awful ! The entire building gone !? Thank God they are safe and sound. Unfortunately, others were not so lucky. I’m putting up a new blog post tonight about Macron’s visit. Thanks for commenting. Take care.

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