Blog AnalysisGulf Middle East

[Opinion] My heart bleeds for Beirut (Maroun Labaki)

(B2) A very beautiful text from a Belgian colleague, of Lebanese origin, one year after the explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital, which brought thousands of families to their knees... and the Lebanese State

This August 4, my heart bleeds for Beirut. I was born in Lebanon, and my roots lie in its mountains. It is in its pine forests that my sweet childhood memories reside. It was on its fault line between East and West that I learned that we are all different and all the same. I was nurtured by its diversity.

For a long time, the Lebanese irritated me, always linking their misfortunes to supposed foreign interference, always blaming their neighbors. Too easy. You don't build a state on tricks. One day, we end up paying.

But the Lebanese have paid too much for their mistakes. For almost two years, but especially since the explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4, 2020, the Lebanese have plunged into poverty. The Lebanese pound is no longer worth anything, no one has access to their savings, there are no more medicines, there is no more gasoline, there is no more electricity. Just imagine my mom – who is not the worst off.

The country has gone into a spin, but for a year now the political class has been unable to form a government! Each holds the other by the goatee, and all his dark kleptomaniacs fear above all the great unpacking of their ignominies. They therefore blow on the confessional embers in the hope of smoking out the people for a long time to come...

The people, however, grew up in the ordeal. What happened exactly one year ago? Who knew of the existence of this ticking time bomb in the middle of the port of Beirut? The Americans claim that only 500 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded. Where did the other 2.250 tons of cargo landed, who knows how in 2013, go? Did Hezbollah seize this treasure, in whole or in part, in order to strengthen its arsenal? Did he kindly hand it over to his ally Bashar al-Assad? It is not insulting the Shiites to ask these questions! The Lebanese, including Shiites, have the right to know. The Lebanese political class, almost as a whole, nevertheless applied itself to torpedoing the investigation… A scandal within the scandal!

Shenanigans, corruption, clientelism, negligence, speculation, the casino-economy: the Lebanese also want to know who stole their money, who piloted this announced disaster. Can we in this context do without an institutional rupture? I doubt it more than ever. Couldn't we, here or there, invoke the right of interference? In any case, we are not far from non-assistance to people in danger. SOS Beirut. SOS Lebanon.

Maroun Labaki

B2 Writing

© B2 - Bruxelles2 is a French online media that focuses on political Europe (powers, defence, foreign policy, internal security). It follows and analyzes developments in European policy, unvarnished and without concessions. Approved by the CPPAP. Member of SPIIL. Please quote "B2" or "Bruxelles2" in case of recovery