Gwenda Haikal

Since the start of manifestations on October 17, citizens filled the streets with only one goal: Save a dying country.

The revolution aims at delegitimizing political power and order by illegal and unconstitutional means, and verbalize a new agreement from which the new regime and authority would derive their legitimacy. In other words, the revolution is an attempt to overthrow the state.

Still standing strong in the city’s most prominent squares, every time keeping it peaceful despite the government’s attempt to generate riots and then denying it.

Beirut: A city for EVERYONE:

The scene we are witnessing in Beirut downtown reminds lots of people of the civil war era (1975-1990), which has stimulated significant changes in the city’s heritage.

Beirut has been demolished many times since the beginning of the 18th century, thereafter, the end of a devastating civil war a company denominated Solidere was entrusted of planning and redeveloping Beirut central district. By doing that, the company wiped out all aspect of heritage through the construction of modern buildings which transformed Beirut from everyone’s city into a Bourgeoisie metropolis where only the wealthy could afford to reside.

Today, as the revolution makes headway, citizens feel glorious for regaining the open spaces in their beloved Beirut, street sellers came from all over the country, set their merchandise trolleys providing demonstrators with food, drinks and even clothing; some tents were also set and talks with activists and politically educated people were held. As for the artists, they decided to express themselves differently by drawing on walls and making statues out of cans, or creating a phoenix out of tent poles (see the picture).

Government formation soon?

After weeks of delay and many name suggestions that were totally rejected by the people an atmosphere of optimism prevailed Lebanese politicians during the past hours as they spoke about progress in the negotiations to form a new government. According to the official twitter account of the Lebanese Presidency a new PM will be named on Monday, December 09; the first consensus is based on the formation of a technocrat government and the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, Gebran Bassil will be absent from it. The name that is currently on the table is of the businessman Samir El Khatib, who owns many contracting and engineering companies in the Lebanese and Syrian market but was never involved directly in politics. Activists and citizens are skeptical because of the “special” relation he holds with ex PM Hariri.

Suicide Contagion:

Five suicide cases in less than a week;

In light of the latest troubled period, spreading awareness on mental health seems crucial. The continuously increasing economic deficit have pushed several people to commit suicide because they weren’t able to provide the basic needs to their families. This alarming situation lead an NGO called Embrace to take the initiative and create an emotional support and suicide prevention helpline, where specialized volunteers are ready to offer psychological aid for whoever needs it. (Lifeline 1564).

Streets regained momentum, as dozens of young people went to express their anger. The main roads in various Lebanese cities were cut off by burning tires, in protest against an already overburdened economy and an idle government that seems to be on flight mode.

 A number of protesters suspended three symbolic gallows in the center of Sidon, and others marched holding coffins in Jal El Dib; referring to the number of citizens who committed suicide as a result of the deteriorating situation, but also, gallows were displayed as a subliminal message, reminding leaders that they are accountable to people only.

Kids Arrestation:

According to the Committee of Lawyers responsible for the Defense of Protesters in Lebanon, five kids were arrested by the army after tearing down a banner of the free patriotic movement belonging to the President Michel Aoun. While many think what they did was vandalism the kids were only trying to alert the governors that they are also aware of their corrupted acts, and they refuse to grow up in such an environment. The kids were released later on at around 2.30 am following a huge street pressure. The case angered activists who criticized the arrest of children on social media platforms; one of them said: “When a 12-year-old boy shakes the stability of a throne, we got to admit that the state is corrupt.” And Sandra Makarem wrote: “Arresting minors for tearing signs of Corrupted party? If standing up to corruption is a criminal offense, then we are the biggest criminals. Our children are free men and your men are spoiled boys of a corrupt sectarian system.”

Fundraising Projects:

As Christmas time is getting closer, people are coming together creating fundraising and charity initiatives for the less fortunate. The campaign includes collecting all kinds of survival requirements such as food, clothes, blankets, medicament… A group of volunteers will be personally in charge of distributing the collected supplies to the families in need.

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