A few days ago, we heard the screams of Lebanese economic committees, which are not detached from reality as some like to describe them. Some say that unlike poor people, they don't feel financial burdens on their lives that besiege low-income classes. Truth is, everyone suffers from the economic circumstances, even if the wealthy has more money to get by than the poor.
But the regression of the wealthy, the manufacturers and the vendors certainly affects their employees who, most of the time, are left feeling they are unfairly treated and within themselves have the desire to share profit with their employer. But when loss happens, it comes as a big blow to the employers and owners. These days, big financial blows are much more frequent than you may think in Lebanon.
Let's take a look at the different sectors. Tourism has become history. Our Arab neighbors will not visit Lebanon this summer. The same goes for the Americans and the Europeans. Financial activity this summer will be limited to Lebanese expats visiting Lebanon to see their families. But the expat visits will not be enough to cover the piled up losses in restaurants and cafes. Proof of this is in Beirut’s Downtown area, where most restaurants have shut down.
The deteriorating security situation in Lebanon has made it hard for foreign music and arts artists to hold summer festivals, especially in the city of Baalbek, where rockets and missiles fall and where people get kidnapped on roads leading to it. And so, this sector will also deteriorate and endure losses.
Agriculture and industry sectors aren't doing any better. The closing of border crossings, or rather the impossibility of Syria's transfer of goods to markets outside Syria along with the increase of transfer of goods via the sea, have made both sectors slump and suffer an increase in costs. Many are thinking of shutting down their factories and selling their agricultural lands.
These are only slight examples of the many calamites this small country is suffering from. Its economy is destroyed, its security and borders are uncontrolled and its land and airspace have been violated.
The Lebanese man on the street, however, has represented the power of this country's steadfastness during times of crisis. He destroyed conspiracies and had the determination to do everything he could in hope of a better state.
But it seems this action will remain on shelved for now, as he has become tired. He feels disgusted with everything. He is in a state of frustration and despair and there's not even the slightest glimpse of hope that he will stand his ground. He no longer believes there is national intent to establish a state with rights and thriving institutions. He no longer believes in the capability of his politicians to resolve his problems.
He sees that the situation has gone out of his control and out of his politicians' control - as if riding Syria's wave of collapse is inevitable, as some officials say to persuade others that their choice to participate in the Syria war was the right decision.
What's certain is that the losses suffered by the Lebanese people will lead to more immigration and will leave Lebanon a prey for fighters after the country has been dragged to more expected wars.
Is anyone aware of what's happened to the country's infrastructures? Is anyone aware what's happened to the country's people? Some during the times of peace are attempting to do what they could not have achieved during the times of war: evacuating Lebanon of its real citizens.
This article was first published in Lebanon’s Annahar on June 17, 2013. http://newspaper.annahar.com/article.php?t=makalat&p=3&d=25106&dt=2013-06-17%2000:00:00
Nayla Tueni is one of the few elected female politicians in Lebanon and of the two youngest. She became a member of parliament in 2009 and following the assassination of her father, Gebran, she is currently a member of the board and Deputy General Manager of Lebanon’s leading daily, Annahar. Prior to her political career, Nayla had trained, written in and managed various sections of Annahar, where she currently has a regular column. She can be followed on Twitter @NaylaTueni