In Lebanon, we are all in the same sinking boat
The Lebanese people feel as though they are being left to face their fate
The Lebanese people feel as though they are being left to face their fate and that no one makes any decisions regarding affairs linked to their security and lives. No one is defending them. It’s as if they are living in the absence of a state and in the shadow of a deep-rooted political vacuum. This vacuum deepens by the day and it’s not only caused by a vacuum in state institutions but also by the death of prominent figures who influenced our national culture thanks to their wisdom in times of fanaticism. The last of these intellectuals to pass away is Monah al-Solh. Solh, who was a moderate voice fighting sectarianism and divisional rhetoric, passed away on Saturday.
The post of the presidency remains vacant and there’s no hope on the horizon considering the blind approach that has haunted the election of a new president. Meanwhile, the parliament is incapable of electing a president due to the sharp divisions obstructing its legislative role after the Taif Agreement cancelled out its regulatory role. As for the government, it’s not doing any better. I don’t intend to attack the government like some are currently doing, however, its structure does not allow it to function. The division of ministerial portfolios has split the government into parties with conflicting interests. This was shown during last week’s session as all controversial issues, which would serve certain parties’ interests, were postponed.
Lebanon’s deteriorating livelihood conditions have spared no oneNayla Tueni
What concerns us even more than all of this is the fear that took over the Lebanese people’s lives. The issue of the border with Syria worries them in the north, Beqaa and the south. There’s no agreement on any solutions regarding this problem, especially as borders with Syria are not demarcated. There’s also an inability to control these borders which are wide-open for fundamentalist parties, movements and groups - Lebanese and Syrian alike – to traverse. These groups violate these borders’ sovereignty and thus humiliate our dignity.
The thorny issue of the abducted military personnel and the incidents in which soldiers were fired upon in northern areas do not bode well. They foreshadow the worst repercussions of this chaotic situation.
Amidst this dire situation, there’s an urgent need for a positive shock. This won’t be possible unless there’s a minimal agreement amongst all parties and groups - even those in crises. All sects and parties are in crisis and actually lack a clear vision. No one can bid over anyone regarding this point because everyone is in one boat subject to sinking if they don’t realize the current imminent threats and address them.
The security situation threatens everyone and economic regression pressures everyone. The deteriorating livelihood conditions have spared no one. So what are politicians, parties and religious leaders waiting for? Isn’t this threat of sinking worthy of establishing a state of emergency and descending from the ivory towers before the state’s foundations collapse on everyone’s heads and remorse is of absolutely no use?
This article was first published in al-Nahar on October 13, 2014.
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
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