Chaos, crime and suicide
Apart from Lebanon’s political vacuum, there is a dangerous social phenomenon that we cannot overlook
Apart from Lebanon’s political vacuum, there is a dangerous social phenomenon that we cannot overlook. Not a single day passes without news of at least one crime in several areas, with various motives and under different circumstances.
This phenomenon threatens social and moral chaos. Lebanese society has adapted to decades of wars and crises, yet somehow maintained minimal strength. The current chaos is unprecedented.
There were several crimes last week with different circumstances and motives. One was related to domestic violence and a woman was killed. Another was related to a dispute over a real estate deal, and ended with the murder of a former judge. A third crime involved a man suffering from a nervous breakdown who killed his sister then committed suicide. Suicide has become as normal as murders.
In confronting the destructive social repercussions of these major crises, we need social and psychological experts more than anything else. Society is left on its own to deal with its suffering and problems, while the state gives minimal concern to citizens’ affairs and crises.
The state’s absence due to political division and institutional paralysis does not justify leaving people to face individual or collective despairNayla Tueni
The irony is that for two months now we have witnessed a different phenomenon, represented in heavy turnout to dozens of festivals. This reflects people’s vitality and hope. So how come we are facing these contradictory phenomena?
I do not claim to have an interpretation of the crime-related phenomenon, as this is the work of sociologists and experts. However, this does not prevent us from speaking out to those concerned, particularly to the government, which is struggling to remain in power.
We must speak out to the Interior Ministry and civil society so they can launch campaigns to resolve this spreading phenomenon. The state’s absence due to political division and institutional paralysis does not justify leaving people to face individual or collective despair.
This article was first published in an-Nahar on Aug. 15, 2016.
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