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Lebanese expats as patriotic as ever

By Luca Mouzannar

On Sunday 26 January, the Lebanese diaspora came together to protest near the Lebanese embassy in Marble Arch London.

In London on Sunday 26 January, Lebanese expats who left Lebanon due to financial reasons or lack of opportunity, have gathered to protest at Marble Arch which is near the Lebanese embassy. Karim, a student of Brunel University, said that “we are here to put pressure on the [U.K’s] government to stop their support of [Lebanon’s] corrupt politicians”

The Lebanese uprising on October 17 saw many of the country’s population protest in the streets of Beirut. After a shortage of U.S dollars in the country (Lebanon being dependent on it for importation), an intense fire spread all over Lebanon. While nature was burning, nothing could be done due to a lack of funding in the fire department. In a country deeply religious, many saw it as a punishment. But it is a package of newly imposed taxes on cigarette, gas and even WhatsApp that pushed the population to revolt. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Shortly after, Lebanese expats continued these remonstrations through the streets of Paris, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro and London. The call for revolution went on, they waived the flag, patriotic as ever, the people demanded that governments around the world stop supporting politicians back in Lebanon.

Since the end of Syria’s occupation of Lebanon, the political environment is divided between the 8 March Alliance, a pro-Iran coalition, and the 14 March Alliance, backed by the U.S and western countries. Both alliances are currently under pressure and accused by many of Lebanon’s people of corruption, refusing to acting the protesters demands.

Tiara Debbas, another student said that “we all want to come back to our country, but there is nothing there. This is why we are protesting, to support the ones who are fighting there to overthrow the regime and build a better Lebanon.”

When asked if she would return to Lebanon, she replied saying that “whether you are from Iraq, Syria, Pakistan or Lebanon, we all want to return home. But we need opportunities and a future there. This is what the revolution is about. To build a future. And when it will succeed, I’ll be on the first plane back to Beirut.”

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