Middle East

Within Lebanon’s “deep trenches”, the meaning of the revolution is different.

Khandaq el Ghamiq is the embodiment of the counter-revolution, but if you look closely, you are also worried about how the country operates.

More than two years ago, on October 17, 2019, the proposed WhatsApp tax brought hundreds of thousands of Lebanese people to the streets to protest the increasingly difficult Lebanese.

Ali Baroudi, a 30-year-old activist, organizer and entrepreneur, thawra, Or a revolution. For Buraudy and like-minded people, the government was widely regarded as corrupt and incompetent, but long ago it lost public trust.

“WhatsApp taxes weren’t the perfect reason behind the revolution. It was the last straw for us,” he said, recalling the early days of mid-October.

Initially, thawra It was a united force for change, bringing together people from all over the country, who had long been full of sectarian divisions.

Had an early crack in thawra: The country’s two most powerful Shiite parties, Hezbollah and Amal, told supporters to withdraw within the first few days after the group felt unfairly targeted. The division deepened when supporters of the group later attacked protesters for the same reason.

In the aftermath of the revolution, the country was in crisis. The government of then Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned and was replaced by a government that was theoretically technocratic but failed to achieve the coveted reforms. The local currency, which had been fixed at the dollar at a rate of $ 1,500 since the end of the civil war between 1975 and 1990, began to fall at an unprecedented rate, with many companies closing doors with coronavirus-related closures. I was forced to. ..

Then, on August 4, 2020, improperly stored for years, a large amount of ammonium nitrate exploded at the port of Beirut, killing at least 218 people and thousands more, as far as dozens of officials know. A person was injured. Revolutionary groups and individuals who have lost stamina in the last eight months have taken revenge, demanded answers and justice from the government, and claimed to be bleeding.

Revolutionary civil society groups and progressive youth movements like Minteshurene (meaning both “we are widespread” and “from October”) were co-founded by Barrowdy. , Mainly led the reconstruction of Beirut and the provision of medical and material assistance. Tens of thousands of people have lost their homes. According to Barrowdy, it was around this time that Min-tae Shrine became politically active.

Ali Baroudi has just finished converting an old apartment into a community center. It is important for him to keep the heritage of the building intact. (TRTWorld)

The so-called technocratic government resigned in the wake of the blast, but protesters’ requests could not be answered in any other way. The French and American investigations into the explosion were not definitive, and the Lebanese investigation-still underway-had gone too far in the very politics that took the protesters to the streets in the first place.

It also fueled a fire of discord between anti-Hezbollah / Amal camps and supporters, including a group of revolutionaries. The conflict reached its boiling point on October 14, 2021, almost two years after its inception. thawraThe two groups claim to have politicized the investigation when the Hezbollah and Amal Crusaders went out to the streets and demanded the dismissal of Judge Tarick Bital, the chief investigator in the Beirut harbor explosion.

It’s hard to get a consensus on what happened next. Some have accused him of attacking the Lebanese army, a powerful Christian party and one of the country’s most anti-Hezbollah voices, while others have accused him of provoking Hezbollah and Amal. Passed through Tayune, which straddles the border between the wartime Shiites and the Christian fortified district. This led to hours of shootouts that killed seven people in Beirut’s most violent relapse.

But, like other major advocacy, protests, or indications of violence in Lebanon, the Tayune clash did not spur changes in the blast investigation — Bitar was not removed, but his investigation did. It remains hampered by political hurdles and delays, or throughout Lebanon.

Since then, Lira has continued to spiral, hitting a record low of 30,000 Lebanese per dollar at the beginning of the week, further undermining Lebanon’s purchasing power, 80% of which are now in poverty.

Where is the revolution?

For tens of thousands of Lebanese (both Lebanese residents and an estimated 15 million diasporas), the fate of the country depends on this year’s elections. With young, technical and progressive candidates who are not obsessed with traditional political parties. Some are run independently, while others are run under Min-tae Schlein itself, according to Barrowdy, the first and only progressive party to register with the Home Office since the protests began. ..

He is also cautiously optimistic about the changes that elections can bring, but he also thawraHe says he’s tired of reinventing the same follow-the-leader dynamics that have plagued the country for decades.

Instead, he invested in the renovation of an old apartment in the Hamra district of Beirut. He lovingly calls it a “worldly hotspot in the Middle East.” He has been refurbishing it for months, and it now bears the bones of what he imagines it could be: a library, a vocational training center, a self-service cafe, and may not have money. Podcast Studios with No Lebanese Youth You can rent studio time at a low cost to buy thousands of dollars of equipment. He hopes that the community center he calls Ark will also offer work in this area, which is straight between the country’s most popular universities.

“I know what happens outside affects what happens inside, but let’s make it a safe place,” he said, with each room already decorated with tables, chairs and whiteboards. Go through.

For him, the revolution is political and very personal. The revolution must immediately show an alternative reality to the current situation that we want to provide through education and vocational training. We also need to be proactive in reaching out to communities that are inclusive and have reached their limits.

“I think Lebanon is like a sick person who has set foot in the clinic. What do you need to get better?” He asks.

“For me, it was an economic piece. If I could get someone to work or get trained to get there, they could stand on their feet and they were one of the world economies. You can feel it as a club. ”

He also hopes that hosting a cultural event at ARK will help foster a sense of healthy Lebanese identity, regardless of religion or background. After spending five years in prison with people of all denominations, he knows that dialogue in different areas is possible, but says he plans to provide dedicated support.He admits it thawra I’ve been criticizing elitism before, but I’m not always doing the great job of getting deep into Lebanese society.

Revolution … and resistance

Interestingly, Baroudy’s sentiment seems to have a support base in the Amal Fortress in Kandaquergamik, a few kilometers away, or in Arabic “deep trenches”. It is a poor area and has long been stereotyped as dangerous and violent.

For many, Kandak is the embodiment of the counter-revolution. Many residents beat and attacked protesters in the early days. thawra, Punishment for cursed leaders like Nabby Beri and Hassan Nasrara. Some residents believe that they were unfairly targeted compared to leaders of other denominations such as Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblatt, and Samir Jaaja.

However, among the butcher shops on Kandak’s main street, it is crowded with people even though most of them are closed at 6 pm. Residents say Kandak isn’t really a counter-revolution at all.

“There are some of the most talented and clever people in my neighborhood, but you never know that because the media only sees certain parts of the neighborhood,” said himself as Salem during a sandwich bite. Says the man who identifies.

Hassan Kalife, the owner of a store that stacks beer behind cans of soda in a packed refrigerator, admits that many people are facing desperate challenges throughout the crisis. There is a risk of losing the politics that polluted Lebanon, or the money, food and other supplies provided by parties such as Amal and Hezbollah, but these are more difficult to buy than ever.

“Last week, my mother had to go to the hospital. I was billed 7 million. If I’m sick, I can’t afford it, so I have to go to a party,” he explains.

“Of course, we want to participate in the revolution, but we can’t.”

Hassan Khalife never separates hungry people. Despite the significant drop in wages over the last two years, he says it is his duty to help feed his community.

Hassan Khalife never separates hungry people. Despite the significant drop in wages over the last two years, he says it is his duty to help feed his community. (TRTWorld)

However, the residents of Khalife’s stores, including Khalife, have made one thing clear. They may oppose the internal affairs of Hezbollah and Amal, but always resist or stand militarily against Israel, a characteristic stance of both groups, especially with anti-Hezbollah Gulf countries. A red line for many Lebanese revolutionaries who believe the country is in favor of Hezbollah’s military campaign bill as it continues to deteriorate.


Questions about progress thawra Demand may vary depending on who has the microphone, which is difficult. Is it possible that a revolution could exist without the support of the country’s most vulnerable citizens? Do I have to be resolutely anti-Hezbollah to be a revolutionary? And perhaps most importantly, who can speak for the revolution?

According to Barrowdy, sustainable progress requires a shift in thinking, regardless of party or lack. For him, people need to talk to each other as if their country depends on it.

In general, it happens as people continue to fall into poverty.

“In Lebanon, when people say how are they, we always say’hamdulillah'(praise to God),” he says.

“I think we said a lot of that, God was convinced we were okay.”

Source: TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/inside-lebanon-s-deep-trench-the-meaning-of-revolution-differs-53406?utm_source=other&utm_medium=rss Within Lebanon’s “deep trenches”, the meaning of the revolution is different.

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