Although disputes prevail, there’s one thing all Lebanese citizens can probably agree on: the country has seen some better times. Continuous economic crashes, corruption and political instability have torn the country and plunged the Cedar state into relative darkness since 2019.
Protesters have taken it down to the streets to foster change more than once, in vain. Each claim and demand was more often than not met with further neglect and carelessness. Unfortunately, the situation is far from getting any better. In fact, as things stands, it might be reaching new dire heights.
According to a report published by the UN in 2021, almost three-quarters of the population lives in. Lebanon’s parliamentary elections on Sunday held the prospect of a change, however small, to turn tables around and blow some hope into the country’s youth.
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With results slowly being decrypted by all kinds of political analysts from all sides of the spectrum, we decided to ask youngers, arguably some of the main concerned, what they had to say about the future of their country.
Ilaria Makhoul, 19
Sectarianism in Lebanon is so rooted that it’s hard to make a positive projection about Lebanon’s future, and politics specifically. The saddest part is that even after all the crazy latest events caused by the corrupt ruling class, which lead the country to misery, most people’s mindsets doesn’t change. Everyone wants to be represented by someone of their own religion, without actually putting the attention on the programs that these candidates have to offer. The cycle isn’t really breaking because people still think about religion and about the piece of the cake that each religious community is able to get. InchAllah one day people will start seeing politics as a means to live better and therefore separate themselves from this traditional bullshit.
Faris Khayat, 23
I used to have hope. I remember seeing loads of movements of opposition since 2019 and that these elections will trigger some kind of change. Outside of expats, there wasn’t even a 40 percent turnout rate from those living inside. Opposition parties did not get as many votes than that, they got some but not as much as expected which means that traditional parties are keeping the upper hand. In my opinion, they all need to bounce. They’re the minority that is messing things up for everyone. How do you want to re-build a country with the same politicians that we had during the war? It’s been over 30 years and with that being said now, it’s difficult to keep on having hope for Lebanon.
Souheil Hanna, 25
The issue in Lebanon is not only political but very much economic. The youth is completely lost. People that are cultured, that have higher education, that have diplomas all want to leave to work elsewhere as the currency keeps on plummeting. Just imagine have to put an average Lebanese salary to fuel your car up. The ruling class did not wake up, others in my eyes are complicit. We are lacking civism and a clear path that will lead us to a somewhat better future..
Tea Ziade, 20
Young people are tired, and most that can will try their best to leave. Not one of us sees the point in staying knowing that things won’t change. In these last elections, it’s been reported that people withheld from voting which shows how little trust we have in political candidates and traditional parties. I wish for their to be more consensus between new parties and for them to not be all over the place. For them to gather and unite the voice of the people and actually make things different. Eventually, we all want the same thing but it needs to materialise itself. Let’s get ourselves out of foreign intervention to give us young people back our hope and the potential of a better future.