Home OpinionEditorial Time to rise above

Time to rise above

by Yasser Akkaoui

Executive has been shouting over and over again for change in this country, calling the bluffs of successive governments in our more than 20 years of coverage. At times, it seemed as though we were screaming into the void. Ignored by the policy-makers, targeted by threats and lawsuits, and resigned to the lack of reaction from the public at large. And then suddenly Lebanon erupted, the people took to the streets in one voice—and we could not be happier.

Now we look back at our analysis and economic roadmaps over the past two decades as our contribution to every man and woman on the streets during this October uprising. The streets have revolted. No longer in self-denial, the people have banded together against the mismanagement of this country that has affected the livelihoods of the Lebanese people for too long.

The people have decided to risk the little they have left for a better tomorrow. As much as this popular revolt was long overdue and brings welcome challenges to the incompetent elites, a revolution in Lebanon is a whole other ballgame. Already, we have seen in the speeches of Hezbollah leadership and the presidential palace the stark difference between their concerns and the concerns of the people.

While the protesters out in force across the country can no longer bear the vulgar mismanagement of the political class and their abject failure to provide Lebanese citizens with even the most basic of services, those same politicians are worried about shifting the status quo that serves their geopolitical alignments. And that is where the danger lies, in the lines that have been drawn.

Meanwhile, attempts to attack Lebanon’s central bank are no more than a smokescreen to shift blame away from politicians whose mismanagement of the economy will always manifest itself in monetary repercussions—we are not taking the bait.

The reality is that Lebanon is part of the region’s northern front that spreads from Iran to the Mediterranean with Lebanon at its western end. We are in the heart of the storm, torn once again between east and west. As we go to print, we walk blindfolded on a tightrope demanding to live in dignity in our Lebanon. The cold reality is that in the geopolitical sphere, spilling our blood is cheap.

We should not give up the fight. Lebanon has a unique chance to fight for its own future and decide its own fate. What we have witnessed across this country since the uprising began in mid-October is nothing short of miraculous. Together as one we stand united—against sectarianism, against corruption, and against the economic realities imposed from the top down.

This is a once in a generation chance. Grab it fast before it is stolen away.

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Yasser Akkaoui

Yasser Akkaoui is Executive's editor-in-chief.

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