Lebanon: An Incredibly Resilient Country in the Midst of a “Garbage Revolution”
Protesting corruption with #Youstink and fighting ISIS at the same time!
An American citizen and her family, including a son and daughter in their early twenties, went to see her relatives in Lebanon. She reported back an inspirational story of a multi-cultural population in the midst of major battles, where the young men are fighting ISIS only a few minutes from their homes and other young people are rallying against corruption in government. At the same time, Lebanon is blossoming.
Ironic isn’t it?
Ironic isn’t it?
A country where battles are raging only ten minutes from their doorsteps is still prospering and living a vital existence. Yet, despite this contradictory reality, there is a new type of youthful political resistance, called “The Garbage Revolution” or #YouStink. Amidst streets and souks, garbage piles up everywhere and has morphed into a symbol of political protest against corrupt leadership.
In the past, the presidency and prime minister positions were usually balanced between the Muslim and Christian factions of Lebanon’s major ethnic groups. Now the youth of the country want to change this old formula for powering sharing. They feel that their voice should be heard once and for all.
I still do not understand why the Lebanese government allows this sanitation hazard to exist. Yet I must express my admiration to country which has Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims mixed in with Druze, Christians and they all seem to live well together. The war against the barbaric ISIS has unified these different people into an effective coalition of which they are all proud to claim that they are one-- Lebanese citizens.
I have always admired the Lebanese. Even during their terrible civil wars during the 1970’s and 1980’s, their economy never dropped one penny and trade continued to flourish in all parts of the country. For those who see Hezbollah as a terrorist group, you best reconsider the fact that the Shi’ite sons and daughters of normal Lebanese families are going out to fight every day against ISIS.
For some years now, I have insisted that Sheikh Nasrallah was a brilliant leader of a group that once was considered ‘terrorists’—Hezbollah. Now it is a legitimate political/economic Lebanese faction. It’s his forces, along with Iranian soldiers, who are the major bulwark against ISIS. The Hezbollah militia fight for ten days to two weeks then come home to Lebanon to rest and then go back into the battle field.
Amidst all this fighting, Lebanon has been able to absorb the Palestinian refugees of the past and integrate the new Syrian refugees of the present and future. The Lebanese Army has become extremely effective and vigilant where once it was considered to be part of the flower power generation of youth. Overhead, the IDF flies jets to make certain that no extraneous forces intercede into the vibrant lifestyle of the Lebanese people.
I wish all my Lebanese friends a Happy New Year and send wishes for a safer, more peaceful future. As for the Israelis, I thank them for keeping the skies and ground clear so that the Lebanese can continue to throw garbage into their streets.
May the youthful revolution continue!
Merci! Thank you.
Shanah Tovah! Happy New Year.