If an imprudent business depended solely on one client and gradually for one reason or another, lost that client, it would go bankrupt. This banal example is a depiction of what the Lebanese government has done with the Lebanese economy; largely depending on expat inflows instead of implementing constant innovation to have several sources of income into their GDP. Since the LBP is no longer solidly pegged to the USD, diaspora reserves are diminishing at the speed of light. This was only the beginning of a series of unfortunate events that were about to unroll.
On October 16th, wildfires engulfed the iconic Lebanese mountains. A woman was run over by a fire truck
, people died fighting the flames, and forgotten dogs burned alive. While Lebanon had access to three blaze fighting helicopters, they were non-operational due to unwillingness to fund maintenance by the government. Meanwhile, government officials’ salaries have increased by 7.5% yearly in the past 10 years.
On Thursday, October 17th, the government announced a new WhatsApp tax
in order to generate money for Lebanon’s 2020 budget.
A debt to GDP ratio of above 150%
for the past 20 years. 450$ monthly minimum wage
. Governmental theft. Ecological terrorism. Illegal taxation.
Time is running out for the viable sustainability of Beautiful Lebanon. On Day 1, the Lebanese people finally took to the streets, and this was only the beginning. The fire that ravaged their lands, in turn, had lit a fire within them.
By 11 PM of that very day, the WhatsApp tax had been scrapped. They realized that the true power lied in only one place—Their voices.