Lebanon Daily News Brief 1/24/2022

Monday, January 24, 2022


Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Visits Lebanon
Foreign Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Ahmad Nasser al-Mohammad Al-Sabah met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and Speaker Nabih Berri, which marks the first high-ranking visit from a GCC official to Lebanon since the recent diplomatic rift between the Gulf and Lebanon. In a statement he said, “There is a desire by everyone for Lebanon to be stable and secure, and this happens through the implementation of international and Arab legitimacy resolutions.”  [LBC]


Lebanon’s Cabinet Reconvenes, Draft 2022 Budget to Be Discussed Tomorrow 
In the first session since October 12th, the Cabinet reconvened earlier today, addressing a 56-item agenda. Although several decisions were taken – including the approval of an increased private sector transportation allowances for LAF and ISF service members, appointing the first-ever president of the National Anti-Corruption Commission, among other measures – the discussion of the Draft 2022 Budget has been postponed to tomorrow. The Cabinet is scheduled to reconvene over a six-hour session in order to discuss the proposed budget. [L’Orient Today]


Former Leader of Future Movement Announces Suspension of Political Life, Supporters Block Roads Across the Country
During a press conference from his house in Beirut and in front of hundreds of supporters, Former Prime Minister and Future Movement Leader Saad Hariri stated, ”I announce the suspension of work in political life, and I call on my family in the Future Movement to take the same step, not to run in the parliamentary elections, and not to submit any candidates from the Future Movement or on its behalf.” [MTV] In reaction to this, a number of Hariri’s supporters took to the streets across the country, in one instance blocking a major highway in Beirut with motorcycles and garbage bins. [MTV (Arabic)]



Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Saad al-Hariri Has Announced His Withdrawal From Politics
Michael Young

Young writes, “Because of Hariri’s exit, there is now a far greater possibility that Sunni voters will either be demobilized or will see their votes fragmented. This could create openings for Hariri’s political rivals—notably Hezbollah and the Aounists—to gain more seats. To avoid this, members of the Future Movement may try to maintain their organization’s internal coherence by running candidate lists around the country that are not officially supported by Hariri or Future, but that the former prime minister would have favored. Hariri’s abandonment is also another major chapter in the Saudi decision to disengage from Lebanon, even though the wisdom of this is debatable. Few people may give Hariri high marks for political foresight, but it seems odd that the kingdom has so readily surrendered its strongest card in Lebanon—a large Sunni community that can push back against Hezbollah. Politics is about playing the hand that you are dealt, as Iran has shown in Yemen, and compelling adversaries to compromise. By forcing Hariri out, however, the Saudis have left Lebanon’s Sunnis in a void, which may harden Hezbollah’s and Iran’s conviction that they have no need to compromise.”

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Economic Meltdown Drives Some Lebanese To Collect Recyclables For A Living
Rodayna Raydan
Raydan writes, “Recycling for money has even become more common in households that in the past barely questioned the value of recyclable items and instead threw everything away . . . People in Lebanon are traditionally already familiar with implementing key waste management and circular economy principles, as older generations used to apply these methods without being aware of the benefits and their links to recycling. Many families in villages collected milk tanks and used them as plant pots; others commercialized the collection of metal and steel decades ago for resale. But again, this emerging trend of collecting recyclable waste from dumps or waste containers has mainly made its appearance in the shadow of the economic crisis. ” 

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.