Lebanon Daily News Brief 04/29/2022

Friday, April 29, 2022


Army Thwarts New Maritime Trafficking Attempt
Today, the Lebanese military announced the detainment of five people in Tripoli related to their preparations for smuggling at least 85 migrants to Europe by boat. This follow’s the recent tragedy in which a boat carrying more than sixty people capsized off the coast of Tripoli. [AP News]

Higher Defence Council Places All Security Forces in Hands of ISF During Elections
According to L’Orient Today, The Higher Defense Council Friday decided to place ‘all the security and military forces in the hands of the Interior Ministry on May 15,’ ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for that day, the presidency’s Twitter account reported.” [L’Orient Today]



A Love Story – Lebanon’s Revival
Jean AbiNader

AbiNader writes, “The facilities for the elderly occupy a large portion of the activities at Saint Joseph Monastery, with its state-of-the-art nursing home for up to 100 residents, fully serviced by the nuns at a cost significantly less  than other private facilities. The economic situation, the financial instability in the country, the devaluation of the Lebanese currency, the scarcity of job opportunities, and the massive proportion of people living below the poverty line all generate a daily line of folks seeking help and sustenance at the Monastery’s door. Saint Joseph Monastery, however, is also not immune to the economic crisis and yet, still strives to offer in-kind assistance with basic food, clothing, dairy products for children; tuition assistance to deserved and needy students; and financial assistance for medications, especially for chronic illnesses. Sister Raghida and her team continue to extend a helping hand to their less fortunate. One of her objectives is to continue to create job opportunities in the Monastery’s dairy farm and agricultural fields so people can become self-sufficient and partners in the charitable work of the Monastery,  reflecting the Gospel admonition that “whatsoever you do to the least of your brothers and sisters, you do unto me” (Matthew 25:40), as well as the quote that stuck with me from Sister Raghida, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

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Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center 
Why The Kingdom Came
Michael Young

Young writes, “This effective ‘regional pluralization’ of Lebanese politics has good and bad sides. Limiting Iranian hegemony and compelling Hezbollah to take into consideration the interests of the regional sponsors of its mainly Sunni political counterparts could make for a more balanced system. Iran cannot be kicked out of Lebanon, the Arab states appear to acknowledge, but nor can the country be dragged out of the Arab orbit, since a clear majority of the population opposes such a direction. The downside is that regional rivalries may paralyze the domestic political scene. But when was that ever not the case? If it can help produce a modus vivendi, Lebanon could find more stability than it has seen in a while.”

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The Economist 
Lebanon Goes To The Polls Amid Its Worst-Ever Financial Crisis

“One way to predict the future in Lebanon is to look at election billboards and imagine the opposite. The last time voters chose a parliament, in 2018, roads across the country were lined with cheery messages. ‘Our port will come’, read one, referring to a tourist harbour that would woo cruise ships and boost the economy. Another hailed Lebanon’s financial stability: ‘Currencies around us are collapsing, but our lira is firm.’ In the years that followed, Lebanon’s main port was wrecked by one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever seen (pictured above), and the lira lost more than 94% of its value. The same pattern may apply this year. Lebanon will hold legislative elections on May 15th. Nattily dressed candidates grin from ubiquitous billboards. The most common word on them seems to be ‘change’. Everyone promises reform. Yet the most likely result is more of the same.”

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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.