A year after the explosion, the Lebanese between anger and despair

The Lebanese are preparing to commemorate Wednesday in anger and bitterness the first anniversary of the double explosion of the port of Beirut . More than a year after the tragedy, which left some 217 dead and 6. 500 injured, no semblance of justice has yet been rendered. The living conditions of all Lebanese have also deteriorated considerably over the past year, thanks to the power vacuum caused by the resignation a few days after the disaster by the Prime Minister, Hassan Diab.

Calls for demonstrations were launched on social networks with several marches to converge towards the port at the end of the afternoon. The procession will then move towards Parliament to demand the lifting of the immunity of several deputies indicted by the investigating judge in charge of the investigation.

Economic collapse The mobilization promises to be massive, while public institutions but also many companies will be closed on the occasion of this day of national mourning. It should also be very tense, while the feeling of impunity is compounded by the despair of many Lebanese in the face of the collapse of the country’s economy and infrastructure, which has been sinking for two years into a crisis described by the World Bank as one of the worst in the world since 500 .

One of the processions will start in particular from the Electricité du Liban (EDL) building, to challenge the drastic power cuts in the country in recent weeks. Due to the depletion of the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves and a lack of energy sector reforms for years, the public establishment is no longer able to import the fuel needed for production. electricity. The dollar shortage is also affecting imports of other commodities and essentials such as fuel and medicine.

“Have we ever seen a country go through such a crisis without a government? Indignant Pamela Chemali, owner of Mashawish, a famous street-food stall in the Mar Mikhael district. His business located less than a kilometer from the port was devastated by the explosion. “It took us several days to realize the extent of the material damage, so shocked we were by the condition of the victims,” ​​testifies the young woman, who arrived on site about twenty minutes after the tragedy.

In the absence of any state aid, the business manager is one of the few in her street to have reopened the doors of her business, thanks in particular to the support of several NGOs and former clients abroad. But it bears the cost of the crisis on its activity on a daily basis. Its sales volume has fallen by 70%. In question, the loss of purchasing power of the Lebanese, of whom more than half lives today under the poverty line , but also the price increase to which it had to resolve in order to be able to continue to buy its merchandise despite the loss of value of nearly 70% of the Lebanese pound.

Like many Lebanese, Pamela Chemali will be in the streets on Wednesday. “I need to express my anger, my frustration and mourn my dead friends. »But she no longer hopes for anything from the political class.