From Revolt to Community-Driven Resistance: Beirut's Year of Hell
In Lebanon a series of man-made disasters were committed by corrupt warlords that sustain their rule through a century-old sectarian power-sharing system. Within months activists, who had staged a nation-wide uprising, had to deal with financial collapse and the covid-19 pandemic, shortly before 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded at Beirut’s port on 4 August 2020. The explosion epitomises Lebanon’s endemic problems and revealed a criminal level of corruption by its governing warlords. But activists and local institutions have since then been challenging the status quo by offering a model of inclusive service provision and advocacy. People who took to the streets are actively engaged in solving the nation’s problems and if the European Union wants to support a new and stable Lebanon, the only way it can do that is by cutting ties with the old and supporting the new.
DetailsRome, IAI, July 2021, 21 p.
1. Hell explained: Sectarian warlords and the politics of exclusion
2. From protests to revolution: Three major waves
3. The explosion and its aftermath: Community-driven resistance
Conclusion: A call to action