Why the issues are ingrained into a country with a dark history
Scenes of the recent horrific explosion in Beirut have been projected around the world ten times over. Dozens of videos and images show the destruction caused to the Lebanese capital, and how quickly human life can be wiped from existence.
The explosion was a result of over 2,500 tonnes of ammonium nitrate which detonated after being stored unsafely for a number of years. Human error and carelessness made this possible. It should be of major concern around the world, however this isn’t the case.
Yet the explosion in Beirut seems to have befallen the same fate as others which happen in the Middle East; it has received far too little attention.
The explosion took place in the city’s port, the main centre of imported goods for much of Lebanon. Charities have outlined that, because of where the explosion took place and the scale of the destruction, that a significant humanitarian crisis could be around the corner.
Over 100 died, over 4000 were injured and over 300,000 have been displaced by the explosion. It made for a scene from a disaster film. Unfortunately, its very real for many people around the world and due to the negligence of the government in Lebanon, hundreds of thousands have suffered.
In the wake of the explosion, the entire Lebanese government resigned from office. Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced earlier this week.
“They knew that we pose a threat to them, and that the success of this government means a real change in this long-ruling class whose corruption has asphyxiated the country,” he added.
“Today we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change,” Mr Diab said.
The process of forming a new government will be a long and tedious one. In a country which has often struggled with democratic stability, this is the latest step. Power in Lebanon is shared between different political and religious groups, but the explosion in Beirut shattered public relations in the country. The people wanted answers, the resignation of the government may look significant from the outside but to Lebanese everywhere it is perhaps a token gesture.
The explosion followed a period of economic downturn in Lebanon. Poverty and hunger was on the rise and with the destruction to a main import hub, this could get a whole lot worse.
Lebanon has a long history of its people suffering through war and corruption. The horrific scenes of last weeks explosion will be shared around the world for as long as it is seen as an issue to the world. With all that is happening in 2020, the explosion in Beirut may get lost as just another chapter in a horrible year.
The main problem with Lebanon is that in the issues of poverty and corruption will remain long after the rubble has been cleared and the bodies have been buried.