To the Lebanese political leaders,

I have the honor of writing to you. I am a 19-year-old French student who has just arrived in Lebanon for 4 months as an exchange student.

I have been in Lebanon for two weeks now. I am not Lebanese, but today, I share their pain.

I share the exhaustion of the Lebanese population regarding the political, social, and economic situation of the country. During these two weeks, some questions have come to my mind because of my encounters, of what I hear and observe in the streets of Beirut. I hope that by writing this letter, you might, if not answer these questions, at least hear what I have discovered upon arriving in the Land of the Cedars.

How can you let your citizens wait for hours, sometimes overnight, hoping to get gas for their vehicles, even though it is not guaranteed? How can you imagine that we can live, for the lucky ones, with only a few hours of electricity during the day? Do you know that this situation prevents hospitals from functioning? How can you abandon your citizens in this way?

From what we hear elsewhere, the Lebanese are resilient, they never give up. Resilient, certainly, but above all exhausted. Exhausted from living in this disastrous and hopeless situation. The salaries of the Lebanese families lose a little more of their value every day and the galloping inflation causes the collapse of the purchasing power.

For the Lebanese people, it seems to me that the future is getting darker. When hope is no longer enough, what is left? They may not give up, but they certainly will not forget what they are forced to endure. Life goes on as best as it can in Lebanon, but for how much longer? With each problem, not a solution, but a new problem appears. 

Finally, the Lebanese youth seems to be trying to leave the country at all costs. Their dreams are slowly disappearing. Yet, the existence of Lebanon is, I believe, dependent on their participation and their opinions.

I share the pain of these mothers, fathers, and children of Lebanon. I share the pain of these people who are dying for lack of care, medicine, and electricity.

 

To you, Mr. Macron,

I have only a few words that come to mind, but I think they will be more than enough to understand your duty. You promised to help the people of Lebanon in the face of this humanitarian crisis. I come to you to remind you of that promise.

You promised financial assistance. You say it yourself, the crisis is “the result of individual and collective failures and unjustifiable dysfunctions”. You expect reforms against clientelism and corruption, but they are not forthcoming. It seems to me that in Lebanon, Mr. Macron, the watch of the leaders has stopped, nobody feels responsible for the situation. It is the associations and the non-governmental organizations that are now playing the role of the State, as best they can.

You will have grasped the seriousness of the situation from what was said earlier. I am talking about human lives, lives destroyed by poverty and precariousness. You will surely have read and heard the cries, the despair of those victims burned during the tanker explosion in Akkar a few weeks ago. It is also for them that your help is indispensable. 

I am only a simple French student, but what I am experiencing and observing makes my heart ache when I think of the splendor of Lebanon and its people.

Please accept, Mr. President of the French Republic and political leaders of Lebanon, the expression of my deep respect.

Ewen Miquel

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