Ruined country heading for its sixth mass migration
Immigration and visa papers are the most trending words populating the heavy void in the Lebanese vocabulary spectrum, writes Mariam Labban.
Whereas some countries are famous for exporting coffee, tea or cocoa, Lebanon’s infamous for exporting its citizens as a human commodity.
This tradition goes back as far as 1860 during the Ottoman Empire which saw a large segment of the population seek another future in distant countries including Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
Replicating their distant Phoenician ancestors, the Lebanese are today seeking refuge from their cursed country, caring more about escaping than where they land.
Some countries are famous for exporting coffee, tea or cocoa, Lebanon’s infamous for exporting its citizens
The late Seventeenth Century marked the beginning of the Lebanese scattering around the world. The aim has always been to escape the land in the hope of forging a decent life somewhere else.
There are more Lebanese living outside the country than in it after suffering five migration waves, and unfortunately we’re surfing wave number six. The count is still on.
Ironically, there’s a bronze effigy in honour of the “first” migrant near Beirut port. This statue was made to endure yet again life’s absurdity and atrocious human nonchalance resulting in the infamous August bloody blast. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this statue decides to pack and leave. An African proverb claims it takes a village to raise a child, I believe it’ll take an army of angels to bring back Lebanon from the land of the dead.
The elephant in the room is the policy and attitude that host countries adopt about these failed states. What is needed to keep the wolf at bay is a whole-hearted investment in the human element by creating funds, sustainable projects, developing the infrastructure and setting effective plans to awaken a sleeping economy.
Investment is needed but all we get are wolves looking for easy pickings
Unfortunately, such initiatives are few as packs of wolves come ashore looking for easy pickings. These convulsive forces are changing and shaping the world in an act of wicked measurement.
This is no fantastic tale, no bedtime story. It’s an overwhelming human tragedy.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us