On the 20th day of the Lebanese protests, the Lebanese-British international human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddine Clooney, expressed her opinion under the title A Moment of Hope for Lebanon.
It was published online in the English version of Annahar newspaper: She supports Lebanon’s uprising against corruption and injustice.
Amal Clooney began her article by revealing the reason behind her name, “When I was born in Lebanon, my parents named me Amal – meaning ‘hope’ – as they wished for better days in their war-torn country.”
“That was more than four decades ago, and I have never had greater hope for my country of birth than I do today because, for the first time, I see people rallying around an idea, instead of a religion, party or sect.”
She continued, “I watch a united population espouse a common vision for change based on dignity and equal opportunity. I hear excitement in the voice of my father, whose love for his country is palpable to anyone who knows him, and emotion in the voice of my brother, cousins, and friends who have taken to the streets and report that ‘all of Lebanon is there’.”
In her article, Amal considered that “the Lebanese have lived, and for too long, in a system that entrenches their differences. They have been let down by leaders who have abused public office for private gain.”
“One government after another has failed to provide services as basic as electricity, safe water, decent infrastructure, and clean streets. Change has long been overdue,” she stressed.
Amal recounted that she has visited Lebanon several times, stressing that it takes only one visit to observe the government’s poor performance compared to the country’s potential and the abilities of the Lebanese who need their freedom to preserve their country.
ٍIn this regard, she came to mention that “The Economist recently reported that Lebanon is ‘almost a caricature of poor governance’; and its economy is collapsing.
“It could be so different if only the country’s resources were harnessed, and its people’s talent unlocked. The Lebanese are not asking for a leg-up: they just need to be set free,” she added.
Speaking about corruption, she wrote, “In Lebanon, corruption also goes hand in hand with a system of sectarianism that has long stunted its growth […].”
She stressed the need for a change from within the authority in order to overcome corruption so as to have a country that allows fair and impartial accountability for each criminal and protects the rights of women in independent courts away from religion.
The Lebanese-British lawyer described what is happening today as “so significant.”
She went on emphasizing, “This is a moment when Lebanese people, with a united front, are making it clear that they will no longer tolerate being manipulated, cheated, and lied to.”
“They will not allow tribal leaders to pit them against one another on false pretenses. When they are now told that the protests are the work of foreign powers, they do not believe it. They know this movement is theirs.”
Amal Clooney concluded her article by expressing her pride as she watches the Lebanese youth lead the charge to build a better country; and how women are showing their determination to be catalysts of change.
“As people chant together, dance, and link arms, not just people from one community, one party, one sect; but all Lebanese, standing shoulder to shoulder to say enough is enough,” she stressed
She also addressed the Lebanese people, warning them and encouraging the revolution to keep going: “
“The days ahead will not be easy, and my greatest hope is that violent forces will not once again divert the course of Lebanon’s history. Its people deserve better than that.”
“I believe we are witnessing a beautiful moment in the transformation of a beautiful country. There should be no going back.”