Once again, the diaspora honored their promise to come home to support the Revolution during Christmas week. Their posts on Social Media were numerous, calling for each other wherever they are in the world to meet in Lebanon to stand with their fellow Lebanese people in their revolution.
The call was answered from 45 countries, and on Thursday, December 26, the Lebanese expats, organized by a group called Meghterbin Mejtemiin, united with the Lebanese revolutionaries in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Achrafieh.
From there, they undertook their march as planned to Al-Njeme Square in downtown, where the Parliament is located, to claim it back as a statement of their want to claim back their country and the parliament that is supposed to represent the people and work for their interest.
Since 17 October, this Square has been the destination of a very high number of Lebanese revolutionaries until the authorities decided to close it all around with a cement wall; a wall that has come to be known as The Wall of Shame.
On Thursday, the revolution had a new empowering vibe to it. From their protest in front of the Ministry to their sit-in in downtown Beirut, the expatriates brought their own refreshing energy and many new chants to express their demands and statements.
Along with various chants shaming the government and empowering the people, the square reverberated with: Leave so we can come back. - The 17 October revolution, here comes the diaspora. - The people want to overthrow the regime. - From all countries, we came for Lebanon's revolution.
They also chanted the Lebanese anthem and exchanged with the Lebanese Internal Security Forces in downtown.
So it is clear that this march was so much more than just an act of support, but had a number of righteous and revolutionary demands. The diaspora came to enforce these demands that are still being ignored after over 2 months.
Among the organizers of the expats' march against the government and all its destructive actions, whether past and present, was Mark Tueni who lives in Paris. He talked about the goals of the group Meghterbin Mejtemiin.
In his words, "We are living day by day with the revolution in Lebanon, in all the countries where there are Lebanese expatriates. Today, we have gathered in Lebanon for this march and protest in front of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is our ministry, to show the corrupt politicians that Lebanese people around the world are asking them to leave."
He added: "Expatriate communities were born on October 17, and they are all in line with the pulse of the revolution in Lebanon." He revealed that the group Meghterbin Mejtemiin has 45 branches in the world and has been very active in supporting the revolution.
"It is carrying out various activities abroad, including demonstrating, collecting donations, and issuing statements," he said. The first of these activities was their independence day march, under the title The Expatriates Are Returning, and the most recent one was their march of December 26th.
Aside from the activities of this group, we have witnessed many other activities and initiatives done by the Lebanese expatriates abroad and in Lebanon; all with one purpose: Helping Lebanon, whether the people in their sufferings or the revolution's demands.
While the 26 December march didn't only beautifully resume the Lebanese revolution after a short Christmas break, but it also helped to revive it.
On this day, people demanded the fall of the banking system in a sit-in in front of the Association of Lebanese Banks in Beirut, protesting against their oppressing policies of late. Banks have been violating the law by impeding people to withdraw their money and salaries.
In Tripoli, Sidon, Beirut, and Nabatiyeh, people continued with the campaign "We will not pay" our taxes and loans, by protesting in front of banks.
Revolutionaries also protested against the imposed capital control in front of the local banks in Hermel, organized a sit-in in front of the Central Inspectorate in Verdun, and closed many government institutions in Halba and Akkar. That's in addition to roadblocks in some areas, especially in the Bekaa governate.
All of that happened on December 26th amid the raging storm in Lebanon, with people defying the nonstopping rain, strong winds, and even snow in some areas.
This is the biggest proof of all that the revolution is still going strong, and that the people are adamant, refusing to back down or give up. What a great day in the Lebanese revolution!