The crisis in Lebanon worsens day by day. The economy plummets more with each passing hour. The Lebanese currency is failing. The dollar has become a rarity in Lebanon and banks have a hold on people’s money.
This situation led to the bankruptcy of many businesses and the closure of many shops, restaurants, and bars in Lebanon. Hospitals are running out of medical supplies and equipment, and the government is still in a comatose-like status.
Every day we hear about people being let go from work. Business owners are unable to support the number of employees they have anymore. Those who are keeping some or all the employees are giving them pay cuts.
Hospital staffs are shrinking, teachers are getting pay cuts, and some have not been paid in months. Let us not forget about the rising prices everywhere. However, when a billionaire fails to pay his employees or lets them go, that is another story; an unacceptable one.
Today, The Daily Star is letting go of its employees. According to Reporters Without Borders, the individual owner of The Daily Star is the Hariri Family through the Middle Holding SAL founded by Saad Hariri. Journalist Kamel Mrowa founded The Daily Star in June 1952 and, in 2010, it was bought by the Hariri family due to financial difficulties it was facing.
The news of The Daily Star letting go of its employees was announced by a journalist that has spent almost four years working there. The reason for his dismissal, according to him, was because he was helping in organizing a strike because workers there are owed up to one year’s worth of salary.
Two months ago, the Hariri’s owned Future TV shut down after months of not paying its employees. It is unfathomable to even assume that the Hariri Family has lost their wealth or gone bankrupt or have no such funds to pay their employees, shut down its TV Station in Lebanon, media corporation, and now The Daily Star being at risk of financial bankrupt.
Three of the Hariri family were listed this year on Forbes Middle East Billionaire List. In 2018, Saad Hariri’s wealth was estimated at $1.5B according to Forbes. We can’t but wonder… Is the family liquidating its media operations in Lebanon?
According to Media Ownership Monitor Lebanon, “The Hariri family is involved in several media outlets, either directly or through intermediary companies they own. They are involved in Annahar through Al Mal Investment Co. SAL, in Al-Mustaqbal newspaper and Future TV directly, in Radio Orient through Wave Holding, and in The Daily Star through D.S. Holding and Millennium Development.”
“Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri also had shares in Télé Liban, which were bought by the government he was leading in 1996. The Hariri family also owns the Paris-based Radio Orient, broadcasting in France,” according to the same source.