The Lebanese people, in Lebanon as well as in the diaspora, have been revolting against corruption since October 2019, and even long before that.
Their revolt was fueled by anger, and this anger came from lack of electricity, basic needs, jobs, etc. The corrupt Lebanese governments and politicians have left the people in need and have brought many problems upon the country.
However, the Beirut explosion came as the last straw. Beirut is destroyed, people are left homeless, many lost their businesses, thousands have been injured and many got killed.
People in Lebanon are suffering and in tremendous grief, but they are also angrier than ever at the officials, from top to bottom. They want justice for the victims and their families, and for their devastated capital.
Dereliction and indifference of the ruling body are nothing new in Lebanon, for decades, but this time they exploded, literally, for the world to see, making it impossible and even a disgrace for any to shut up.
A Lebanese priest in Australia deemed it as such when he recently took a stand to speak on behalf of an entire population, revealing how oppressed the Lebanese back home are at all levels.
During his sermon at Our Lady Of Lebanon in Sydney, Father Danny Nouh spoke openly against the Lebanese officials and the corruption that has wrecked the country and abused the people in their minimum rights.
He described their strong grip and influence on Lebanon and the people, and how a Lebanese citizen can’t secure work and have the basics, like electricity and water, unless through them.
He said: “This political regime has taught its citizens that if they need to work, they need to beg and plead with a politician or political party to find work.”
Degrees and education, the priest pointed out, mean so little in Lebanon. It’s all in the hands of “dirty, rotten political parties who have no conscious or who cannot get enough, and who have found their treasure at the expense of the Lebanese people.”
This concept of personal interest and gain has become a “culture” in Lebanon, he explained, and this culture has been adopted by people in all sectors/services.
“You have also inherited this culture,” he stressed, addressing the Lebanese people, “and today the action that you need to take is to say no to this culture.”
Father Danny Nouh also stressed the necessity of abiding by the law: “Not abiding by the law of the land is a form of corruption,” he said, “and each time you do this, then you are just as corrupt as the political parties in Lebanon.”
He called on people to demand transparency in all of their transactions and to say no to corruption.
“If you find yourself in a situation where you’re asked for a bribe or a commission or a favor in return of service or transaction, then you must say no.”
According to the priest, people should take this as a rule throughout their lives, and no matter what there’s at sake.
No matter who the person that is trying to bribe you is, and no matter what they mean to you on a personal or emotional level, you mustn’t let them drive you to do things that you know are wrong.
Only through doing this, and through holding on to our ethics, will we be able to get rid of this Lebanese “culture”.
“Say no to the priest or leader who asks for a favor, no matter what it is for the return of a service that is your right,” he insisted.
The priest during his amazing sermon also asked people to stop affiliating themselves with any of the Lebanese political parties, all of them, “especially the Christian ones and especially the Maronite ones.”
He asked them to teach their kids to do and think the same. “Teach them to love Lebanon,” he urged his listeners. “Teach them about the beautiful cedars, teach them how to speak Lebanese, teach them about Fairouz and Gibran Khalil Gibran….”
But above all, the Lebanese should not teach their children to follow the corrupt political leaders.
“These people have destroyed the land of the cedars and the saints,” he said, accusingly, urging the Lebanese not to exclude any of the politicians and the political parties:
“They all must go.”