This anniversary will undoubtedly go down in the history of Lebanon as the most controversial ever. Unlike last year, when people took over the government’s usual celebration in a massive parade of the people of the revolution, this year held no joy and no hope.
The hashtag Lebanon Independence Day #عيد_الاستقلال_اللبناني was indeed trending all day on Twitter until past midnight but their messages from the people weren’t as celebratory as it used to be.
Here are the most notable reactions, reflecting how the Lebanese people truly felt and what they thought about Lebanon’s Independence this year.
Despair and refusal to celebrate
“When we get liberated from the leaders who are governing us and from our sectarianism, we will then speak of independence.”
“I would lie to myself and to you if I wish you greetings for the independence … Let us be free from the rampant political corruption and the heaviest burden of colonialism, then we will really have built an independent nation! I say it and with pain in my heart, for slogans without action do not build but rather destroy.”
“There is no celebration and no independence. There was a beautiful country called Lebanon but its rulers abused it, sold it, stole it, plundered it, exploded it, killed it, and walked in its funeral.”
When denial was too much to swallow
The cleric addressed president Aoun with a statement that sounded from a parallel world, claiming Lebanon proud of its smart leaders.
No Independence without justice
“No true independence without the independence of the judiciary, There is no Eid without the knowledge of who blew up the port of Beirut, whether participants or complicit. There is no existence for Lebanon without criminal investigation to find out who has eaten the forbidden of people’s rights.”
No Independence under the Iran-backed party
“Is this the Independence? Lebanon is plagued by the shadow of the era of humiliation.”
And those who voiced it out with anger and bitterness:
“I love you in your poverty and I love you in your glory.”
“Whatever happened, I will always have hope in Lebanon until it obtains its true Independence. The Lebanon that it and its people deserve to live in peace and dignity.”
“I love you, Lebanon, my homeland. Forgive us.”
Wishing for a better time… one day
A mix of both
Lebanon Independence Day 2020 was indeed a day of sadness, anger, and bitterness. It was also a day of protests with people defying the lockdown and suspending brooms and wreaths of basil, which are usually placed on the graves of the dead, on the walls of government institutions.
These symbolic statements were seen at the headquarters of the government, the parliament, the Ministry of Economy, the Palace of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Bank, the Association of Banks, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Electricity of Lebanon, and the Port of Beirut.