Dreams do come true if you work hard enough to make them happen. On New Year's eve, everyone gets their hopes up, they start setting goals, making plans and clarifying what they should focus on in the upcoming year. Usually, the quote says "New Year, New Me", but for Lebanese people, and exclusively this year, it goes "New Year, New Lebanon". Here are some things every Lebanese person is hoping 2020 will bring for them and for Lebanon:
#1 Job opportunities
The unemployment rate in Lebanon has recently reached more than 63%. The Labor market in our country doesn't accommodate the work requests. This problem was generated by many, many reasons, some of which are the decline in investments, the absence of clear government policies for the labor market, the big difference between the requirements of the job market and students' specialties, etc.
But the biggest of all is the illegal placement's mode, which is recruitment by affiliation and not by efficiency, aka 'Wasta'. All of this needs improvement since Lebanon is loosing a very high number of its creative and genius minds to immigration.
#2 Aging security
This project has been canceled, postponed, and argued about many times in the Lebanese government. This has caused this law to remain unapplied in spite of its crucial necessity. Everything from employee pension to providing assistance to the ensured successors in case of death can be a huge relief for many Lebanese people, who live every day worrying about their senior years or their parents'.
#3 Insurance of housing loans
Lebanese people, especially the ones who are young and in love, have carried an extra burden on their backs when the housing loans were stopped. Most people are unable to buy a house and get married when getting a loan was their only option.
This is also a right that has been taken away from the people in Lebanon due to corruption, leaving some people without even a roof above their heads.
#4 Improvement in public schools and universities
The educational sector in Lebanon is also struggling. Too many Lebanese students are unable to enroll in private schools which are by far the majority in Lebanon.
Their only alternatives are either getting no education at all or enrolling in a public school. This has caused public schools to become overcrowded and the number of students to exceed what the schools can accommodate.
The students of public schools in Lebanon aren't getting some of their basic rights like proper heating and being in a proper building, etc. This is also the case for the students of the Lebanese University.
#5 Hospitalization Coverage
How many cases of death in front of the hospital doors have we seen in Lebanon, when some hospitals won't even let a critical condition in if they don't have money?
It is about time that financially struggling people, who can't pay hospital fees, don't end up dying for lack of medical care. It is literally a tragedy, so stop making human lives a trade! All the same with the medication prices in Lebanon.
#6 24/7 electricity
The tale of the electricity crisis in Lebanon is as old as time. Lebanese people have heard too many promises over the years, but we still end up with only 6 hours of electricity a day, sometimes less.
This crisis has also caused many citizens to get exploited by some generator owners, in addition to being exploited by the government that is not providing them with electricity.
So it doesn't only make people live in darkness, but also with indignity. This is one of the biggest and oldest problems in Lebanon, and still no solution!
#7 A healthy and clean environment
No more trash on the streets, in the water, and in the air. Burning waste, throwing it in the ocean, letting it pile on the streets of Lebanon, and the smoke from the factories have caused nothing but diseases.
Many are getting sick because of the pollution everywhere and this is not an insignificant matter. We need plans and solutions and we need them now!
#8 Separation of the judiciary from any authority
Only this can ensure holding the people in the government accountable, returning the plundered money, and stoping the corruption once and for all.
This is the key; having independent and honest judges will fix so many problems in Lebanon, especially those related to governmental corruption, and will put every person in his / her right place.
#9 A life with dignity
Lebanese citizens, like all the citizens of the world, only want to have their basic needs and human rights and live with dignity in a just and civilized country; that's all.
They, of all people, deserve it because they have been struggling for too long and they waited with patience until they ran out of it. A lot of Lebanese people looked for a life with dignity in other countries and they found it, but what they really want is to find it here, in their homeland, next to their family and friends and childhood memories.
#10 A conscious government dedicated to its people
Of course, you gotta have this so you can have all the above. A clean, independent government that is formed of specialists who actually know what they are doing, and who do their jobs honestly, professionally and with consideration and passion.
We need a government that thinks about the country first, the people second and their personal interests last. Hopefully, this dream will come true in 2020 so the rest can too.
This sure isn't all of the hopes Lebanese people have for themselves, their families and their country, but they are a good place to start: the base. Accomplishing any of the things on this list, if not all surely takes time, but what I hope we see in 2020 are firm first steps.
Overall, I hope that this will be a year that will bring radical positive changes for Lebanon and its people. Happy new year, everybody!