Lebanese People Are Freaking Out About Lebanon's Tourism Minister Choosing Armenia Over Lebanon - The961

Lebanese People Are Freaking Out About Lebanon's Tourism Minister Choosing Armenia Over Lebanon

When asked if he preferred Armenia or Lebanon, the Lebanese Minister of Tourism chose Armenia. Evidently, this resulted in quite the outrage among the Lebanese people. The Minister, Avedis Guidanian, is also the deputy chairman of the Tashnag party - an Armenian political party in Lebanon. During the interview on MTV's "Talk of the Town" show where the host, Mona Abou Hamze, asked him questions to which he could only choose between 2 options. Among the questions, he was asked to choose between Israel and Turkey - which he refused to answer. Then when he was asked to choose between Armenia and Lebanon, he quickly chose Armenia. Understandably, Armenia is his mother country and he is a member of one of the main Armenian parties. Lebanon and Armenia have close relations - especially due to the fact that we both faced persecution from the same oppressor - the Ottoman (modern day Turkey). And the fact that Lebanon became a safe haven for many Armenians fleeing the persecution.

Quick history lesson: During the time when the Ottomans were committing a genocide against the Armenians, they were also forcing a famine on Lebanon. An estimated 30-50% of our population were forced to starve to death. Yes, you read that right... up to half of the population.

The series of questions start at the 21-minute mark but this is the full interview: Following his response, the audience applauded him and the host commended him on choosing his "motherland." Many people didn't like his response and the hashtag #كيدانيان_استقل  was trending on Twitter - demanding his resignation. Following the outcry, he issued a statement saying the following: "Let's make things clear, I am a Lebanese with Armenian roots, Lebanon is my home country." There was an outcry among Turkish people - calling him racist - for his comments towards Turkey. "I would not promote anything related to Turkey, none of their products, or establish relations with them. I cannot prevent Turks from coming to Lebanon and I do not want to welcome them at an airport," he said. The former minister of Justice Ashraf Rifi also asked him to step down. The minister is known for his strong leadership among the Armenian community in Lebanon. He's always fought for their interest. This was known when he was appointed. I don't think this means he can't do his job as the minister of tourism for Lebanon. Even if he didn't like Lebanon, which is not the case, he could still do the job. Don't you work a job you don't like? But still get it done? Are we really getting pissed about him? Our politicians are openly choosing and fighting for the interests of countries a million times worse than Armenia. Where's the outrage?

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