Lebanon’s Central Bank in Hamra, Beirut, has been witnessing big protests the last couple of days, mainly because of the high dollar exchange rate that reached 4,000 LBP, aggravating further the harsh financial situation of the people.
On Friday morning, a protest was led by dozens of Lebanese families who have kids studying abroad.
They gathered in front of the Central Bank, demanding attention to their urgent problem; the same problem that had them calling on the government for a solution for almost two months now.
They expressed the necessity of approving the official exchange rate of the dollar at 1,515 Lebanese pounds so they can send money to their children who are in desperate need.
The continuous and fast rise of the exchange rate of the US dollar is making it impossible for those parents to cover the cost of their children’s living and their tuition.
These students have nowhere to go if they don’t pay their rents because they are already so far from home and the airports are closed.
The secretary of the parents’ committee of Lebanese students abroad, Dr. Rabih Kanj, confirmed that all generalizations issued by the Central Bank on the need to transfer university tuition and student expenses remain ink on paper and talks on the media.
He also stressed that procrastination and misleading are continuing and all those generalizations aim at creating the illusion that the dilemma of the students abroad is resolved and under control.
He declared: “The committee, after three months of taking action, and after being met with empty promises and generalizations free of any helpful content, now calls for the continuation of escalation in its movements until it fulfills what the government repeatedly promised.”
“That is, fixing the official dollar exchange rate so we can send money to our children who are not costing the state treasury any scholarships, financing, or other.”
Lebanese students abroad, in their turn, have been calling for help for a while now. Approximately 100 students in Romania have expressed that their situation is tragic at this point.
“We are locked in our residences and we are in desperate need of transfers from our families back home. Some of us are at risk of being out on the street because we aren’t able to pay our rent.”
The same goes for Lebanese students stuck in Russia, in Italy, in Spain, and in all other countries where Lebanon has youth studying without scholarships, and counting on the support of their parents in Lebanon, which is the majority.