More than 3 million Lebanese face poverty , video


More than three million Lebanese – almost half the population – are facing a tough Ramadan. The monthly cost of iftar, or the meal to break their fast, now costs 2.5 times the minimum wage. The World Bank says food prices there have become the highest in the region. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr has more from Beirut, Lebanon.

Al Jazeera



4 responses to “More than 3 million Lebanese face poverty , video”

  1. On this day 42 years ago, April 18, 1979, Saad Haddad proclaimed the creation of an independent state on the territory of southern Lebanon. Officially it was called the State of Free Lebanon, Marj-Ayun was declared its capital, and on its territory equal circulation was provided for the Lebanese pound and the Israeli shekel. Representatives of all religious denominations – Christians, Muslims and Druses – were guaranteed equal rights.

    The leader of the self-proclaimed republic, Saad Haddad, belonged to the Greek Catholic Church and was a professional military man, educated in France and the United States. He bore the rank of Major in the Lebanese Army. With the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War, Haddad led the Christian militia operating in the southern regions of the country. In 1976 it was reorganized into the Forces of Free Lebanon. Israel immediately began to support Haddad’s armed forces with ammunition, medicine and food.

    In 1978, Israel launched Operation Litani, pushing PLO militias from its borders. This led to a significant strengthening of the positions of the Forces of Free Lebanon. By the beginning of 1979, they already controlled about 700 square kilometers, stretching from the Mediterranean coast to the foothills of the Galilee. More than 100,000 people lived in this territory – 60,000 Muslims, 40,000 Christians and several hundred Druze. In April, Haddad gathered the leaders of all religious communities in Marj-Ayun and submitted for their consideration the issue of proclaiming the independence of “Free Lebanon”. Christians, Muslims and Druze all supported this idea. After the decision was made, Haddad went to Israel’s Metula, where he held a press conference for foreign journalists at the Arazim Hotel

    1. Haddad said that the people of Lebanon refuse to live under the rule of “the Beirut government of traitors serving the interests of the Syrians and terrorists” and expressed the hope that all forces hostile to it will be expelled from the country. “Only after this will the south and north of Lebanon be able to reunite,” he stressed. Referring to the question of holding parliamentary elections and creating other democratic authorities in the new state, Haddad said that in the conditions of the ongoing war, the people of southern Lebanon will be able to do without such “luxury”. He urged Lebanese President Ilyas Sarkis and the country’s government to resign immediately. In response, Sarkis declared Haddad a traitor and stripped him of the rank of major

      1. At the end of the press conference, the leader of Free Lebanon returned to Marj Ayun. After that, throughout the evening, automatic bursts and volleys of gunfire were heard in the Israeli border settlements. So the people of southern Lebanon celebrated the declaration of independence. However, in fact, nothing has changed in their lives. The self-proclaimed state did not recognize any state in the world, including Israel. Jerusalem recognized “Free Lebanon” only “de facto”. Representatives of the United States also maintained unofficial contacts with Saad Haddad.

        In 1982, the Lebanese War began, the Israeli army reached Beirut, and the “State of Free Lebanon” remained deep in its rear. On January 14, 1984, Major Haddad died of cancer. His funeral, held in Marj-Ayun, was attended by Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Defense Minister Moshe Arens, Chief of the General Staff Moshe Levy, former Defense Ministers Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres, members of the Knesset. General Antoine Lahad became the new commander of the Army of South Lebanon

        1. In 1985, Israel withdrew its troops from most of Lebanon, retaining control only over a border strip of about 850 square kilometers. Power here still belonged to the army of Antoine Lahad. But at that time very few people remembered the “State of Free Lebanon”. In Israel, South Lebanon was perceived exclusively as a “security zone”, and there was no talk of diplomatic recognition of the self-proclaimed republic. In May 2000, the Israeli army finally left Lebanon, thus fulfilling UN Security Council Resolution 425. About 8,500 residents of the south of the country – mainly soldiers and officers of the South Lebanon army and their families – moved to Israel. Among them were Antoine Lahad and the family of Saad Haddad. In 2012, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir reported that the daughter of the founder of Free Lebanon, Arza, had received her second degree in aeronautics from the Haifa Technion

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