Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding

News, November 2019


Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)




Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.

Share the link of this article with your facebook friends


Lebanon Anti-Government Protesters Return to Streets After Pro-Aoun Rally, Nasrallah Calls for Dialogue

November 4, 2019

Anti-government protests in Martyrs' Square, downtown Beirut, Lebanon November 3, 2019 reut  


Lebanon anti-govt protesters return to streets after big pro-Aoun rally

France 24, 03/11/2019

Reuters --

 Lebanese protesters demanding the overthrow of their country's elite poured back onto the streets on Sunday in the largest numbers since the government was toppled and hours after opposing supporters of President Michel Aoun staged a big rally.

Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned on Tuesday following unprecedented nationwide protests, deepening a political crisis and complicating efforts to enact badly needed economic reforms in Lebanon.

On Sunday evening anti-government protesters flooded streets in Beirut and north and south of the capital, rejecting Aoun's attempt to position himself as the guarantor of the protest movement and its anti-corruption drive.

"All of them means all of them," protesters chanted in central Beirut, a reference to the wholesale removal of an elite they accuse of pillaging the state and steering it into crisis.

Earlier in the day, thousands of Aoun supporters had attended a rally just outside Beirut, some waving his Free
Patriotic Movement party's orange flags, engulfing a main road leading to the presidential palace.

It was the biggest counter punch to the broader wave of demonstrations that have gripped Lebanon since Oct. 17 and which have included Aoun's removal among a set of sweeping demands.

In a televised speech, Aoun, who must now hold consultations with members of parliament to designate a new premier, called for protesters to unify behind efforts to stamp out corruption, which he described as having become "nested" in the state.

He said a three-point plan had been drawn up around tackling corruption, revitalising the economy and building a civil state.

George Barbar, who wore a shirt emblazoned with Aoun's face, said he had driven from northern Lebanon to show support. "If people don't join hands with the president, there will be no Lebanon."

Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law and an object of ridicule by anti-government protesters, warned the pro-Aoun rally of "difficult days ahead" and said the country had been "racing against time to prevent a collapse."

The anti-government protests had largely subsided after Hariri resigned, with smaller groups remaining on the streets and pushing for core demands like the rapid formation of a government led by technocrats to carry out the badly needed economic reforms.

"All that we have gotten so far is the government's resignation. We still have a long way to go," said Charbel
al-Zaani, an engineer.

"If the new government that is formed isn't one that the people want, the revolution will return even bigger," said

Banks remain calm

A semblance of normality returned to Lebanon this week, with roads re-opening and banks opening to customers on Friday after being shut for two weeks, though restrictions were reported on foreign currency withdrawals and transfers abroad.

The head of the country's banking association said the banks did not see "any extraordinary movement" of money on Friday or Saturday. Analysts and bankers have feared a rush on deposits.

The central bank governor said the re-opening did not cause "any disturbance at any bank" and reiterated a pledge that "no formal capital controls are considered".

Lebanon's import-dependent economy has been hit by years of regional turmoil and a slowdown in capital flows that has put its foreign currency reserves under pressure.

Aoun has signalled support for a more technocratic government, saying in a speech after Hariri's resignation that ministers should be chosen "according to their competencies and expertise, not political loyalties."

Hariri's government has continued in a caretaker capacity until a new one is formed.

Lebanon's powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, which backs Aoun, has said Hariri's resignation will waste valuable time in enacting measures needed to tighten state finances and convince foreign donors to release some $11 billion in pledged aid.

The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday it was studying investment projects that were proposed at an investment forum in Abu Dhabi last month but has not yet said whether it would provide aid.

Hariri, who has been traditionally backed by the West and Sunni Gulf Arab allies, said before the protests that the UAE had promised investments and financial aid to his deeply indebted country but that work remained to seal the deal.

Sayyed Nasrallah Calls for Dialogue, Urges Formation Of Gov’t in Shortest Time

November 2, 2019

 Sara Taha Moughnieh

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a speech on Friday in a commemoration ceremony marking seven days on the departure of Significant Islamic Researcher Ayatollah Sayyed Jaafar Mortada.

His eminence divided his speech into two parts. In the first part he talked about Sayyed Mortada, his rich journey, and his great support to the Islamic Resistance. In the second part he tackled the internal Lebanese developments.

After indicating that the incidents in the past two weeks had helped us understand history and how it was written more, due to all the falsification of reality by media, his eminence assured that the positives of the protests must be highlighted.

“When I told protesters that your calls are right and you should be careful not to let anyone take advantage of your move, and that it’s your right to know the funder if there was one, just a few minutes later many reporters told people that Sayyed (Nasrallah) said you are agents of embassies and they are funding you, knowing that I didn’t say any of that,” he said.

On the other hand, Sayyed Nasrallah saluted the patience and awareness of protesters, which helped stop any form of chaos and internal fighting, knowing that some sides were pushing towards that.

“Elements leading to chaos were present, first the unprecedented form and amount of cursing which I assure to you is not at all spontaneous, even more, broadcasting these curses and humiliations on media is totally denounced,” he added, stressing that “This cursing was an attempt to trigger the emotions of the opposite street in order to cause trouble and clashes in the country.”

“Everyone has weapons in Lebanon, not just the resistance, and everyone has emotions and could be triggered by these bad words… Moreover closing the streets, humiliating people who wanted to pass, taking ID cards, offending reporters, and speaking about an imprecise number of one million and two million being in the streets, knowing that they were a maximum of one, two, or three hundred thousand, while the millions were in their homes and their roads were cut, all these were elements of chaos,” Sayyed Nasrallah explained.

As he reassured that “media must not broadcast cursing under the claim that this is the voice of people. Curses are never the voice of people,” his eminence noted that “chaos was prevented by the consciousness and awareness that many Lebanese had, even if there were small incidents here and there.”

As he stressed peoples’ right to protest without the use of curses, he called on people to have patience and consciousness in order to obstruct the conspirators attempt to ignite internal fights that do not serve the country.

Sayyed Nasrallah assured that “all our efforts were to avoid vacuum so that the country’s institutions would continue to work… We took different stances on one hand to understand the righteous and honest calls of people suffering from the corruption in the country, and on the other hand to be aware of the dangerous state that the country will fall into in case of vacuum.”

“We had to act responsibly, and this is what happened. We did not raise any slogan nor take any part, we only held the responsibility to prevent the destruction of the country,” he added.

Regarding claims that this government is controlled by Hezbollah, Hezbollah SG assured that “neither this government nor any of the past governments were controlled by Hezbollah and that Hezbollah never got an important ministry, the only important ministry it got finally was that of health, and in all these governments, decisions were taken without our approval.”

“Hezbollah was never in control of any government that passed. This is only an attempt to hold Hezbollah responsible for the corruptions in the country… even when we say that we don’t support the fall of any government, it is for the sake of the country not Hezbollah,” he added, asserting that “for the past couple of years we had never been worried about Hezbollah because we are very very strong unlike any time that had passed, and Hezbollah had not used any of its powerful files yet. We are only worried about our country and people, and I assure to you that if the country fell into chaos and it couldn’t pay salaries, we could still do…”

Concerning PM Saad Hariri’s resignation, Hezbollah SG said that the party did not support this step considering that “the positive shock should have been that the government gathers and put laws to fight corruption and protesters stay in the streets to put pressure on it.”

“Now the Prime Minister resigned, this means that the whole government fell, so there is no chance to implement any form of reformations or have an economic hope for the time being, we just have to wait… We did not support the resignation of PM Saad Hariri. It was his choice and he had his own reasons, now it is the responsibility of the Lebanese to push for the formation of a new government in the shortest time.,” he said. In this context, his eminence stressed that “whoever the new government is, its major goals must be to regain the people’s trust. This is why this government must have all the trustworthy elements: Seriousness of deeds, constant work, setting priorities, clearance and transparency.”

In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah called for dialogue between all parts, even the major powers in the protests, indicating that “the national benefit requires everyone to get over the pain that the past days have caused, and it urges everyone to hold responsibility.”

As for the US role in the latest developments, Sayyed Nasrallah assured that “the US had always stood as an obstacle in front of the Lebanese in making any reformations because of the pressure it imposes on Lebanon, this is why we demand a real sovereign government.”

In conclusion, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that the Israeli drone that was targeted Thursday by the resistance in the Lebanese skies was an evidence that the resistance has a military leadership that works without being influenced by any internal developments.

“The resistance will always keep its promise and is always ready to defend the Lebanese territories,” he added

Source: Al-Manar  

Lebanon's president urges citizens to unite behind reforms

By AFP - Nov 04,2019 -

BAABDA, Lebanon —

Lebanon's president Sunday called on citizens to unite behind reforms, after more than two weeks of nationwide anti-graft protests that brought down the government.

President Michel Aoun addressed thousands of his supporters thronging the road outside the presidential palace, ahead of more mass anti-government protests planned in Beirut in the afternoon.

Unprecedented cross-sectarian demonstrations have gripped Lebanon since October 17, demanding a complete overhaul of a political system deemed inefficient and corrupt.

The Cabinet stepped down on Tuesday, but protesters have said this was not enough and pledged to meet for another demonstration Sunday afternoon in Beirut.

In a live televised address beamed to his fans and around the nation, Aoun called on supporters and protesters alike to rally behind a plan for reforms.

"I call on you all to unite," the state leader said, warning against having "one protest against another". 

The 84-year-old president said a roadmap had been drawn up to tackle corruption, redress the economy, and put together a civil government.

"It won't be easy, and we want your efforts," he said, leaning on a pulpit inside the palace in the town of Baabda outside Beirut.

'We will not abandon you'

Protesters have called for an end to Aoun's tenure, as well as drastic change to a political system dominated by the same figures and families since the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

"All of them means all of them," has become a popular chant calling for all political leaders to step down.

Outside the palace, an AFP correspondent saw Aoun's supporters chanting, some brandishing the orange-coloured banners of his political party, the Free Patriotic Movement.

"We are here, General. We won't abandon you as long as we live," one poster read, referring to the army's youngest-ever commander in chief during the civil conflict.

Aoun’s supporters said they backed the overall demands of protesters nationwide, but insisted the president was the only man able to bring about reforms.

“General Aoun is a reformist and sincere man — not corrupt nor a thief,” said one supporter who gave her name as Diana.

“There has been corruption in the state for 30 years,” she said.

“The president isn’t responsible. He’s trying to fight against graft.”

Along with its allies including powerful Shiite movement Hizbollah, Aoun’s political party holds the majority in parliament.

The FPM is now headed by his son-in-law Gibran Bassil, who has emerged as one of the most reviled figures in the protests.

Before the Cabinet resigned on Tuesday, Bassil was foreign minister.

A proposed tax on calls via free phone applications such as Whatsapp triggered protests last month.

But they soon morphed into a huge nationwide movement to denounce a raft of woes including a lack of basic services, a failing economy, and rampant sectarianism.

On Tuesday, prime minister Saad Hariri announced his government would be stepping down.

But it is still unclear what a new Cabinet will look like, and if it will include independent technocrats as demanded by demonstrators.

After around two weeks of closure, banks and some schools re-opened this week.

But protesters have vowed to press ahead with their demands and — after numbers dwindled amid rain in recent days — were set to make a broad stand on Sunday afternoon in Beirut’s main square.

On Saturday night, thousands of anti-government protesters had flocked together in the impoverished northern city of Tripoli to keep the popular movement alive.

Several said they had travelled to the Sunni-majority city from other parts of the country, inspired by the after-dark street parties that earned it the title “bride of the revolution”.

More than 25 per cent of Lebanese citizens live in poverty, the World Bank says.


Share the link of this article with your facebook friends

Fair Use Notice

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & &