I have a close Lebanese friend - kind of a surrogate daughter (our relationship outlived her long-term romance with my son). Fortunately, for her, she lives in Germany where she trained as a graphic designer helped by her architect father. He has been faring well last I heard, largely thanks to his contacts in the Marronite-led government. Mary herself is also helped by having an Australian passport, obtained because her family were among the last to be allowed humanitarian visas back when Australia was admitting families endangered by the "old" civil war (The "good old days" by present standards! Though wondering if they especially favored the Christian Marronites...)
If it weren't for her, I'd never have known about the crisis in Lebanon. Her recent posts about the violent demonstrations and shortages there leave me wondering why the situation there is being neglected in the US media, especially when that in Iran is given such large play (true, Lebanon is much smaller and has no oil, but it's still important to US diplomacy and potentially the US economy too.)
Finally today's NYT printed a comprehensive coverage of the current crisis there. Since practically the first thing I heard from Mary when she visited, was how extraordinarily corrupt things were in Lebanon (this was over a decade ago), it certainly seems like the impending collapse is long-overdue.
I hate to admit how much the situation there sounded like that here (the income polarization whereby the plutocrats dominate by the "Golden Rule" , except that the Lebanese economy is almost entirely service-based). Between there, Iran, Israel, SA and Syria, it seems to be a race to the bottom in the Middle East in corruption - not to mention the populist, greedy, movements taking over in Great Britain and Australia. Trump himself appears to be a symptom of similar international malaise although I think of all the others, he himself has had the greatest "contagious" effect elsewhere.
Lebanon on Brink of Collapse - the Lebanese Ponzi Scheme
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