A Perfect Metaphor? The Trash Crisis in Lebanon
On Tuesday, Lebanese security forces arrested and beat up protesters staging a sit-in at the office of the environmental ministry in Beirut. For the past two week tens of thousands of people have been protesting over government’s inability to provide basic services, demanding an end to the widespread corruption and sectarianism embedded in the political sectarian structure; and Garbage has become a perfect metaphor for the rot of a chronically dysfunctional political system like the one holding sway in Lebanon. According to various reports, at one point, an estimated 8000 to 22,000 tonnes of rubbish piled up on the streets. The movement, called “You Stink”, has tapped into the general anger at the scale of corruption and paralysis of the confessional system in Lebanon. (photo: 24hournews.ca)
This week, we spend the hour with Ohio university assistant professor of history Ziad Abu-Rish to discuss what the garbage crisis reveals about the political and economic structure of the Lebanese state.