Lebanon is facing one of its most serious crises since the end of 1975-1990 civil war as weeks of nationwide protests demanding the removal of a corrupt political class show little sign of ending.
On the 17th of October 2019, Lebanese protesters took to the streets of Beirut to express their anger over a WhatsApp tax, newly imposed by their government. It was the beginning of the Lebanese Revolution, a wave of daily protests ranging from tens of thousands to even millions of Lebanese rising up against a deeply corrupt government.
The “October Revolution” is a revolution against the ghosts of the civil war, feeding a politics of fear, for more than thirty years, the fear of ‘the other’ (confession) and that of civil unrest if the sectarian balance of power is disrupted.
Since October 17th, the walls of fear began to crumble under the weight of the ever-growing economic crisis, widening the horizons of possibilities and bringing to light interest-based alliances against the sectarian oligarchy. Poverty set to deepen with Lebanon's economic crisis. Fear of what the future may hold is palpable, as economic crisis deepens and living standards plummet rapidly.
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Beirut, Lebanon. October 18th, 2019. A protester throws a tyre on to a fire to block a road during a protest in north of Beirut, Lebanon Lebanon. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for The New York Times
Beirut, Lebanon. November 19th, 2019. Protesters force parliament to postpone session despite a large deployment of security forces. Demonstrators had gathered around the entrances to the square to form a human barrier in a bid to prevent the session, which, they said, failed to address the demands of Lebanon's weeks-long protest movement. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Beirut, Lebanon. November 9th, 2019. A beach flooded with garbage in Ouzai, on the outskirts of Beirut. The garbage problem has long been a symbol of a failure of Lebanese politics, one that activists say has its roots in the time shortly after the country’s civil war, which ended in 1990. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Beirut, Lebanon. November 23th, 2019. A fisherman warms himself early in the morning outside his home at Borj Hammoud port. The Borj Hammoud landfill is currently emanating particularly strong odors. According to air pollution experts, chronic exposure to these strong odors is linked to respiratory diseases, allergies, and the spread of bacteria. Further, experts state that leachate from the Borj Hammoud landfill is being dumped into the sea, polluting the water and making the sea in areas surrounding the landfill dangerous for swimming. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, also referred to as the Blue Mosque, is a Sunni Muslim mosque located in downtown Beirut. The nationwide movement, which has garnered support from the Lebanese Diaspora all over the world, persists to take on the government's failure to find real solutions to a severe economic crisis that has lasted decades. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Portrait of Shukri Zreik, brother of George Zreik, a struggling father who could no longer afford his young daughter’s tuition, torched himself in her school’s playground Lebanon. October 1st, 2019. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Beirut, Lebanon. January 14th, 2020. Protesters burned tires and lit dumpsters on fire to block the ring road during the "Week of Anger" in Beirut. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Choueifat, Lebanon. November 14th, 2019. The wife and relatives of Alaa Abou Fakher say final goodbyes during a ceremony. Alaa Abou Fakher has become the “martyr of the revolution” after he was shot and killed by a member of Army Intelligence while blocking a road in Khaldeh as part of widespread protests. Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times
Beirut, October 20th, 2019- Lebanese demonstrators take part in a rally outside the Mohammad Al Amin mosque in downtown Beirut. In Lebanon, months of government paralysis have worsened a crippled economy, sending people to the streets to demand change. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for The New York Times
Tripoli, Lebanon. November 17th, 2019. Portrait of Hiba Rafai, a teacher, while she is running an Online class as schools remains closed in Tripoli. . Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Tripoli, Lebanon. November 17th, 2019. To the beat of revolutionary and patriotic songs, the residents of Tripoli and neighboring regions gathered in al-Nour Square, raising the Lebanese flags.The scene in the northern city was noteworthy as citizens of all ages, even the elderly, protested against the living and economic conditions. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
January 28th, 2020. Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanon’s riot police beat and violently arrested largely peaceful protesters. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Beirut, Lebanon. October 18th, 2019. The protests, Lebanon’s largest in five years, have grown steadily across the Mediterranean country since public anger first spilled onto the streets Thursday evening in response to a proposed tax on calls via WhatsApp and other messaging services. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for The New York Times
October 28th, 2019. Protesters holding a sit-in on the main ring road around Downtown Beirut. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
February 11th, 2020. Beirut, Lebanon. Protestors try to stop Parliament's confidence vote. Lebanon's Parliament has backed a new cabinet and the government's financial rescue plan in a vote of confidence held despite attempts by protesters to block it on February 11th. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Beirut, Lebanon. February 12th, 2020. More than 350 people were injured in clashes around the Lebanese Parliament building in the capital as protesters attempted to prevent the MPs from participating in the confidence vote.for months, thousands of Lebanese had been protesting against the proposed cabinet, saying it would not be able to rescue the country's ailing economy.
Beirut, Lebanon. November 4th, 2019. Riot police remove anti-government protesters who were occupying an intersection in Beirut. Lebanon is facing one of its most serious crises since the end of 1975-1990 civil war as weeks of nationwide protests demanding the removal of a corrupt political class show little sign of ending. Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times
Beirut, Lebanon. February 12th, 2020. A protestor defies police against Parliament's confidence vote. For months, thousands of Lebanese have been protesting against the proposed cabinet. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Beirut, Lebanon. January 14th, 2020. Lebanese protesters outside Hassan Diab's home demand resignation of the new PM. Lebanon is without a cabinet and in the grips of a deepening economic crisis after a two-month-old protest movement forced Saad Hariri to stand down as prime minister on October 29th. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Beirut, Lebanon. January 18th, 2020. Lebanese security forces used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons to disperse anti-government protesters from central Beirut in clashes. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
Beirut, Lebanon. January 18th, 2020. -Violent clashes between police, protesters engulf Beirut. Diego Ibarra Sánchez for THE NEW YORK TIMES
January 23th, 2020. Beirut, Lebanon. Lebanese protestors face police during riots. he clashes brought the city centre to a standstill for over eight hours as security forces fired a stream of tear gas canisters at the hundreds of protesters, who set fires in trash cans on the main streets, in part to mitigate the effects of tear gas. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
January 25th, 2020. A father faces the police while he protects his son from the water cannon attack. Lebanon has witnessed the latest months of protests against the political elite who have ruled the country since the end of the 1975-90 civil war. The protesters blame politicians for widespread corruption and mismanagement in a country that has accumulated one of the largest debt ratios in the world. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
Beirut, Lebanon. October 28th, 2019. Portrait of a demonstrator at the streets of Beirut after a rain fall.Lebanon is witnessing a fierce rebirth of the revolution. Diego Ibarra Sánchez
October 17th, 2020. BEirut, Lebanon. Anti-government protesters hold up torches as they lit a giant flame over a metal statue that reads in Arabic: "October 17, Revolution." next to the site of the Aug. 4 deadly blast in the seaport of Beirut that killed scores and wounded thousands in Beirut. Diego Ibarra Sánchez