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Lebanon is very close to its own 'Bouazizi' moment 

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The situation in Lebanon contains the main ingredients for another popular uprising: the dire economic and financial crisis; worsening food and fuel shortages; rampant corruption; and growing public disdain of the political elites. Put together, these grievances can be a potent mix leading to social unrest, as was seen with the 17 October Revolution in 2019, which was triggered by government plans to tax WhatsApp calls. This was followed by the devastating Beirut Port blast in 2020, which led to angry protests against corruption.

Some protesters targeted government buildings and ministries amid calls for accountability and justice. Such calls are ongoing albeit stalled after the partial collapse of the port's grain silos nearly two years to the day since the massive explosion.

All it takes is one catalyst, large or small, to trigger uprisings and, potentially, revolutions. This was the case with the Arab Spring which spread across several countries in the Middle East and North Africa over a decade ago.

Anti-government sentiments were already festering in the region by the time 26-year-old Tunisian fruit and vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi died after setting fire to himself. He was apparently pushed over the edge by police corruption and harassment, and his death sparked national and then regional pro-democracy uprisings.

The result was the ousting of some long-term autocrats and, in some countries, civil war. The fact that millions could empathise with Bouazizi's plight and were also affected by high unemployment and rising living costs played a part.

OPINION: Lebanon is 'held........

© Middle East Monitor

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