- Title: Young, angry Lebanese ditch their differences to target 'unjust' system
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST AND UNIVERSITY PHYSICS STUDENT, 21, YOUNIS KALAJI, SAYING: ''I've come to bring down the sectarian-based regime and replace it with a political system where people get positions based on competence, not sect.'' PROTESTERS EMBRACING, OTHER PROTESTERS CARRYING SIGNS UNDER STATUE OF LEBANON'S FIRST PRIME MINISTER AFTER THE END OF THE FRENCH MANDATE IN 1945 RIAD AL-SOLH / KALAJI ON PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ACTIVIST AND UNIVERSITY PHYSICS STUDENT, 21, YOUNIS KALAJI, SPEAKING ABOUT THE POLITICAL LEADERS THE PROTESTERS WANT TO RESIGN SAYING: ''This uprising helped the youth who are independent in their thinking to break through the fear and to say openly that so-and-so are corrupt and so-and-so is a thief. It helped them to gather in one place and be united against corruption and point the finger and say - 'You are corrupt. You are a thief. You have been in this post for this long and you are corrupt and you are a thief.''' VARIOUS OF LEBANESE FLAGS IN MARTYRS SQUARE
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 12:18
- Keywords: economy anti-government protests morning protests Tripoli politics Sidon Beirut Lebanon
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA003B2BIQ87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Like most young protesters flooding Lebanon's streets to vent their fury over joblessness and inequality, Nina Sabbah demands more than the government's hasty reforms if she is to back down.
She wants to end a political system where, she says, what job you get depends on who you know and what religion or sect you belong to.
Demonstrations dominated by young faces have paralysed the country in recent days, forcing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's government to announce measures aimed at quelling anger and rescuing an economy in free fall.
Protesters like Sabbah, a Shi'ite Muslim from the south, say they have shed religious affiliations to join a broad protest movement that has cut across sectarian lines, challenging a system they say fuels inequality, nepotism, and corruption.
Lebanon's power-sharing system based on 18 recognised religious sects dates back to French colonial rule, allocating posts for each of the country's communities and forming the basis of its major political parties.
Some people say their fight is to erase the legacy of a 15-year civil war that began in 1975 and pitted Muslims, Druze, and Christians against one another.
As tens of thousands of demonstrators hoisting the Lebanese flag fanned out across Lebanon, activists have urged protesters to leave sectarian symbols and party flags at home.
Like most Arab countries, the demographics of Lebanon's roughly 4 million skew heavily toward the young: about 40% of its highly educated population is under the age of 25.
(Production: Imad Creidi, Yara Abi Nader, Ayat Basma)
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