The Debate

'Down with all of them': Can Lebanon protests upend status quo?


Can the Lebanese really scrap the status quo? What started as a revolt against a quickly aborted tax on WhatsApp communications quickly mushroomed into a movement that has brought the entire nation to a standstill for two weeks. It has been long coming, this simmering frustration over corruption, mismanagement and a divvying up of portfolios among the rival factions borne of the civil war that ended in 1990.


Their biggest scalp to date came on Tuesday when the Saudi and Western-backed PM Saad Hariri tendered his resignation as prime minister in a power-sharing government. But that's not enough, says a younger generation whose rallying cry has been "Kilon Ya3ne Kilon" - "all of them means all of them."

But it's not so easy in a country that has a patchwork of rival clans and confessions, where all the sides are armed and all enjoy support from outside patrons. The largest is Iran-backed Hezbollah. What is its next move? Is the country ripe for reform and an end to its institutionalised sectarian divide, or for a return to civil war?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ingri Bergo.

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