The DailyStar's blank issue raises the alarm over Lebanon's woes

Lebanon’s national debt is hovering around $85 billion, or 150 percent of gross domestic product.
by Georgi Azar

8 August 2019 | 12:35

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 8 August 2019 | 12:35

A still of the DailyStar's front page on Thursday, August 8, 2019 (DailyStar)

BEIRUT: In a bid to shed light on the many challenges facing Lebanon, The DailyStar issued a near blank print issue Thursday with each page bearing a single phrase referring to one of the country’s problems. 

The phrases, printed in bold, referred to the government deadlock, rising public debt, increasing sectarian rhetoric and unemployment. The back page had a photo of the cedar tree, a national symbol, with a caption reading: “Wake up before it’s too late!”

Lebanon has been in the grip of an economic crisis for months, and the government has not met since a June 30 shooting in a mountain village that escalated tensions between the Christian and Druze communities.

Lebanon’s national debt is hovering around $85 billion, or 150 percent of gross domestic product.

Last year, Annahar elected to print a blank issue as well, a form of silent protest as the country's multitude of problems became more and more evident. 

"People are fed up and we're still waiting for the political class to make good on its promises as we stare at one of the most consequential periods in our history," Editor-in-Chief Nayla Tueni told reporters gathered at Annahar's newsroom on October 12, 2018. 

At the time, Lebanon's Cabinet formation was in a deadlock, entering its fifth month.

"We call on everyone to form a government at the soonest," she said.

That very same government has been paralyzed for over a month now, as rivaling political parties continue to feud in the wake of the deadly Qabrshamoun incident. 

-- WIth AP

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