Lebanese revolution brings seniors and youth together

Many senior citizens outright said that they had joined the protests to support the youth.
by Maysaa Ajjan and Mohamad Shour

12 November 2019 | 15:35

Source: by Annahar

- In this Oct. 28, 2019 file photo, anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration, in front of the Central Bank, in Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo)

BEIRUT: The October 17 revolution may have started with the youth of Lebanon, but senior citizens didn't take long to join the peaceful fight against a corrupt political class that has exhausted Lebanese people of all generations.

Seniors from all over Lebanon, most of whom are retired or are about to retire, have joined their voices with those of the Lebanese youth.

“This is a revolution for all age groups,” 61-year-old Sameh, who came to protest in Downtown with his children, told Annahar, and many of the senior citizens Annahar interviewed echoed his sentiment.

“The entire system is corrupt,” said Ali, another senior protester, adding that corruption has negatively influenced his life in various ways, especially monetarily.

Like the youth, 55-year-old Samer demands a civil state: “A Lebanese person shouldn’t have a religious identity, they should only have a Lebanese one.”

Similarly, Hassan, 69, told Annahar: “I want to be a Lebanese person in every sense of the word. I’m not Shia, Sunni, Maronite or so on, I’m Lebanese.”

Academic seniors have also been among the protesters during this revolution, such as Lebanese University lecturer Sobhi Zaitir, 60, who said: “I personally have come to the protests to take pride in the youth and in what they’re accomplishing.”

“My children have been protesting since day one. I want them to achieve their demands because they’re the future of this country,” he added.

Another Lebanese father and academician, Kareem Najjar, an AUB lecturer, told Annahar: “I would really like to see corruption uprooted from this country. I want my two girls to enjoy their basic rights."

“I’ve been a veteran protester since 1982,” Fifi Kallab, an Environmental Science professor, told Annahar, whose demands are a corruption-free government, not just for himself, but also for his children.

Cheib, another senior protester, said that he misses his children, who migrated to London due to Lebanon's dire economic situation.

"I just want my children to be able to live in their country in peace,” he told Annahar.  

Many of these protesters are victims of the Lebanese Civil War, which lasted for 15 years and whose shadow is still cast on Lebanon, almost 30 years after its end.

However, Jad, 56, believes that the revolution showed that “the civil war is finally ending." 

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