Letter of briefing by Bilal Al Ayoubi, a member of Forum For Cities In Transition Tripoli, in response to rising issues and protests in the second largest city of Lebanon.
In Lebanon, protesters took to the street since October 17 their grievances and anger against corruption and deteriorating socio-economic conditions. On Tuesday, October 29, Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted his resignation to President Michel Aoun. Protesters then moved to demand an independent and technical government to deal with the impending economic collapse and currency devaluation along with adopting an anti-corruption strategy that would reclaim public assets. Another major demand for protesters across Lebanon is to conduct an early election on a law that would be representative of current changes.
Tripoli, an FCT member city, have been part of this peaceful uprising since its early days. The impoverished and underdeveloped city suffered a lot from the lack of proper socioeconomic strategies along with years of sectarian infighting instigated by political agendas both locally and regionally driven. Tens of thousands of the city’s residents continue to gather on a daily basis to demand reforms and the change of the regime. Significantly, these calls united both Alawites and Sunnis together and for the first time for more than 15 years, Alawites joined the protests in Nour Square breaking many taboos and virtual barriers. Sunni groups, on the other hand, visited Jabal Mohsen through a couple of convoys to participate in sit-ins and demonstrations there during the past few weeks. FCT delegates have been engaged in organizing and supporting these gatherings and the dialogue sessions that aimed at bringing people together to talk about a common vision and shared aspirations of a better Tripoli and Lebanon.