Dear Mr. Kubis and members of the International Support Group for Lebanon,

Two days ago you met Prime Minister Hariri and you reiterated your “support for the reform objectives Prime Minister Hariri has outlined, and the decisions endorsed by the Cabinet”. In the same statement you also urged “the leaders and political actors of Lebanon to hear the voice of the people, to work with them on solutions and their implementation..”.

Are you hearing the voice of the Lebanese people? Are you listening to the hundred of thousands demonstrating for over a week now in Tripoli, Baalback, Zahle, Jounieh, Beirut, Saida, Sour and Nabatieh? They are asking for two main things: The resignation of the Government and holding early elections.

Nobody on the street understands why you are hanging on to this “national unity” government. Have you heard of the saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ? You have been renewing your trust in this political class for over 30 years now, and what did we the people get? A failing economy, soaring poverty and unemployment, a destroyed environment, a cancer epidemic, and the list goes on.

At the same time, you know very well and see the wealth this ruling class has amassed, by stealing our hard earned taxpayer money and the contributions of your own citizens and institutions. You turned a blind eye to 12 years of government spending without an approved budget, to 30 years of public projects implemented through government agencies like the CDR without accountability, and yet you would like the CEDRE projects to be implemented through this same government and its same agencies.

Enough. The Lebanese people deserve much better than that. Your taxpayers who finance the aid and loan money we receive also deserve much better. Listen to the voice of the Lebanese people.

Sincerely,

Jad Chaaban, husband, father, and Lebanese economist