Podcast/Interview: Hariri - Reconstruction, Poverty and Unrest

Listen to an interview with Leila Hatoum, staff writer at Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper, the largest English daily in the Middle East. This interview focuses on the economic policies of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in downtown Beirut in February 2005. Hariri’s public image in Lebanon and throughout the world is directly associated with the Lebanese “opposition” movement, sparked by his assassination and defined by large-scale street demonstrations in downtown Beirut demanding Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon.

A destroyed building on the edge of Chatila refugee camp in Beirut. (Photo: Stefan Christoff EI)


After Syrian withdrew 15 000 troops and intelligence officials from Lebanon in compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559, increasingly people in Lebanon are focused on the effects of Hariri’s economic policies on the people of Lebanon.

Today approximately 30% of the population lives in poverty, while the country maintains a growing national debt that today towers over 40 billion dollars. Many in Lebanon draw direct links between Hariri’s post civil-war economic program and the looming financial crisis which Lebanon faces today, as unemployment, poverty and national debt are growing at alarming rates.

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To visit Lebanon’s Daily Star see www.dailystar.com.lb.

For more information and analysis on politics in Lebanon visit the Independent Media Center of Beirut.

Stefan Christoff is currently in Lebanon as Electronic Intifada’s Special Correspondent, reporting on present-day struggles for social justice. Stefan is a member of the International Solidarity Movement and also is active with Indymedia Beirut. You can contact Stefan at: christoff(at)resist.ca.