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The Lebanese People Are Better Than Their Officials

Nida Al-Watan, Lebanon, May 6

If we take a step back and look past the noise generated by Lebanese politicians, we will quickly see that behind the headlines are hundreds of Lebanese doctors, nurses, teachers, administrators and diplomats who are tirelessly working for their country. Unlike their political leaders, these individuals are rarely thanked. They are forgotten and ignored during the coronavirus epidemic. While ministers and parliamentarians fight for credit and political power, these men and women carry out their diligent work behind the scenes. What they’re doing is worth a million times more than the statements made by their leaders, the so-called excellencies in suits. For the anonymous heroes, the task of fighting the coronavirus is far from over. Think of the doctors and nurses working around the clock in hospitals and clinics across the country. Think of the Lebanese diplomats, spread in dozens of embassies and consulates around the world, who work day and night to bring home Lebanese citizens stuck abroad. In the past few weeks, they led one of the largest repatriation operations conducted in Lebanese history. All of these forces have come together in service of the Lebanese people. They have done so not in the name of prestige or honor, but in the name of service. As someone who has witnessed their work from up close, I applaud the ordinary people of Lebanon – the bureaucrats, administrators and ordinary frontline workers – who altruistically serve others without the hope of ever being thanked or acknowledged. They’re the true heroes of Lebanon. – Tony Francis (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)