KOMPAS.com – The massive explosion that occurred in the capital Lebanon, Beirut on Tuesday (4/8/2020) with a magnitude equivalent to an earthquake with a magnitude of 3.3, it left a lot of destruction.
The local government said ammonium nitrate totaling 2,750 tonnes was the cause of the incident which killed at least 135 people and injured thousands of others.
After the explosion, demonstrations took place demanding the resignation of the government which was deemed incompetent, corrupt and ignorant.
Yel echoing in Beirut, demonstrators stormed the government ministry’s office and damaged the offices of the Lebanese Bank Association on Saturday (8/8/2020).
Local television coverage broadcast demonstrators forcing their way into the Ministry of Energy and Economy building, chanting “the people want the regime to step down,” a voice synonymous with movement. Arab Spring 2011 ago.
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After that demonstration, the exodus the Lebanese government cabinet takes place. A few days before the explosion at the Port of Beirut, even Foreign Minister Nassif Hitti had already resigned first.
Launch AFPHitti, who resigned on Monday (3/8/2020) stated that his decline was due to the prolonged economic crisis that hit the country.
“I find that in this country there are many bosses and conflicting interests,” said Hitti while accusing the government of not being serious about moving reforms. In fact, reform is a requirement demanded by international donors.
So, what will happen to Lebanon next? Amid the turmoil of the crisis and the neglect of the corrupt government, is Lebanon able to survive?
Or, the echo of people’s demands that the government resigns during the demonstration some time ago will repeat itself Arab Spring in 2011 ago?
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Rigid political system and possibilities Arab Spring
Who is responsible for all these problems? The answer is hard to find, especially knowing that the Lebanese government has been designed so that no single group is too strong or dominating.
“After the civil war in Lebanon, the law was present to organize the political system of the government,” said Dr Yoyo, MA, an academic from the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Ahmad Dahlan University, Yogyakarta who is actively researching Middle East studies in an interview with Kompas.com, Sunday (16/8/2020).
The political system in question is consociationalism which is the division of power in Lebanon based on a particular religion.
The civil war in Lebanon ended in 1990 with an agreement to divide power between sectarian factions.
The presidency is devoted to Maronite Christians, the prime minister of a Sunni Muslim and the Speaker of the Parliament of the Shia Muslims.
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“I don’t think the demonstration in Lebanon will spark Arab Spring because the spirit brought is different, “said Dr Yoyo who had done it Visiting Doctoral Student at King’s College London, England.
The Arab Spring was a political upheaval in North Africa and the Middle East that lasted from late 2010 to early 2011.
Quoted from The Middle East Revolution, Arab Spring, which was originally called the Melati Revolution, started with the self-immolation of a man named Muhammad Bouazizi (26) on Friday (17 December 2010) in Tunisia.
The action then spread to several other Arab countries which brought the spirit of overthrowing the dictatorial government. From Tunisia, followed by Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and Syria.
According to Dr Yoyo, the explosion in Beirut became a kind of momentum that disgusted its citizens, “… is the accumulation of the economic crisis,” and the impact of the neglected government.
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Arabs, he said, were disgusted by having gone through many failures. Dr Yoyo quoted what modern Moroccan scientist Abdullah al Urwi (Abdullah Laroui) said, that at the level of the political system and social change, Arabs tend to experience peak saturation (or fatigue).
From there, Arabs tend to have dreams of going to Europe. That’s why refugees from Syria, from conflicting Arab countries want to try their luck in Europe.
“Almost all Arabs have almost the same goals and dreams, namely to go to Europe. If you look at the mapping of Arabic literature, Arabic novels’ stories about Europe will be found, because their goal is to go there.”
The saturation that causes it all, is no less than pressure from dictatorial governments, as in countries that experience it Arab Spring, starting from the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia which spread to Egypt, Yemen, Libya and finally Syria.
“Lebanon does not include them (Arab countries experiencing the Arab Spring) such as Tunisia, Egypt and Syria,” said Dr Yoyo.
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And even if the Lebanese people are already bored, it is because it is based on the absence of significant developments on the economic side, not about the dictatorship of the government.
Other than that, Arab Spring which happened between 2010-2011 according to Dr Yoyo, did not have a good political impact except for Tunisia.
“At that time, any reformation movement had never succeeded. Arab Spring 10 years ago, it did not have a good political impact except for Tunisia because it was followed by a new constitutional change in 2014 which raised hopes that Tunisia could become a model of success (for other Arab countries), “he concluded.