Chance of a lifetime
Since the advent of the 197590 Civil War, Lebanon has had a reputation as a cauldron of conflict for much of the world that doesn’t truly know the country.
Yet even Westerners today admit that Lebanon is currently an oasis of peace in a region rife with conflict and violence. How the tables have turned. Moreover, with the possibility of sizeable offshore oil and gas reserves, we stand on the precipice of a potentially massive windfall from energy extraction, funds that can not only prop up our economy but also help reduce our fuel import costs, the drain on the Treasury from subsidies and, most importantly, the massive public debt.
Furthermore, $11 billion in pledges from last year’s CEDRE conference is just waiting for us to tap so we can overhaul our infrastructure and implement reforms in numerous sectors that can help catapult Lebanon into the future.
We even have some of the most impressive mountain snowscapes that are sure to draw tourism during this ski season.
Yes, our country finds itself in an enviable situation that almost no one could have predicted. By all rights we should be celebrating our good fortune, while the country’s youth should be thanking their lucky stars that these developments manifested during their prime.
Instead, the brain drain continues, merchants lament the lack of commercial activity, businesses continue shutting down and politicians still bicker among themselves over seats, portfolios and ego.
For decades we prayed for an opportunity that would turn things around for us, and now that the universe has conspired for everything to fall into place, we are squandering the chance to truly make Lebanon a beacon of hope in this troubled region.
This opportunity will not last forever, and while it’s here we should grab it with both hands and transform our country into a model of prosperity, a demonstration of what can be achieved when all involved cooperate and collaborate for mutual success.