11 July Diaspora Call

11 July 2020

As the ever-growing economic crisis in Lebanon has reached dangerous levels affecting the Lebanese people’s decent life. There are no signs of solutions that can end their plight in the near future. We announce today, 11 July 2020, the launch of “11 July Diaspora Call”, which includes Lebanese expatriate councils and Lebanese expatriates from all over the world.

The Call comes in the midst of popular movements that started months ago. It is a response to the suffering of the Lebanese citizens, residents and expatriates from the bad economic situation and the collapse of the national currency because of the theft of hard-earned deposits of the people. The deposits were wasted due to the deterioration of the national currency value day after day in the absence of any clear solutions.

For decades, Lebanese expatriates have been the primary and fundamental supporters of Lebanon either through financial transfers or with their expertise and experience. They have raised the name of Lebanon high in the countries of expatriation. However, the role that expatriates were supposed to play in Lebanon has been, like many other things, undermined and curtailed by the Lebanese government, its various agencies and institutions. This role has been limited only to pumping money into the financial and banking system. The undermining of the Lebanese expatriates contributed to the corruption of the government and the corrupt deals leading to the current situation.

The consequences of the severe economic crisis that we are experiencing today are catastrophic for all Lebanese people. Wages and savings have diminished. Today, this crisis threatens people and prevents them from accessing basic needs including food, medicine, housing and education.

This crisis necessitates us to build the country that we have always dreamed of. Therefore, at this critical stage in the history of Lebanon, we find ourselves faced with a national responsibility to save what can be saved and to reformulate the role of Lebanese Diaspora to build the country that we want.

Thus, we declare the following:

– Launching an intensive workshop for Lebanese expatriates all over the world to develop an action plan indicating that diaspora will be a driving element, rather than a driven element. It will play an active role in building the new country by benefitting from the expertise and capabilities of Lebanese expatriates all over the world.

– In the long run, we see that there is only one solution from which we can start, that is to build a state of the law; adopt a way to get out of this crisis, and share the losses resulting from it. These are the first foundations of the republic that we want to build.

– Emphasizing the unity of Lebanon and the Lebanese people, strengthening and enhancing the concept of belonging to the nation and the country.

– The authorities concerned must assume their responsibility.

– It is illegal to attach the funds of resident and expatriate depositors.

– Requesting the bankers and members of banks’ boards of directors to get back the funds that they moved out of the country.

– It is necessary to form a commission to recover the stolen money and issue a special pardon for six months to all who voluntarily return the stolen funds.

– Organizing the flow of funds and streamlining financial transfers, allowing expansion of FRESH MONEY decision and mechanisms to include internal financial transactions.

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