These Lebanese people who only want one thing: to leave
"We are no longer even a country.At the end of hope, and deeply worried about his future, Karl, a teacher of French literature, prepares for Canada." I am 38 years old.These are the years when I am supposed to do their maximum for my career, but I can no longer stay here.I think the country will not cover its stability for at least five years, ”he says. "We are no longer even a country, répète-t-il, mais un ensemble de tribus réunies sur un même territoire et qui rêvent chacune d’un Liban très différent."And he continues:" Better to leave now, as long as I can still start from scratch and forget everything!Before leaving, however, he must adjust two or three things: sell his car and his apartment in particular.Which looks complicated in a Lebanon in the grip of a severe crisis in foreign currency."I always said that I had to stay because I was useful in the country," he explains.But when I realized, last January, that the revolution was going in all directions, I started the formalities for Canada.I only have a few papers left to provide.»»
More and more are the Lebanese, especially those with dual nationality, who are preparing their definitive departure from Lebanon.Some left from the opening of the airport in early July.Surrounded by her three teenagers and nine big suitcases at the entrance to the airport, Linda is struggling to hold back her tears by farewell to her father and sister-in-law.However, she promised to stay strong, just for her children. « Je ne veux pas partir»», lâche-t-elle, tandis que les larmes finissent par couler.Too late.The departure was however scheduled since May.Her husband, blocked during the Coronavirus epidemic in Dubai, flew to Canada where the couple had bought a house a few years ago.Farewells are heartbreaking. Les larmes aux yeux, le père promet de rejoindre la famille « dès que la situation le permettra»».It is still too early to advance figures on the volume of final departures.Travel agencies interviewed refuse to give details on the number of tickets purchased for a single way. « Ils ne sont pas nombreux»», lâche la responsable d’une agence à Beyrouth, avant toutefois de souligner que de nombreux voyageurs préfèrent aujourd’hui acheter leurs billets en ligne. « Beaucoup de personnes appellent pour s’enquérir des prix de billets pour un aller simple et pour un aller-retour»», ajoute-t-elle.
Lamoureux nie que le Canada ait un programme pour l’émigration des chrétiens
According to information compiled from several studies carried out between 2005 and 2017, Lebanon experienced four major waves of emigration.Between 1900 and 1914, 30 % of the total population emigrated.This figure climbed to 36 % during the civil war, before falling to 5 % between 1990 and 2008, to go back to 9 % between 2008 and 2015.The economist and activist Jad Chaaban, who has carried out one of the studies, recently wondered about Twitter about the magnitude that is likely to take emigration today.A message that has aroused a wave of Lebanese responses expressing their wish to leave.
According to the company Al-Douwaliya Lil Maaloumat, 61,924 Lebanese left Lebanon for good between mid-January and lami-November 2019, against 41,766 Lebanese during the same period of 2018, an increase of 42 %.The majority of them are young people and university graduates.Canada is a privileged destination for several Lebanese, including Ramzi, father for less than a year. L’année qu’il avait « attendue presque toute sa vie»», celle de l’arrivée de sa petite fille, s’est finalement avérée des plus difficiles.In November, the young man graduated in computer science saw his salary reduced by half, while the prices of diapers, milk and clothes for his little Julie flambé.Since then, Ramzi has only seen a way out: going away.He spends most of his time at the office to apply for job offers on an immigration site in Canada."I have already applied for Express entrance (Canadian job tenders). Trouver du travail facilitera l’acceptation de mon dossier»», explique-t-il."I have always lived in Lebanon, but everything has changed since I became daddy. J’ai une responsabilité envers ma famille»», ajoute le jeune homme, qui arrive à peine à joindre les deux bouts. « Les courses au supermarché sont devenues pour ma femme et moi une source d’anxiété»», dit-il.
The youngest are not the only ones wanting to leave a Lebanon prey to an economic collapse.Ramona and Georges have always lived in Lebanon, even during the civil war during which Georges participated in the fighting.Today, they resign themselves for the first time to go, to join relatives in California.Having obtained their visas a few days before the coronavirus crisis, they were forced to empty their suitcases that are closed when the airport was closed. L’ouverture de l’AIB, le 1er juillet, signifie pour eux qu’ils peuvent enfin partir vers « de meilleures opportunités»», comme l’explique leur fille, Marilou."Current dramatic circumstances comfort us in our decision and put an end to any hesitation," explains the 25 -year -old translator.With the dollar crisis, we realize that we are in a dead end.Our wages have lost their value, we can no longer afford the same way of life.»» « Malheureusement, dit-elle encore, nous voyagerons bientôt… Mais notre argent, lui, restera bloqué dans les banques au Liban.»» Depuis des mois, les Libanais sont soumis à des restrictions bancaires drastiques qui les empêchent d’accéder librement à leurs économies, surtout quand elles sont en dollars.
« Ce pays ne nous rend pas notre amour»»
Others have not yet had the chance to get a visa.Like Dalia, who has actively participated since October 17 in all demonstrations against the Lebanese political class. Cette jeune militante, qui a fait de la lutte pour les droits de l’homme son métier, ne supporte plus sa vie « humiliante»» au Liban."I am sad to say it, but yes I am looking for a way to go, says the young woman.I never really lived abroad but I traveled a lot.I thought never to leave my country, it's been a while since I think about it.Especially when we see the difference between our way of life and that of other countries where humans have value.In Lebanon today, we can no longer plan anything, not even an outing.»»
Unemployed since October, Dalia deplores, however, that most work opportunities abroad be reserved for locals, a consequence of the pandemic."All the help of the world cannot save Lebanon and I am no longer ready to make sacrifices;We are in survival mode. Ce pays est pillé, une mafia nous gouverne et la situation économique est la goutte d’eau qui a fait déborder le vase»», ajoute-t-elle.
Lebanon continues to sink into its worst economic and financial crisis since 1990.The economic debacle, accompanied by a dizzying depreciation of the Lebanese book, plunged at least 45 % of the population in Lebanon under the poverty line, while more than 35 % of the active population is unemployed, according to figures fromThe World Bank.
The artists put the key under the door
In Mar Mikhaël, Matteo, artist and countertenor who recently took part in the television competition The Voice in France, also made his suitcases for an imminent departure.Greek of origin, he decided to settle in Greece with his parents."We are probably going to open a restaurant," he said.We will take with us something from our ... Culinary inheritance!It's over, my place is no longer here.I leave them the country to these vaurians.I had returned to the fold because Lebanon needed me, but this country betrayed me.My artist's soul no longer holds up.»»
S’il gardait une lueur d’espoir avec la révolution d’octobre, Matteo déplore que tout se soit détérioré « de façon cataclysmique»»."I will leave my homeland and my heart here, he promises, but I am no longer strong enough to be constantly disappointed every day.»»
Compassion, efficacité, sécurité : les règles d’or du système d’immigration canadien rappelées
Pour Wassim Geagea, jeune réalisateur récemment primé pour son court-métrage Omé, le départ est, là aussi, « la seule solution possible»». Chaque jour supplémentaire au Liban l’effraie, car il a « peur de ne pas pouvoir réaliser (ses) rêves»». « Le temps passe, la vie aussi, je ne veux pas perdre ma vie à attendre»», dit-il."When I see that my parents took the decision to stay in Lebanon in time and that I assess the result," continues Wassim, I tell myself that I have to learn from their mistakes.We even got to a point where to think about marriage has become a dream, a utopia. Quel avenir offrir à des enfants dans ce pays ?»»
Le jeune homme ajoute tout de même que le Liban, « qui renferme énormément de douleur»», lui a beaucoup appris."Wherever I go around the world, I know that I can live and adapt.Lebanon will stay in my heart.I will continue to tell his stories, to talk about all that is beautiful in him in my films. Mais je suis fatigué de devoir, chaque jour, mener un nouveau combat»», dit-il. « D’ici à septembre, je serai ailleurs»», poursuit-il résigné, avant d’ajouter, avec un soupçon d’hésitation : « Mais pas trop loin quand même...It’s not a return trip.»»
Those Lebanese who Only Want One Thing: To Leave